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Theme in Lierature

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Jean Simnitt

on 1 September 2015

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Transcript of Theme in Lierature

Theme in Literature
What is theme?
The main idea or underlying meaning in a literary work.

It will always be implied, never plainly stated.

Theme is different than the topic or subject of a work because theme involves a statement or an opinion about the topic.
Subject v. Theme
The subject is the topic on which the author has chosen to write.

The theme makes some statement about or expresses some opinion on that topic.

For example, the
topic of the story may be war
, but the
theme may be that war is a necessary evil
Major and Minor Themes
Themes may be major or minor.

A major theme is an idea the author returns to over and over again.

Minor themes may appear from time to time.
Ways to Express Theme...
1. Themes are expressed and emphasized by the way the author makes you feel.

By sharing the feelings of the main character(s), you also share the thoughts and ideas that go through their mind.
Ways to Express Theme...
2. Themes are expressed in thoughts and conversations.

Authors put words in their characters' mouths for good reason, so pay attention to characters' inner thoughts and dialogue.
Ways to Express Theme...
3. Themes are usually suggested through the characters. The main character usually illustrated the most important theme in the story.

A good way to get at the theme is to ask yourself what the character learns throughout the story.
Ways to Express Theme...
4. Actions or events in the story are used to express theme.

Characters will express their thoughts and feelings through their actions. How do their actions express theme?
Writing Theme Statements
In order to make a theme statement, you must follow the format below.

: What is the story talking about? (Ex:

: What does the extended text say about the topic? (Ex:
war is evil...war has to happen in order to save lives

: What does the author think or feel about the topic? (Ex:
War is a necessary evil.
Let's Review!
1. What is theme?

2. What is the difference between theme and topic or subject?

3. Name four ways the author conveys theme.

Quiz Time!
Follow the format below and make your own theme statement based on the novel.

Topic + Insight = Theme

Example (My answers are in

(What is the story talking about?

War is evil...war has to happen in order to save lives.
(What does the extended text say about the topic?)

War is a necessary evil.
(What does the author think or feel about the topic?)
Full transcript