Subtext is all about WHY. And, no, we don't mean WHY as in “Why are you tormenting me by making me look for subtext?” We mean WHY like, “Why did the author choose to have the characters act this way?”
Let's break this word down. Sub. Text. Sub, as in, below or under. Text, as in, the words you're reading in some interminable novel or other.
So, subtext is the meaning behind the words on the page.
Example: That awkward or annoying guy or girl asks if you want to hang out sometime. And you say, "Sure. Whatever." But you don't really mean, "Sure. Whatever." You mean,"No way" or "Um, NEVER!"
"No way" or "Um, NEVER!" are the subtext!
I know, I know. You're not inside these authors' heads. So how do you know what the subtext is? Think of it this way: Subtext is all about why.
Why did the author choose to have these characters act this way?
Why did the author have this or that happen in the plot?
Why is the author banging me over the head with this particular symbol?
Asking "Why?" will help you get to that deeper meaning. And, just maybe, make you look like a literary genius.
Next: Symbols in Literature.
Sorry, can't help you there. But what if I could show you how to save time and trouble with a simple technique for organizing your research? And what if I told you that this strategy would enable you to write your best essay yet?
It's easier than you think. In How to Write an A+ Paper: A Step by Step Guide to Acing Your Next Assignment, I'll show you an "on-the-fly" strategy I use for gathering and organizing facts before I begin to write.
Find out more at Amazon, or start by reading the introduction.
Find the complete eight video guide to literary terms here.
Also at Recap Resource:
Get a Thesis Statement
Get an Ending
Make it Sing!
Thesis Statements: Four Steps
Pick your topic
Focus your presentation
Write your script
Choose your props
Create your graphics
What to do once you're done