theme powerpoint stop the sun 2017

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Theme in
Literature and
Film
For these notes, only fill in what
is underlined on the blank
spaces.
By the end of this lesson you
will be able to:
 Identify theme as it appears in
literature and film
 Distinguish between topic of a story
and theme of a story
 Analyze stories and infer multiple
themes using four key story elements
 Classify themes for validity
What Is Theme?
Theme—the message, moral, or insight about life
or human behavior that the writer wishes to
convey to the reader
 Living a simple life leads to
greater personal freedom
 The deepest loneliness is
sometimes felt when we are
among friends
Universal Themes
Different writers from different cultures often
express similar themes.
 A theme is a generalization
about life or human nature
 Certain types of experiences
are common to all people
everywhere
 In most stories, the theme is not stated directly
 Instead, it is revealed to us through the characters’
experiences.
Universal Themes
 come up again and again in literature
 deal with basic human concerns—good and evil,
life and death, love and loss
 shine a light on our common experiences
 can help guide us through our lives
Universal Themes
Quick Check
Stories
Beauty and the Beast
The Three Little Pigs
Match these familiar stories
to the appropriate universal
theme. One will repeat!
A It pays to work hard and
plan ahead.
The Ugly Duckling
B Appearances can be
deceiving.
Finding the Theme
Keep the following guidelines in mind when you
want to find and state the theme of a work.
*The theme is not the same thing as the
subject!
 The subject is simply the topic. It can also be a
“big idea” stated in a single word, such as
loyalty
 The theme is the writer’s OPINION about the
subject/big idea.
 It makes some revelation about the subject and
should be expressed in a sentence: “Loyalty to
a leader is not always noble.”
“Big Ideas”
*Common themes are
OPINIONS about
big ideas like:
 Freedom
 Jealousy
 Courage
 Family
 Trust/Honesty
 Love
 Friendship
 Justice
 ________________?
 ________________?
 ________________?
Example from Cinderella
Subject: The story is about a poor
girl, who is mistreated. She meets
a prince, falls in love, and gets
married
“Big Idea(s)”: Kindness, Love
Theme(s):
 Good things happen to people
who are kind to others
 Love always triumphs over evil
“A Christmas Carol”
•
•
•
Think about all the different versions of
“A Christmas Carol” you have seen or
read.
Write down as many “Big Ideas” for the
story/movie in your notes as you can in
2 minutes!
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
______________________________
*Themes can be directly stated, but usually
readers must infer themes from clues in key
story elements.
The 4 Key Elements in Finding Theme:
 The story’s title
 How the characters change and the
lessons they learn about life
 Conflicts in the story’s action
 Words or phrases that express important
ideas (look for thoughts that are repeated
throughout the story)
Finding the Theme
Sometimes the title gives clues.
 Does the title have a special meaning?
 Does it point to the theme?
The theme applies to the entire work.
 Test your statement of the theme. Does it apply
to the whole work, not just to parts of it?
Finding the Theme
Writers often express theme through what
their characters learn.
 Does the main character
change?
 Does a character realize
something he or she did not
know before?
Finding the Theme
Conflict helps reveal theme.
 What is the conflict, or struggle between
opposing forces, that the main character faces?
 How is the conflict resolved?
Conflict
Resolution
Theme
Two friends find a
wallet. One friend
wants to return it
to the owner; the
other wants to
keep it.
They return the
wallet and share a
small reward.
People are often
rewarded for
making the right
moral decision.
Finding the Theme
There is no single way to state the theme.
 People may express the same
theme in different words.
 There may be different
opinions about what the main
theme is.
 The most meaningful literary
works often have more than
one theme.
 You do not have to agree with
the theme to find it!
Example from “Raymond’s Run”:
-After we read the passage below,
underline phrases/words that help you
come up with the theme
-Then, write what you think a possible
theme is based off the characters
statements below
“I was once a strawberry in a Hansel and
Gretel pageant when I was in nursery school and
didn’t have no sense than to dance on tiptoe with
my arms in a circle over my head…being a perfect
fool just so my mother and father could come
dressed up and clap. You’d think they’d know
better than to encourage that kind of nonsense.
I am not a strawberry. I do not dance on my toes.
I run. That is what I’m all about.”
Finding the Theme
Quick Check
Because of a feud over a piece of land,
Ulrich and Georg are bitter enemies. One
night they encounter each other on the
disputed land. Each thinks of killing the
other. Suddenly a huge tree falls and pins
them both under its weight.
At first the men threaten each other.
After a while, however, they notice each
other’s suffering, make a pact of
friendship, and look forward to being
rescued and living in peace. Then they are
attacked by wolves.
synopsis of “The Interlopers” by Saki
What is the
conflict and how
is it resolved?
What do the
characters learn?
Finding the Theme
Quick Check
Because of a feud over a piece of land,
Ulrich and Georg are bitter enemies. One
night they encounter each other on the
disputed land. Each thinks of killing the
other. Suddenly a huge tree falls and pins
them both under its weight.
At first the men threaten each other.
After a while, however, they notice each
other’s suffering, make a pact of
friendship, and look forward to being
rescued and living in peace. Then they are
attacked by wolves.
synopsis of “The Interlopers” by Saki
What is the
conflict and how
is it resolved?
Two men are
fighting over a
piece of land.
They put the feud
behind them
when they are
both facing
possible death.
Finding the Theme
Quick Check
Because of a feud over a piece of land,
Ulrich and Georg are bitter enemies. One
night they encounter each other on the
disputed land. Each thinks of killing the
other. Suddenly a huge tree falls and pins
them both under its weight.
At first the men threaten each other.
After a while, however, they notice each
other’s suffering, make a pact of
friendship, and look forward to being
rescued and living in peace. Then they are
attacked by wolves.
synopsis of “The Interlopers” by Saki
What do the
characters learn?
Survival is more
important than
land ownership.
Letting go of
hatred feels good.
Finding the Theme
Quick Check
Because of a feud over a piece of land,
Ulrich and Georg are bitter enemies. One
night they encounter each other on the
disputed land. Each thinks of killing the
other. Suddenly a huge tree falls and pins
them both under its weight.
At first the men threaten each other.
After a while, however, they notice each
other’s suffering, make a pact of
friendship, and look forward to being
rescued and living in peace. Then they are
attacked by wolves.
synopsis of “The Interlopers” by Saki
What is the
theme?
If you wait until
tragedy strikes to
make peace with
your enemies, you
may not be able to
enjoy the rewards
of forgiveness.
Making a Judgment
Don’t accept a story’s theme as valid just because
the story is in print. Instead, ask yourself:
 Is this story’s view of life too
simplistic? Too idealistic? Too
cynical?
 Is the writer trying to push an
idea that does not reflect real
life?
Making a Judgment
Quick Check
True love solves all of life’s
problems.
People who have a lot of money or
power are sometimes greedy for
more.
People who do good deeds will be
happy and will not suffer.
Classify each
theme as either
valid or not valid.
Explain your
choices.
Title:
Take out a lined sheet
of paper. As we watch
the following trailers,
use the 4 key story
elements chart to the
right to help you figure
out each movie’s
theme.
Author:
• What the title
suggests:
• How the main
character changes:
• How the conflict is
resolved:
• Repeated
Words/Phrases:
Possible Theme:
Ticket to Leave Index Card
Before you leave answer the following
questions WITHOUT looking at your
notes:
1.
What is the difference between subject and
theme in literature?
2.
What are the four key elements used to find
theme? *if you are unsure write as many as
you can remember*
3.
Name at least two common “Big Ideas” found
in film or literature.
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