Motif

Heather Jordan - Thibodeaux - 4th period

Something (such as an important idea or subject) that is repeated throughout a book, story, etc.

A motif tends to be either an element, idea, or a symbol that is repeated throughout literature.

Examples:

1. In The Wizard of Oz, one motif is journey. After a tornado carries Dorothy into an unknown land, she has to find her way home. On her journey to get home she meets three other characters on a journey as well; the Cowardly Lion who longs for courage, the Tin Woodsman who wants a heart, and the Scarecrow who would like a brain.


2. In many fairytales, the motif is having a handsome prince fall in love with an quiet, unnoticed girl, a wicked stepmother or mother, and the prince and princess living happily ever after. (Ex. Snow White, Cinderella, Rapunzel).


3. Fire is a motif in The Hunger Games. Katniss' dress catches on fire while she's doing her interview before she competes in the games and she becomes known as "the girl on fire". Multiple other references to fire are also apparent throughout the rest of the book.


4. In 1984, one main motif is defiance. Throughout the entire novel, you see repeating acts of defiance. When Winston commits thoughtcrimes and has an affair with Julia, he is defying against the government.


5. Money is a motif in The Great Gatsby. All throughout the book there are references to the rich and the poor and how they differ from each other. The whole book is also centered around the idea that money is desirable.

Theme vs Motif