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Understanding Themes Examples In Literature

Themes And Their Examples In Literature

Every entity in our world has a story behind it. Every literature has a premise, a context and a narrative, which together make up its theme.

 The theme is the central idea or the primary message discussed within the content. Since the birth of human literature, almost every theme or topic under the Sun has been the subjects of literary works worldwide. Thus, theme examples in literature are numerous and can be classified categorically.

This article dwells on the different kinds of story theme examples in literature and much more. Read on to find out.

Theme Examples in Story Books and Related Literature: Understanding, Identifying & Creating Themes

Short stories, novella, and poetry – every kind o literature offers some narrative to its readers. Themes are integral aspects of any narrative and are indicative of the central subject & the writer’s philosophy.

Theme examples in literature are numerous and vary from genre to genre. Literary works of every genre tell a story, relate an event or incident or fabricate scenarios, all of which are driven by a central theme or premise.  

Understanding Themes

A theme is the main idea, concept, philosophy or meaning that can be interpreted & extracted from a story.  It is the message that the writer intends to convey to the audience using different story elements & literary devices.

Theme examples in books often exhibit the following features.

  • They are universally relevant; that is, a particular theme is applicable across different genres and categories.

For example, the theme of conflict between good and evil has been used across genres from science fiction (The War of The Worlds) to horror (The Exorcist) to political dramas like Macbeth.

  • A single piece of literature can have multiple themes, all intricately connected.  How well two or more themes work together to make an engaging and gripping story depends wholly upon the skills & competency of the writer.
  • Often, themes are divided into thematic concepts and theme statements. A literature’s thematic concept is the topic at large or the bigger picture as portrayed by it. The theme statement shows how the work deals with the theme.

The thematic concept of Love In The Time OF Cholera is love. The statement made by the work is that Lovesickness is similar to a deadly mental & physical affliction.

 Identifying Themes

So how do you find the theme of a story?

Identifying themes within a story requires often requires discovering specific patterns through careful analysis. Writers employ different literary devices and story-telling elements to establish an underlying theme, which may or may not be understandable.

  • In many stories, a theme may not be discernible from the outset and become tangible or develops over time once the story progresses further. It isn't until the reader dwells deeper that they can understand the theme or themes properly.
  • To extract a story’s theme, a reader must go beneath the surface of the action described. A story's theme isn't typically stated outright. Often it is suggested by a thinly veiled lesson ordetails contained within the plot.
  • Some of the more common tools of the author’s craft are:
  • Character development, setting, mood,
  • The plot, point of view, figurative language, allegory, symbolism, and irony.
  • Alliteration, metaphor, simile, onomatopoeia, personification, rhyme, and repetition
  • Varied symbols & motifs

Developing A Theme

So, how to write or come up with a theme?

Well, the topic or subject of the story forms the basis of any theme. So the message you want to convey to your audience about a particular case is the theme of your account.

Themes can focus on a particular notion or can be broad. For example, in Romeo & Juliet, love is used as the theme that uncovers our society or family's different drawbacks and ills.  

How To Write a Theme Statement of A Story?

Before writing such a statement, one needs to gain a solid understanding of the topic at large.  The most significant difference between a story's theme and theme statement is that the themes are general, while theme statements are an author's handling or perspective of a theme.

To write the theme statement of a story:

  1. Understand the themes and uncover the theme topic;
  2. Find out how the text (the author) handles the theme and note his views, messages, opinions, observations & statements;
  3. Pinpoint the author’s perspective;
  4. Write down the theme statement in the context of the story;

Let us now take a look at the different kind of theme examples in literature.

Types of Themes In Stories: Examples Of Themes

While identifying the theme of a story can be easy in some instances, many convoluted storylines possess theme or themes that can be difficult to discern. Here’s a look at the 20 different types of story themes.

  1. Good vs Evil: Harry Potter, The Bible, The Iliad and The Odyssey
  2. Sacrifice: The Lord of The Rings
  3. Politics and Conspiracies: Julius Caesar
  4. Corruptive Nature of Power: Macbeth
  5. Love vs Society: Romeo & Juliet
  6. Friendship and Camaraderie: Harry Potter, Lord of The Rings
  7. Heroism: Lord of The Rings, The Three Musketeers
  8. Force of Nature: The Perfect Storm
  9. Technology & Its Repercussions: Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?
  10. Temptation: The Last Temptation of Christ
  11. The downfall of Society: The Long Tomorrow, Life As We Knew It
  12. Poetic Justice: King Lear, Oliver Twist
  13. Patriotism: Flags Of Our Fathers
  14. Mother’s Sacrifice: The Republic of Motherhood
  15. Exploring The Unknown:In The Kingdom of Ice
  16. The Inhumanity of War: Band of Brothers
  17. Chaos vs Order: Heart of Darkness
  18. Man vs Nature: Revenant: A Tale of Change
  19. Courage & Perseverance: The Diary of A Young Girl
  20. Redemption: A Christmas Carol

And that rounds up this guide on theme examples in literature. Use this guide to uncover and identify themes in different literary work and carry out critical literary & thematic analysis.

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