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Presentation on theme: "THEMES and LITERARY DEVICES IN LITERATURE ENG 4U1."— Presentation transcript:


2 What is a theme in literature? The theme of a book is a universal idea or message that stretches through an entire story. A theme may show up in a pattern (such as reoccurring examples of beauty in simplicity) or a theme may come through as the result of a buildup (tragedy of war). It is often a lesson that we learn about life or people. (from 101 Common Book Themes) THEME = TOPIC + STATEMENT ABOUT LIFE

3 Difference Between Topic and Theme TOPIC Beauty Ignorance Free Will THEME Beauty is reflected in a person’s actions rather than their outward appearance The danger of ignorance is that people always get hurt in the end Choice is always present in free will

4 Finding the Theme What is the “meaning” of the text? What does it “add up” to? What is the author trying to show the audience?

5 Themes and Supporting Details “The Lottery” There is a danger to blindly following tradition – The villagers became so engrossed in the lottery that they stopped questioning whether it is still appropriate – they continued to “sacrifice” a person without evaluating whether doing so would give them the desired outcome they were searching for

6 Literary Devices How many devices can you recall? Of those devices, do you know their definitions? Can you provide examples of these devices? Do you know WHY and HOW these devices help enhance literature?

7 There’s way too much to put into a handout now! Online: Google “literary terms” E-document: Abrams’ A Glossary of Literary Terms (see class website for link) Handout from Grade 11 to “refresh” your memory

8 When is a device purposeful and when is it coincidence? When you can prove and explain that the presence of a device enhances the meaning or the message of the text, then the device was used purposefully For example, there are no other terms to replace snake (or serpent), grass or slithered...when a “snake slithered silently through the grass”, you “hear” the “hiss” of the snake – coincidence or purpose?

9 “The Snake” by DH Lawrence (excerpt) A snake came to my water-trough On a hot, hot day, and I in pyjamas for the heat, To drink there. In the deep, strange-scented shade of the great dark carob tree I came down the steps with my pitcher And must wait, must stand and wait, for there he was at the trough before me. He reached down from a fissure in the earth-wall in the gloom And trailed his yellow-brown slackness soft-bellied down, over the edge of the stone trough And rested his throat upon the stone bottom, And where the water had dripped from the tap, in a small clearness, He sipped with his straight mouth, Softly drank through his straight gums, into his slack long body, Silently.

10 “The Snake” Here, the author uses a number of sound effects (consonance, alliteration and onomatopoeia) so that the audience can hear the sound of the snake and the dripping of water These sound effects enhance and heighten the senses so that the audience is more attached to the author’s use of imagery to describe the snake

11 In Your Novel Groups TASK ONE Identify a major theme in your novel and provide evidence from the text to support your theme. Be prepared to share your findings with the class! TASK TWO Find evidence of THREE different literary devices in use in your novel For each device, explain the effect of the device on the audience


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