Presentation on theme: "Literary Themes Commonly found in stories and creative writing EQ: How do we identify theme and how does it help us to comprehend the story?"— Presentation transcript:
Literary Themes Commonly found in stories and creative writing EQ: How do we identify theme and how does it help us to comprehend the story?
Look for the lesson in the following two stories by Aesop! Look for the lesson in the following two stories by Aesop!
The Fox and the Crow A Fox once saw a Crow fly off with a piece of cheese in its beak and settle on a branch of a tree. "That's for me, as I am a Fox," said Master Reynard, and he walked up to the foot of the tree. "Good-day, Madam Crow," he cried. "How well you are looking today: how glossy your feathers; how bright your eye. I feel sure your voice must surpass that of other birds, just as your figure does; let me hear but one song from you that I may greet you as the Queen of Birds." The Crow lifted up her head and began to caw her best, but the moment she opened her mouth the piece of cheese fell to the ground, only to be snapped up by Master Fox. "That will do," said he. "That was all I wanted. In exchange for your cheese I will give you a piece of advice for the future: "Do not trust flatterers."
The Fox and the Grapes One hot summer's day a Fox was strolling through an orchard till he came to a bunch of Grapes just ripening on a vine which had been trained over a lofty branch. "Just the thing to quench my thirst," said he. Drawing back a few paces, he took a run and a jump, and just missed the bunch. Turning round again with a One, Two, Three, he jumped up, but with no greater success. Again and again he tried after the tempting morsel, but at last had to give it up, and walked away with his nose in the air, saying: "I am sure they are sour." “It is easy to hate what you cannot have.”
Themes show up as: Explicit or Stated - An obvious lesson or moral like Aesop’s Fables Implied – Where you infer what the author is trying to teach us without the author giving us direct information
So what is a Theme? Theme is … The Author’s underlying lesson or message The Author’s underlying lesson or message
Theme is the author’s underlying message the specific characters or action Theme is not
1. Ask Yourself - Find a word that is the big general idea in the story such as: Find a word that is the big general idea in the story such as:“Fear”
2. Once you find the word - Decide what you think the author is trying to say about that word or idea. Decide what you think the author is trying to say about that word or idea. Example – If our idea is fear, think to yourself: 1. What kinds of fears did our main character have? 2. Did his/her fears protect him/her or hold him/her back from something?
3. The lesson using that word What is the author trying to teach us using that word or idea. What is the author trying to teach us using that word or idea. Example – fear If the character was trying to get over their fear of heights, the lesson might be: When you fear something, you must try it to get over it. or …. Don’t allow fear to hold you back
Theme = idea The theme (or idea) of a story is its underlying message or lesson on it communicates about life.
Why is theme important to understanding the story?
Theme...the meaning of life? The theme tells us the author's opinion or raises a question about human nature or the meaning of life.
The author's beliefs may or may not agree with your own beliefs. Even then, if well written, the story may still have a theme that sheds some light on some part of life that may still be valuable to you.
How you understand the theme depends on your How you understand the theme depends on your previous experience of life and stories Also, theme can help you Also, theme can help you understand life. It can tell you how to behave.
In other words: The author's job is to communicate and make a connection with the reader.
Theme never completely explains the story. It is simply one of the elements that make up the whole. What are the other elements?
Let’s think of theme words! In the following slides, we will be learning more about different themes. Let’s list words that help us think of those themes as you watch the slides. There are several to get you started: In the following slides, we will be learning more about different themes. Let’s list words that help us think of those themes as you watch the slides. There are several to get you started: death – life – fear – loss – honesty –family – love – justice - rebellion death – life – fear – loss – honesty –family – love – justice - rebellion
Common Literary Themes (Themes repeated in many works)
Life, Death, Immortality “Stranger, stop and cast an eye. As you are now, so once was I. As I am now, so you shall be, Prepare for death and follow me.”
How an individual behaves or protests against in society. “character vs. society” Conflict with social traditions Protesting the laws of society Being against slavery before the civil war Supporting women’s right to vote Hard work, Independence, Freedom
Character’s inward journey to understand himself or herself. Character vs Self Confidence, Honesty, Rebellion, Greed
The individual’s experience of being alone and in despair Loneliness, Depression, Fear
The individual’s relationship and obligation to the natural world. “manvs.nature” Survival Stewardship (care of the earth)
How justice and injustice are decided Fairness, Revenge, Judgment
What it means to be a hero or anti-hero (the bad guy). Good, Evil
What it means to be a “survivor.” Survival, Leadership, Industry (hard working), Persistence
What tomorrow’s world holds for us … “The Future” “The Future” Human vs Machine or Technology
All sides of Love & Hate Marriage Marriage Romance Romance Platonic or companionate love Platonic or companionate love Love of Country Love of Country Admiration Admiration Possessiveness Possessiveness Intense dependency Intense dependency
All sides of Love & Hate Self-centered love Self-centered love Godly love Godly love Familial love Familial love Infatuation Infatuation Jealousy Jealousy
Review the Definition What is Theme? Theme is the author’s underlying message
Summary: What questions should I ask to find the theme of a story? 2. What lesson should I take from this story? 2. What lesson should I take from this story? (Large general ideas like death, fear, loss, family love, revenge) 1. What topics keep coming up in the story? 1. What topics keep coming up in the story?
About themes … theme of a fable theme of a parable theme of a piece of literature Example – “Life is Precious” Themes (lessons or messages) can be found everywhere: literature, stories, art, movies etc… Moral Teaching View about life and how people behave