When you were young, your parents may have read you stories that ended with these words: “The moral of this story is... ” But, the theme isn’t always a moral!
What is THEME? The theme of a novel or play is a/an... universal idea or message that extends through the entire story. observation about life. complete sentence
MOTIFS often point to THEME Appearance versus Reality Beauty of Simplicity Change versus Tradition Chaos and Order Circle of Life Coming of Age/Loss of Innocence Dangers of Ignorance Darkness and Light Death – inevitable or tragedy Fate versus Free Will Good versus Evil A MOTIF is a recurring idea or image. Look for patterns to decipher possible theme topics!
Theme uncovered... A theme may be revealed in a pattern or motif... For ex: Recurring examples of darkness and/or light imagery often indicate a theme based on GOOD vs EVIL. Look for patterns!
CONFLICTS point to THEME Person versus Person – Jealousy/Betrayal/ Rivalry Person versus Self – Inner Struggles/Insecurity/Self-Esteem Person versus Society – Person versus Nature Person versus Technology
Beauty and the Beast What is the theme or underlying observation about life revealed through the conflicts the protagonist encounters? The theme begins with a topic... Beauty is _______________________ And it finishes with a verb Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Another strategy for THEME... Brainstorm a list of topics embedded in the story... Rocky is a story about... ______________ Then, determine what the author is trying to convey to the reader about the major topics covered in the story.
Quick Check The Little Red Hen Beauty and the Beast The Three Little Pigs The Ugly Duckling The Frog Prince Identify the universal theme in each of these stories.