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“The theme of a literary work is a central idea that it conveys, either directly or implicitly” (Hamilton 154).

The theme is the “value conveyed” in a literary work. A theme can be, be true to oneself and never give up. Theme is a rhetorical device I fully understand. In high school, we spent a lot of time on the topic of theme. I like how Hamilton says theme differs from the subject of the work. I remember lots of my classmates would have a difficult time with that. They would ask me for help and I didn’t know how to explain it to them. This book would of helped a lot. Then they could see it.


Greta Carroll said:

Theme is an interesting part of literature. I have found one of the most useful elements of themes is their universality. They allow one to pick a theme in one book and compare it to a theme in another book. It provides a way to compare and contrast an author’s intent, their strategy, and how the views on that theme are different from author to author. This allows one to understand the overall theme better and its relation to each of the pieces of literature more clearly. Speaking of the same theme in various works maybe that would be a good topic for a research paper…

Good points, Angelica and Greta. In science fiction, for instance, no matter what the subject is (robots, zombies, aliens, time travel), the theme always has to do something with humanity. Even when there are no humans in the story, the "aliens" or the "others" or the "monsters" are always some expression of our struggle within our own cultures and within our own selves.

Kaitlin Monier said:

Theme is a hard term to explain and to define to yourself. It seems like one of those things that you have to just understand

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Kaitlin Monier on Themes: Theme is a hard term to explai
Dennis G. Jerz on Themes: Good points, Angelica and Gret
Greta Carroll on Themes: Theme is an interesting part o