What is theme? • The central (most important) idea of a work of literature. • The idea the author wants to express about a subject. • It is an opinion statement.
SUBJECT • It is not the same thing as a subject. Subject, or topic, can be stated in one word or up to a few words. It is an overview of the story, the gist.
What is the subject of Cinderella? A poor, mistreated girl marries a prince. or Good vs. Bad
What is the subject of Charlotte’s Web? A spider helps a pig. or Friendship
What is the subject of the Harry Potter series? A wizard boy’s struggles to defeat an evil wizard. or Good vs. Evil
MORAL While the moral and the theme can be related, they are not the same. A moral is a lesson to be learned stated as an imperative. It is a behavior or attitude the author wants the reader to adopt.
What is the moral of The Tortoise and the Hare? Always do you best. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Don’t assume you will win without effort.
What is the moral of The Three Little Pigs? Don’t take the easy way out of your responsibilities Plan ahead and work hard.
How to find the theme It is usually not directly stated in the literary work. The reader must draw the conclusion of what the theme is through: The actions and events of the story. The thoughts and conversations of the characters. The feelings of the characters AND how the author makes the reader feel. Ask yourself…. “What does the main character learn in the course of the story?”