In recent academic studies, themes have been used extensively to interpret literature. A theme can loosely be defined as a main theme or central point of a story. Themes are further divided into two groups: a single theme, which are the central thematic content of a work; and multiple themes, which refer to various elements that are connected to the central theme in some way. In literary studies, themes are used to analyze a number of texts that have common themes or motifs that span a number of texts.


The centrality of themes in literature may be evident from a simple example. Consider a novel by James Joyce. In each of Joyce’s eight major themes, we can identify a predominant character, occasion, setting, or situation. For instance, the” Joycean” theme concerns the dissipation of Joyce’s emotions following his separation from his wife and the dissolution of their marriage. Joyce’s use of multiple themes to interpret the same event constitutes multiple themes.

Thematic interpretation requires literary study, specifically literary criticism. A theme can be examined as a unit that is built on differentiating characteristics of texts. While a literary work may consist of a number of independent themes, these themes must often be connected to one another through the consistent presence of a literary devices such as similes, metaphors, allusions, allusions, and metaphors. A literary device used to associate a theme with another theme can be called a thematic idea.

All themes can be categorized into two broad categories, namely, major themes and minor themes. A major theme may be an overriding unit that is not subordinate to other themes in a written text. On the other hand, a minor theme occurs within the main theme and is therefore dependent upon the main idea. For instance, in a story about two lovers, the lovers’ love might be the main idea but this love may still be dependent on another theme like jealousy, which can also be expressed in the form of the minor theme of envy. A theme or thematic idea may be expressed in several ways so that it can have varied meanings and can even be used as a device for the literary work.

Major and minor themes are just two of the many types of themes that can be found in literature. Some authors express multiple themes in a single text by using different ways of presenting these themes. Take for instance the novel “The Great Bazaar”, which features themes of love, betrayal, greed, and ambition. There is one main character, a merchant who lives in the countryside selling goods in a large market. Throughout the book, one can notice themes of greed, jealousy, and other such emotions as well as one minor theme that take place when a merchant accidentally stumbles upon a mysterious cotage.

This example illustrates that the mere presence of a certain theme in a text does not automatically mean that the work contains a main character or plot line. Just like in a play, a main character’s behavior or actions may be influenced by other characters and their themes as well. We see this happening most frequently with novels where the narrator pens down or registers the events that he witnesses or comes into contact with. Themes then serve as a device for narrating the tale. In short, themes are not essential to the telling of a story; however, they do lend interest and character to a tale, bringing it to life in the minds of the readers.