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Heather Levie

on 25 October 2012

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What's the message? Identifying Theme THE MEssage THEME A theme is a main idea or message of a piece of literature or any other form of art or expression. Definition: What is theme? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theme_(literature) social inequality: class and race Theme topic: inequality Racial difference is a construction. THE MEssage the reader applies to life
(beyond the novel) Class is not determined by economic status but by how one treats other people. Inequality Common themes topics in literature Racism The horrors of war Family Friendship The existence of good and evil Love Individuality Freedom Perseverence good and evil race class growing up respect for the individual prejudice bravery education So a novel generally has more than one theme. Theme statements THE MEssage may be about life, society, or human nature. Themes often explore timeless and universal ideas and are almost always implied rather than stated explicitly. The theme is more than just an abstract idea or key word, such as "prejudice." Identifying a key word is the first step in identifying a theme.
From that key word, one develops a theme that one can express in a sentence. Start with a question about that idea, such as "What does the main character learn about prejudice?"


"What does the author want readers to understand about prejudice?" The answer to one of those questions, expressed in a complete sentence, will serve as a theme statement. Theme
Statement Next Step:
You can then go about arguing how the work of literature (or piece of art) in question demonstrates that theme statement.
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