Tanner Wagley

What is a Theme?

A Theme is the idea that the author is trying to communicate to the reader about a topic. It is expressed as a sentence or a statement.

What is not a Theme Statement? What is a theme?

A theme is not:

  • A theme is NOT a moral, a directive, or an order. These things tell us what to do, while a theme avoids judging people.
  • Themes are NOT a clichés. “Actions speak louder than words,” is not a theme.
  • A theme is not specific to a character or plot.

A theme is:

  • A theme is an observation: it makes comments about the way things are in life
  • A theme is original and thoughtful; it is something you find interesting and come up with by yourself.
  • A theme does describe a general idea of a story.

How To Write A Theme Statement

  1. Choose a concept such as Love, Hate, Trust, or Fear that you feel carries through the text.
  2. Introduce the piece and who it is by than state what the concept is.
  3. Next talk about what the text conveys about the topic
  4. The end product should include: the name and author of the text, the concept, and what the concept reveals about humanity, life, the world, ect.
Example from the Merchant of Venice By William Shakespeare:

  • In The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare shows how people can show love in other ways besides words.
  • In The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare shows how people can be closed-minded when they have been taught one thing their whole lives.
  • In The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare conveys the message that people sometimes pretend to be something they are not to blend in.