Theme Analysis Essay Requirements

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Theme Analysis Essay Requirements
The theme of a work of literature is the comment the author makes about his subject matter, a revelation about the behavior of human beings or the conduct of society; an insight into the human condition. It is the insight we gain from thinking about what we have read. The theme of a literary work is its underlying central idea, or the generalization it communicates about life. At times, the author’s theme may not confirm of agree with your own beliefs, but even then, if it is skillfully written, the work will still have a theme that illuminates some aspects of true human experience.
Questions for Theme Analysis

  1. What important idea or theme does this literary work convey? Think about the topics of some of your journal entries. What questions do the journal prompts raise about human nature?

  2. What do characters do that helps illustrate this idea?

  3. What do characters say that helps to illustrate this idea?

  4. What events take place in the work that help to illustrate this idea?

  5. Are there any recurrent images or clusters of images? Do these images support the idea or theme that you find in the work?

  6. What does the narrator say that helps to illustrate this idea?

Writing your Essay

First, pick one theme to write your analysis (question #1). Next, you need to form your thesis statement. After deciding on a thesis, you need to form a rough outline using the provided example. You will need to provide at least three examples from the book to illustrate the theme, which will be the components of your three body paragraphs. You will need three quotes per body paragraph, so nine quotes all together. Don’t rely on the quotes to explain themselves. You need to lead into the quote, and also comment on the quote after you quote it. You need to effectively show how the quote helps to prove your point.

Follow the outline below---

  • Introduction-

    • Use one or two sentences to express your personal opinions on the subject of the book

    • State the theme you conclude from the book(thesis)

    • Describe in general, how the author expresses such theme, i.e. by using characterization, symbolism, setting or conflicts, etc. (this will be where you lead in to your body paragraphs)

  • Body-Write three paragraphs to explain how the author expresses the theme in his book. To describe each example, you need to include the following information.

    • What happened? What did the character do to show the theme?

    • What did the character say or think (quotes from the character, or the narrator)?

    • What is the consequence of his/her action?

  • Conclusion

    • Restate your theme

    • What did you think of the theme? How has it affected you?

After you construct your outline, you need to create a rough draft. I want this to include at least your introductory paragraph, with your thesis and and what your three body paragraphs are going to contain, and a conclusion paragraph that paraphrases the main idea of your paper. After you complete your final essay, you need to CAREFULLY proofread it, or have someone else proofread it. I want these to be typed, double-spaced, with your name, date, and hour in the upper left hand corner heading. You will be turning in to me your outline, rough draft, questions, and final paper, so save it all. If you have any questions, please ask me.
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