Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

Themes

check out theme examples themes_beowulf_150themes_tale_150themes_romeo_150themes_east_150

Themes are just the book’s main messages. What point is the author trying to make? And what scenes, characters, plot decisions, and so on, does he or she use to make that point?

The scariest thing about themes—at least for most readers—is figuring out what they are. No need to freak out. Authors really, really want you to understand what it is they’re trying to say. So one way of uncovering a book’s themes is to look for patterns and repetition.

Remember: If an author makes a point over and over again, that’s probably a theme. A theme is a story’s main message.

For example: In Of Mice and Men, author John Steinbeck presents multiple characters with dreams—all of which end up thwarted. Halfway through this book of disappointed dreamers, it’s pretty clear that Steinbeck is pointing out the futility of the American dream.

See that? You found a pattern and identified a theme.

Here’s another example: In Great Expectations, author Charles Dickens constantly makes fun of the upper classes. Main character Pip is so desperate to be a gentleman, yet the “gentle-men” that Dickens portrays are anything but. By the time you fin-ish this book, you’ll have had a good laugh at the expense of the rich characters.

Thanks to repetition, you’ll also have identified one of Dickens’ themes: Class isn’t important, but good character is.


 

How to Write an A+ Essay: Thesis Statements

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Literary Analysis 101: Dictionary of Terms Allegory in Literature

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Literary Analysis 101: Metaphor in Literature. 60second Recap Decoder Video Study Guide

Literary Analysis 101: Dictionary of Terms Metaphor in Literature

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Essay Writing Guide:

Get Psyched
Get a Thesis Statement
Get Organized
Get Smart
So What?
Get an Ending
Make it Sing!
Thesis Statements: Four Steps


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