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Universal Themes regular 10th grade Language Arts

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Cynthia Lazo

on 21 February 2017

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Transcript of Universal Themes regular 10th grade Language Arts

Coming of Age:
The protagonist learns an important life lesson that no longer allows him/her to be a child. A new understanding of the world is the result. Coming of age and Loss of Innocence are very similar; however, it is possible for a character to be an adult, but still be innocent in some ways simultaneously.

Universal themes
Themes that apply to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Effects of Power:
Through this theme, readers come to understand the many ways that power can have an effect on the characters. These effects are often negative.

Characters, typically the protagonist, voluntarily separate themselves from the rest of society. Usually this separation is the result of a personal belief on the part of the character. It may also occur as a result of a wrong-doing
Appearance vs. Reality:
This theme usually sends the message that one should not judge a book by its cover or that appearances cannot always be trusted. Often characters may be masking a part of their personality. This may be either intentional or unintentional.

-Universal Themes are reflective of life because they…
are everyday occurrences

make connections
with the
human spirit

-Universal Themes apply to anyone because they…
Mean Girls
Into the Wild
To Kill A Mockingbird
Effects of Progress/Scientific Progress:
Progress is a double-edged sword. It can move a society forward, but it can also cause a society to become dysfunctional. Readers can see how new technology and/or scientific discoveries have both helped and harmed the characters. This theme is often seen in dystopian literature.

things we all see and all feel;
they are a common experience
Note: you may have other movies, books, or stories that fit into these niches. Please feel free to write them down and share them with a partner.

are honest
and realistic
with all races,
ethnicities, lifestyles,
ages, and
Tolerance of Others:
Characters learn the importance of accepting others in spite of their differences and that discrimination is wrong. They learn that humanity is stronger when our differences are seen as strengths and we work together.
Survival of the Fittest:
The strongest character, usually the protagonist, wins. However, survival of the fittest may not always mean that the character with the most physical strength wins. It may be the most intelligent, creative, or compassionate character that ends up succeeding in the end.
The Most Dangerous Game
Struggle with Nature:
The characters come up against an uncontrollable force of nature, such as a big storm or an animal attack. The characters either survive or succumb to nature’s will.
The Effects of Revenge:
Just as love can be all-consuming, so can revenge. This theme shows readers the ways in which characters are motivated by the need to seek revenge. Usually characters who do not learn to forgive do not come to a positive end.
Power of Love:
Through this theme, the reader understands how love is more important than power and/or material possessions. This theme can also demonstrate the ways in which love can motivate characters to make different choices than they normally might.

The Twilight Saga
Power of Friendship/loyalty:
The protagonist learns a lesson about friendship, usually that friends are more important than material possessions or reputations. However, the hero may also learn what happens when he/she chooses to befriend the wrong characters. Loyalty to friends and the ability to hold fast to one’s own word also become important in this theme.

Roll of Thunder
Noble Sacrifice:
A character, usually the protagonist, sacrifices him/herself for others—another character, a group, or an entire society. This theme often comes up in texts that involve war.

The Dark Knight
Loss of Innocence:
Similar to the theme of Coming of Age, Loss of Innocence requires that the protagonist learn an important life lesson. Some protagonists lose their innocence before they are considered to be adults.

Dairy of Anne Frank
The Journey/Quest:
The protagonist/hero goes on a physical or emotional journey to find an important artifact or truth. Often, the physical and emotional journeys overlap.
Star Wars
Good vs. Evil:
This is an age-old theme present in many adventure stories and sagas. It usually goes hand-in-hand with a journey or a quest. This theme demonstrates how good tries to win out over evil. As we know, good often prevails. However, this is not always the case…
Harry Potter
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