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Finding the Theme


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Slideshow designed for a community college workshop on "finding the theme" of literary texts.

Published in: Technology, Education

Finding the Theme

  1. 1.   Prof. lee lee
  2. 2.  Theme is what the author is trying to tell you about the world. o Uses story elements to convey their overall message o Pay attention to the title, too!  Theme is open to interpretation by the reader. o Not as simple as author’s view of right & wrong (moral)  Theme may be different depending on your critical approach.  Theme is “abstract” – meaning the opposite of “concrete” – or, as I like to say, Theme is Big.  Theme isn’t a cliché. What does the cliché mean to you?
  3. 3. Conveying a theme is the reason authors write and publish their work. Analyzing the theme is the reason we are taking this class! (And the reason we critique literature.) Understanding themes = Understanding life/culture/history/ literature/America Finding common themes is the reason we read as many texts as we can, because… Understanding the theme is the reason readers continue to seek out literature, both old and new.
  4. 4. You must be able to prove the theme through your analysis!
  5. 5.  Inference o A judgement based on reasoning rather than on direct or explicit statement. o A conclusion based on facts or circumstances. (  A man is advised not to travel alone in temperatures exceeding 50 degrees below zero, but sets out on his journey anyway. What do you infer?
  6. 6.  Love  Love & War  Violence  Justice  Murderers should be punished.  Abortion is wrong.  Peace happens on the inside.  All good things happen to those who wait.  Man is sinful.
  7. 7.  The Declaration of Independence is about _____________.  Other facts: o Non-fiction text o Argumentative/Reactive o Multiple contributers o Product of its time period  Reader-Response – How does the text appeal to a modern reader?  Based on a modern reader’s interpretation, one possible theme of the Declaration of Independence is _______ _________________________________________.
  8. 8. Biographical/Historical/Moral Marxist/Feminist/Queer Theory New Historicism/Psychoanalysis/Deconstructionism Intertextuality