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Transcript of THEME
Sometimes authors state the theme
in a work of literature.
Most often, the reader has to think about all the elements of the work and use them to make an
, or educated guess, about what the theme is.
The theme must be the story’s
observation; it should not
major parts of the story.
Sometimes in (general situation) a person may (general description of behavior/emotion) because/for (explain)
Example from The Hunger Games:
life when placed in difficult situations
a person must
find the courage to make a self-sacrificing choice
the betterment of others
Hints for figuring out theme:
Think about the title. What does it suggest about the overall message or theme of the selection?
Look at the characters, especially the PROTAGONIST. How do they change?
Look at how the conflict is resolved.
Now you try:
A Lesson in Kindness
Nathan was standing in line at the supermarket. He was watching the checkout clerk who looked tired and grumpy. A woman who was in a real hurry asked if she could get in front of him. She only had a few items in her basket. Nathan was not in a very good mood himself. He did not want to be there any longer than he had to, but he felt sorry for the woman. He smiled at her and let her go in front of him. She was very grateful and returned his smile. She smiled at the checkout clerk and he offered to help bag the groceries for her. By the time Nathan got to the clerk, she was laughing and having a good time. Nathan’s mood had changed, too.
What’s a possible theme?
Where can we look first? Yes! The Title.
Now where? Yes! The characters.
Now where? Yes! The story. What has happened?
One more time:
Now, using this theme formula, write a theme for "The Present" (add it to your story organizer).
Indicate if the theme is stated or implied.
Another example: What's the theme in this clip?
Use the formula!
Write a theme statement for "A Lesson in Kindness" using the theme formula.
Try it with a song.
– The sense that what one reads is "real," or at least realistic and believable.
•Verisimilitude is achieved by a writer or storyteller when
he presents striking details which lend an air of authenticity to a tale
•For instance, the reader possesses a sense of verisimilitude when reading a story in which a character cuts his finger, and the finger bleeds. If the character's cut finger had produced sparks of fire rather than blood, the story would not possess verisimilitude.
•Note that even fantasy novels and science fiction stories that discuss impossible events can have verisimilitude if the reader is able to read them with
in your themes!
Central idea of a work of literature.
A theme is not the same as a subject.
A subject of a work can be expressed in a word or two: love, childhood, death.
The theme is the idea the writer wishes to convey about the subject.
It is expressed in at least one complete sentence.
Authors use many tricks to achieve verisimilitude, including:
References to popular culture
References to other works of art, music, or literature
Naturalistic dialogue (including dialect and slang)
Human weaknesses and flaws