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Identifying Themes in Literature

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by

Savannah Groeneveld

on 1 October 2014

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Transcript of Identifying Themes in Literature

Identifying Themes in Literature
What is
THEME?
a
lesson
,
moral
or
message
about life (human nature) revealed throughout a story.
Why do
stories have
THEMES?
What a
THEME
is
NOT
...
Can we
identify
the
lesson or message

the story is meant to teach the reader?
Applying

THEME to
YOUR
World...
If the
author
doesn't tell me what the
THEME
of the story is...

Universal THEMES found in literature:
Abuse of Power
Courage
Loyalty
Survival
Strong vs. Weak
Perseverance
We will refer to these as common "topics" that themes are built upon in literature.

EXAMPLES of
THEMES
in Literature
With great power comes great responsibility.
EXAMPLE #1

of a
THEME
in Literature
All is fair in love and war.

EXAMPLE #3

of a
THEME
in Literature
Don't judge a book by its cover.

EXAMPLE #2

of a
THEME
in Literature
A
theme
is the
message or lesson
that the
READER
learns from a story.

The
author's purpose
is not ALWAYS to merely entertain the
READER
...

Theme
is one
literary element
used to teach the reader something...
A theme is NOT a
SINGLE
word...
A theme is NOT a
FACT
...
A theme is
NOT
stated by the author...
...how am I supposed to
find
it?

What?

Why?
When?
Learning Objective:
Today, we will be able to
identify
one or more
themes
found in a short story.
Why?
Themes
are essential to the development of a piece of literature and, most times, the most important thing the author wants us to learn from a story.
When?
The skills learned in this lesson will allow you to move closer to writing a literary analysis focusing on
theme

identified
in piece of literature.
1. Select one of your favorite movies of all-time...

2.
Identify
a
theme
(lesson or message) that the screen writer may have been trying to teach the viewer....






A theme is a
PHRASE
or a
SENTENCE
...
A theme is
INFERRED
by the
READER
...
What a
THEME
is
IS
...
A theme is an
opinion
or
viewpoint
on a particular
universal topic...
Check for understanding of

THEME
...
1. How would you describe
THEME
in your own words?
2. Identify one
CHARACTERISTIC
of any
THEME
found in literature...
3. Will the
author
of a story tell the
reader
what the
theme
of the story is? Explain your answer.
"The Lion and the Mouse"
Once when a Lion was asleep a little Mouse began running up and down upon him; this soon wakened the Lion, who placed his huge paw upon him, and opened his big jaws to swallow him. "Pardon, O King," cried the little Mouse: "forgive me this time, I shall never forget it: who knows but what I may be able to do you a turn some of these days?" The Lion was so tickled at the idea of the Mouse being able to help him, that he lifted up his paw and let him go. Some time after the Lion was caught in a trap, and the hunters who desired to carry him alive to the King, tied him to a tree while they went in search of a wagon to carry him on. Just then the little Mouse happened to pass by, and seeing the sad plight in which the Lion was, went up to him and soon gnawed away the ropes that bound the King of the Beasts. "Was I not right?" said the little Mouse.
What was the
THEME
within the story?
Little friends may prove great friends.
Can we
identify
the
lesson or message

the story is meant to teach the reader?
"The Lion in Love"
A Lion once fell in love with a beautiful maiden and proposed marriage to her parents. The old people did not know what to say. They did not like to give their daughter to the Lion, yet they did not wish to enrage the King of Beasts. At last the father said:

"We feel highly honored by your Majesty's proposal, but you see our daughter is a tender young thing, and we fear that in the vehemence of your affection you might possibly do her some injury. Might I venture to suggest that your Majesty should have your claws removed, and your teeth extracted, then we would gladly consider your proposal again."

The Lion was so much in love that he had his claws trimmed and his big teeth taken out. But when he came again to the parents of the young girl they simply laughed in
his face, and bade him do his worst.
What was the
THEME
within the story?
Love can tame the wildest.
Let's take a look at the story one more time...
Let's take a look at the story one more time...
3. Compose a written response that includes the
theme
you
identified
within your favorite movie of all-time and include an explanation of
HOW
that lesson or message was "taught" to the viewer?

A conflict between characters? A specific event in the movie? Through dialogue?
Full transcript