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The search for meaning in literature.  Theme is the central idea, moral, or lesson, about life or human behavior that a story reveals.  In other words,

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Presentation on theme: "The search for meaning in literature.  Theme is the central idea, moral, or lesson, about life or human behavior that a story reveals.  In other words,"— Presentation transcript:

1 The search for meaning in literature

2  Theme is the central idea, moral, or lesson, about life or human behavior that a story reveals.  In other words, theme is what the story teaches it’s readers about life  In most stories, the theme is not stated directly. Instead, it is revealed to us through the character's experiences.  You must use your inference skills, and read very closely to figure out the theme of a story.

3  Author’s help us discover and explore themes by revealing information to us through the setting, characters, and plot that make up a story.

4  Theme’s are usually about BIG IDEAS about life such as:  Freedom, trust, friendship, good vs. evil  A text can and usually does have more than one theme

5  Questions to ask yourself when determining a theme:  Does the title of the text reveal or suggest anything to you?  How does the main character change?  What caused him/her to change?  What lessons did the character learn?  What conflicts are the characters engaged in, and what happens as a result?  What was the most important moment in the text?  What is the lesson, moral, or message about LIFE that the author feels that you should learn by reading this story?

6  A theme is never expressed in a single word. The theme in a piece of literature is always a statement.  Examples:  Love is the most important thing in life.  Money can’t buy happiness.  Don’t judge people based on the surface.  A good theme statement shows what lesson about life is learned through a text

7  When you finish reading something and you are looking for a theme, find a single word to sum up the story.  Example:  Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the king's horses and all the king's men Couldn't put Humpty together again!  A single word to sum up Humpty Dumpty would be CAUTION.  Take the single word and stretch it into a message that states a lesson.  For Humpty Dumpty: Always use caution or the result may be irreversible.

8  In order for a theme to be justified, there must be specific, concrete evidence from the text.  For example, if your potential theme statement is that “Poverty creates tough, self-reliant people,” then the book should contain examples of poor characters who develop toughness and self- reliance.

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10  Tim hated his old baseball glove. He wanted to play with a new glove, but he didn’t have any money, so he decided to steal it. When Tim got caught stealing the glove, his parents said he couldn’t play baseball all summer.  What conflict is Tim facing?  How does he resolve it?  What lesson do you think Tim learn as a result of this story?  The lesson of the story is that:  if you want something, you should work for it.  What evidence is there from the story to support the theme mentioned above?

11  The Flies and the Honey-Pot: A number of flies were attracted to a jar of honey which had been overturned in a housekeeper's room, and placing their feet in it, ate the honey greedily. Their feet, however, became so smeared with the honey that they could not use their wings, nor release themselves, and were suffocated.  What single word sums up this piece?  Greed  Theme: Being greedy can have serious consequences.  Theme: Always the consider the consequences of your actions.

12  The Fox and the Crane:  At one time the Fox and the Stork were on visiting terms and seemed very good friends. So the Fox invited the Stork to dinner, and for a joke put nothing before her but some soup in a very shallow dish. This the Fox could easily lap up, but the Stork could only wet the end of her long bill in it, and left the meal as hungry as when she began. "I am sorry," said the Fox, "the soup is not to your liking." The Crane, in his turn, asked the Fox to dine at his home the next night. When they were seated at table all that was for their dinner was contained in a very long-necked jar with a narrow mouth, in which the Fox could not insert his snout, so all he could manage to do was to lick the outside of the jar.  What single word sums up this piece?  Karma  Theme :Treat others the way you would like to be treated


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