- Slides: 13
Theme and Universal Theme
Theme § A theme is the underlying meaning of a piece of literature. It usually includes an observation about life. It could be the moral of the story, a teaching or an observation of human experience. § By the end of the story, the character usually LEARNS A LESSON based on their experiences.
How Can You Determine a Theme? § You are never actually TOLD what theme is in a story. You determine theme from the characters and action in a story. In short, you must determine theme on your own.
Theme - Example 1 § Beauty and the Beast - The theme could be described as “you must look beyond superficial surface beauty and look for what's inside the heart”
Theme - Example 2 § Aladdin - The theme could be described as love is not earned through money, but from the heart.
Universal Themes § Universal themes add to the timelessness of a piece because they relate to us all-either in our experiences or in our dreams.
Universal Themes A-Z § § § - abuse of power - action vs apathy - beating the odds - beauty - coming of age - corruption - courage - effects of the past - faith - fall from grace - family
Universal Themes A-Z (cont’d) § § § § - fate - fear of failure - freedom - friendship - greed - hate - heritage - heroes - honesty - innocence - justice - love - loyalty
Universal Themes A-Z (cont’d) § § § § § - manipulation - mothering - nature - need for change - obligation - parent-child relationships - peace - peer pressure - perseverance - Power of the mind vs. authority
§ § § § - prejudice - price of progress - pride - quest for knowledge - religion - revenge - secrecy - security/safety - seizing the moment - survival - the overlooked - the road not taken - war - winners and losers
Example of Universal Theme § What is the universal theme presented in How the Grinch Stole Christmas?
What other stories have the same universal theme of the individual overcoming one’s selfishness and greed? § The main character Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol symbolizes a greedy wealthy man