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education.com asks:
Q:

How can English teachers be consistent if there is no definitive answer about what theme is?

"If it's not the one-word subject and it's not the moral/lesson, then what is theme? Can you please give an example of what you think theme is? ...how can we (English teachers) be consistent if there is no definitive answer about what theme is?  I've Googled it on the Internet and...I've found so many different answers. Who is right?  Can anyone help?"

Asked by Debbie after reviewing the article and comments about, "Tackling Theme in Literature":
http://www.education.com/magazine/article/Tackl...
In Topics: School and Academics, Helping my child with reading, Helping my child with writing
> 60 days ago

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fritzr
fritzr writes:
Maybe they are all right.  If I was asked to define theme I think I would say it is the author's point.  Given all the words and plot and sub-plots, etc. what is the point the author is trying to make by writing the story?

Answering that question could take one word or dozens.
> 60 days ago

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hlevitan
hlevitan , Teacher writes:
Theme draws on archetypes and motifs that occur throughout a novel.  It is difficult to be consistent and pin down a concrete definition for theme when it really is something specific to the individual reader's experience.

Novels can be viewed through different lenses (psychological, feminist, etc.).  With each unique perception a novel is viewed, a particular theme is understood.  While it may be difficult to come up with a universal definition for theme, it is important to teach students that they need to critically evaluate a novel by using analytical skills when determining theme.  While themes (love, nature, friendship, war) by nature are abstract, it would be contradictory to demand a concrete, singular definition for a multi-faceted term.
> 60 days ago

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