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THEME Statement Notes
Transcript of THEME Statement Notes
What EMOTION causes HUMANS to BEHAVE, ACT,
or RESPOND a certain way? What CONDITION does the EMOTION cause?
ABSTRACT NOUN + CENTRAL IDEA
= HUMAN CONDITION
Are you afraid of heights?
Terror is an abstract noun.
Exhilaration is an abstract noun.
Fear is an abstract noun.
Thrill is an abstract noun.
Anxiety is an abstract noun.
What causes the terror?
What causes the rush?
Any EMOTION a human can experience
can become an abstract noun.
Step 1: What is the subject,
topic, abstract noun?
Asking the right questions:
EVERY work of literature comments/expresses a HUMAN CONDITION (central idea or truth).
Step 2: What does the
passage reveal about
the abstract noun?
QUOTE(s) from the
passage proves the
Step 3: Can this message apply to people
like you and me or even Grandpa Joe?
Does this message apply to
LIFE IN GENERAL?
Rules to Memorize for Theme Statements:
1. It CANNOT be about characters or events in the passage; however, these characters or events proves the theme statement's existence.
2. It SHOULD NOT contain "always" or "never".
3. It CANNOT be about you, me, or Grandpa Joe (just a coincidence).
4. It MUST be universal enough to apply to all human beings.
5. It WILL NOT be a command (understood "you").
6. It WILL NOT be a question.
7. It WILL NOT be an explanation.
8. No cliches allowed ("YOLO!").
Adolescent romance is stronger than family bonds.
-- The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet
Excessive pride can lead to fatal judgements.
-- Things Fall Apart
Obsession with the past can distort reality.
-- The Great Gatsby
Chosen ignorance will breed intolerance in a society where nonconformity is evil.
-- The Scarlet Letter
Theme Statement Examples:
Romeo's love supersedes family bonds.
-- The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet.
His excessive pride led to an untimely death.
--Things Fall Apart
Greed always distorts reality.
--The Great Gatsby
Always be yourself no matter how long it takes you.
-- The Scarlet Letter
Incorrect Theme Statements