Thematic Statements What’s a Theme ● ● ● ● ● ● A theme is a common thread of a repeated idea that is incorporated in a literary work It is a message about life and how people behave Universal- not just about the character or plot of the individual novel Usually inferred not just told Revealed by how characters change in a story, conﬂict in the story, and choices made by the narrator or other characters Stories and Novels can have more than one theme What is a thematic statement: Statement showing what the piece of writing was about — not the plot, but what sort of insight or perspective it gives on life/the world/human nature? How to write thematic statements To write a theme statement, follow these 4 steps: Pick a topic 2. Decide what does the writer believe about the topic 3. Write the statement about what you think the author believes about the topic 1. Picking the Topic ● Big idea the piece is talking/teaching/discussing ● Choose an abstract concept like unrequited love, freedom, abuse, jealousy, self-pity, or fear of the dark that the work explores. Thematic Statement Template ● (Piece of writing) by (author) is about (theme) and reveals (element or idea on the human condition). ● The central theme of (piece of writing) is (position on topic). When (event from the story) happens, it results in (blank), which demonstrates (some element of the theme). Examples: In 'The Dark Knight Rises', true heroism requires complete and utter selflessness. The central theme of 'Finding Nemo' is that fear is sometimes more dangerous than danger itself. The central theme of “The Road Not Taken” is the vast impact of choices on a person’s life. When the narrator makes the choice of the less traveled path, it results in a change in his direction leading him a new way, which demonstrates how one choice can have a huge impact on one’s life. Theme Statement Don’ts ● Don't limit to specific characters or plot points. This perspective on life should apply to people and situations outside the story. ● Don't be obvious. "War is bad," is not a theme. Dig a little deeper using details from the story. (What specifically is bad about war? How does it negatively impact the characters or the world of the story?) Theme Statement Don'ts ● Don't make it advicey. "You should always be there for your family," isn't a theme, it's a suggestion. Keep your theme statement objective and based solely on evidence from the story ("The bond between family can overcome any obstacle.") ● Don't use cliches. "Once a cheater, always a cheater," or "Actions speak louder than words," aren't themes. They're just expressions people use all the time and have very little power or real insight.