Presentation on theme: "Finding the Theme What Is a Theme? Why Find the Theme? Tips for Uncovering Theme Use the Strategy Practice the Strategy Feature Menu."— Presentation transcript:
Finding the Theme What Is a Theme? Why Find the Theme? Tips for Uncovering Theme Use the Strategy Practice the Strategy Feature Menu
Finding the Theme A theme is a truth about life that you discover as you read a story. What is a theme? A theme is a message that the writer wants you to get. But you usually have to look for it.
Finding the Theme A topic is a very brief description of the subject of a story. A theme is not... What is a theme? a topic You can state a topic in one or two words: respect farm life friendship You need a full sentence to explain a theme: Friendship is a fragile thing.
Finding the Theme What is a theme? Happiness is accepting the joys of ordinary life. ChildhoodHappiness Awareness Childhood is a time of innocence. Awareness of death can make life richer. Not a Theme Theme Statement
Finding the Theme a plot A plot is made up of the events of a story—what happens to the characters. A theme is also not... What is a theme? You can diagram or outline the plot of a story. You can’t diagram a theme. You need to state a theme in a sentence.
Finding the Theme 1. A family travels to Alabama and faces hardships along the way. Why? Decide whether each item states a plot, a topic, or a theme. What is a theme? 2. Prejudice Plot? Topic? Theme? Why? Plot? Topic? Theme? Describes events in a story. One word; not a sentence.
Finding the Theme 4. Happiness can be found in the joys of ordinary life. 3. Facing your fears is the only way to overcome them. [End of Section] What is a theme? Plot? Topic? Theme? Why? Plot? Topic? Theme? Complete sentence; tells a truth about life. Decide whether each item states a plot, a topic, or a theme.
Finding the Theme Why find the theme? Finding a theme helps you understand stories or poems about the human experience changes a character goes through the writer’s views on life
Finding the Theme Why find the theme? Finding a theme also helps you make up your own mind about the writer’s message. [End of Section] Is this really how people are? Do I agree with this view of life?
Finding the Theme Tips for Uncovering Theme Start by making notes about the plot. King Midas of Lydia gets the gift of his choice from the god Dionysus — wishes for “golden touch” — everything he touches turns to gold — can’t eat or drink anything — turns his daughter into gold — learns lesson
Finding the Theme Diagram or retell the plot to make sure you understand what happens in the story. When King Midas of Lydia finds the satyr Silenus trespassing, Silenus promises to entertain Midas so that Midas does not get him in trouble with the god Dionysus. Later, Midas returns Silenus to Dionysus, who offers Midas any gift he wants. Midas, who is already very rich, is greedy. He wants anything he touches to turn to gold. Tips for Uncovering Theme
Finding the Theme Make sure you include the climax Midas soon has doubts about his wisdom. He can’t eat or drink; he worries about starving. Finally, he accidentally turns his beloved daughter into gold and realizes his foolishness. He asks Dionysus to forgive his greed, washes the curse off, and returns to find his daughter restored to normal. Tips for Uncovering Theme and the resolution in your notes or retelling.
Finding the Theme (You can state a topic in one or two words.) Next, identify the topic of the story. Greed Tips for Uncovering Theme
Finding the Theme Write a complete sentence to express the story’s truth—its theme. Some things in life are more important than money. Tips for Uncovering Theme
Finding the Theme Remember: A theme can be stated in different ways. Some things in life are more important than money. Greed can blind a person to the important things in life. A story can have more than one theme. Be careful what you wish for—you just might get it. Sometimes we don’t appreciate what we have until it’s taken from us. Tips for Uncovering Theme
Finding the Theme Use the Strategy As you read “Hearts and Hands,” stop at each open-book sign and think about what you have just read. These questions will help you learn how to find the theme. Stop and think. Answer the question. Example [End of Section]
Finding the Theme “The younger man roused himself sharply at the sound of her voice, seemed to struggle with a slight embarrassment which he threw off instantly, and then clasped her fingers with his left hand.” He did not expect to meet someone he knows. Why do you think Mr. Easton is embarrassed? Use the Strategy
Finding the Theme Remember, a theme is not the topic or the plot of a story. The marshal pretends to be the prisoner because he feels sorry for the prisoner, who has run into a young woman he used to know. Here is a sentence about “Hearts and Hands.” Does it state a topic or sum up part of the plot? Be ready to explain your answer. Practice the Strategy
Finding the Theme Does the sentence state a topic or sum up part of the plot? The sentence sums up part of the plot. Explain your answer. The sentence describes an event in the story and explains the actions of a character. It does more than state the subject of the story. Practice the Strategy
Finding the Theme 1.Deception 2.Two friends meet on a train, and one pretends to be a U.S. marshal. 3.Friendship 4.A young woman traveling on a train runs into a young man she once knew. She tries to renew the friendship, but he is unable to do so because he is headed to prison. The marshal with him pretends to be the prisoner. Now explain which of the following words and sentences state a topic and which ones sum up the plot.
Finding the Theme Why is it so easy for the real marshal to fool the young lady? A writer doesn’t usually make an explicit, or direct, statement of the theme. Theme is usually implicit. You have to hunt for it. Ask questions about what the characters say and do, and why. Here’s a possible question: Practice the Strategy
Finding the Theme Practice the Strategy Why is it so easy for the real marshal to fool the young lady? She is dressed in “elegant taste” and probably from the upper class. She can’t quite imagine that someone she knows socially would be a criminal. Also, the young man she knows is handsome, while the real marshal is a rough, heavy man. She probably thinks the real marshal looks more like a criminal.
Finding the Theme To find the implicit theme in “Hearts and Hands,” ask yourself: [End of Section] Why does the marshal cover up for his prisoner? Is he trying to spare the feelings of the young woman? Is it because he sees the prisoner as a fellow human being? What have I learned about helping someone people normally wouldn’t help? Now, write a theme statement that starts, “This story reveals to me that...”