THE THEME IS A LITERARY WORK’S PRIMARY PURPOSE In other words, a THEME is the central idea of a work of literature. It is the heart of a text… THE SIMPLEST EXPLANATION In slightly simplified terms the theme is like the moral of the story. It’s the life-lesson the author wants us, the readers, to learn It’s the message or meaning behind the text. BIGGER THAN ONE STORY A theme doesn’t just apply to the characters in a story or the subject of a poem. Themes are relevant to the real world. It’s more abstract than that; it’s an idea that can apply to you, or me, or almost anyone. Themes are often universal or at the very least applicable to more than just one fictional world. FOR INSTANCE In the theme here isn’t just that Simba should go home and rule. SO HOW DO WE FIND A THEME? The theme and the subject of a story are not the same thing. Subjects are often broad and able to be stated in a single word, like “technology.” Yet, we can often find a theme by first identifying a subject. The theme is the idea the author wishes to express on that subject. THEMES = OPINIONS Examples: “Family bonds are stronger than the ties of friendship.” or “Technology may make certain aspects of life simpler but ultimately it can interfere with our relationships and rob of us of our humanity.” THEMES = OPINIONS Themes are not objects (such as love or courage) but ideas about those subjects. Love ≠ Theme Love Stinks = A Theme P.S. It’s also best if your opinion is not too obvious.