Theme is what the author is trying to tell you about the
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
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?
Conveying a theme is the reason authors
write and publish their work.
theme is the
reason we are
class! (And the
Understanding themes =
Finding common themes is the
reason we read as many texts as
we can, because…
the theme is the
continue to seek
both old and
You must be able to
prove the theme
through your analysis!
o A judgement based on reasoning rather than on direct or explicit
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?
Love & War
Murderers should be punished.
Abortion is wrong.
Peace happens on the inside.
All good things happen to those
Man is sinful.
The Declaration of Independence is about _____________.
o Non-fiction text
o Multiple contributers
o Product of its time period
Reader-Response – How does the text appeal to a modern
Based on a modern reader’s interpretation, one possible
theme of the Declaration of Independence is _______