Creating a Thesis Statement The theme statement is the guiding force of a work of fiction. It should clearly state the essay’s purpose.
Theme • is an abstract idea coupled with a comment or observation which addresses • human motivation • human condition • human ambition
In identifying and stating theme be sure that the observation • is not too terse; it should express the complexity of the human experience • avoids moralizing; delete words like should and ought and any words that express judgment; instead, simply observe, weigh, and consider • avoids specific reference to plot and characters; speak of us , we and the human experience as perceived by the author • avoids absolute words like anyone, all, none, everything, and everyone; use instead we, often, sometimes.
Steps to determining a Theme Topic and Statement • First, brainstorm topics, (2 – 3) and decide upon one topic that is highly evident in the piece of literature. Example: • Literature – Of Mice and Men • Topics – Loneliness • Loss of Dream • Bless, Me Ultima
Next, ask yourself what about loneliness? What is the author trying to say about this topic? • Questions to help: • What causes ___(loneliness)___? • What is the effect of ___(loneliness)___? • How can ___(loneliness)___ be overcome? • Are there times when __(loneliness)__ is a productive experience? • How does one benefit from experiencing __(loneliness)__? • What does ___(loneliness)__ lead to?What does __(loneliness)__ reveal about human nature? • What about it? – Loneliness cannot easily be overcome because of the harsh realities of life.
Then, using these ideas, create a theme statement that contains two ideas about that topic which can be proved using facts from the literature. Theme example: In Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck shows that individuals constantly try to overcome loneliness, but continually fail because of the harsh realities of life.