In modern literature studies, themes are central concepts, idea, or subject in a story. The themes of a story may serve to define the plot, provide context for subplots, suggest certain themes for interpretation, or provide a basis for characters and stories. Most themes are constructed from preexisting parts that do not need to be elaborated upon; however, some themes are constructed from preexisting parts which require elaboration. A theme is usually considered to be central when it dominates a part of the story or if the setting or the main character lives in the theme. Themes are often divided into two categories: the thematic concept of the work is what readers interpret the work as meaning, and the thematic statement is what the work says about the particular subject. Thematic concepts generally have a single meaning, while statements have multiple meanings.


A theme can be a single thought or one that recurs time and again. This is especially true of classical themes, such as a conflict between ideals, a desire to power, or a coming of age between two generations. In these cases, the themes are timeless and cannot be changed or shifted. However, there are instances where themes can be changed, such as when a writer creates an archetype or a symbol, and changes that theme’s meaning by modifying the details of the story’s characters and setting. In this way, the original theme can become transformed into a new theme, which in turn becomes the central theme of a novel.

A thematic statement consists of a single idea, thought, or feeling expressed in a sentence. Themes are often found throughout literature, but they are typically found in a literary work. A literary work with a thematic statement is a book, song, poem, motion picture, short story, or game. When a theme appears repeatedly within a literary work, it is called a recurring theme. For example, Mary had a dream that she was lost at sea, with Jack, and in the dream there were several Pirates. Jack tried to help her, but Mary rejected him, saying that she was on board a “pirate ship” and would sail away if he helped her.

Thematic repetition is not just used within literature. It is also used in architecture, fashion, advertising, and many other fields. One example of a repetitive motif in architecture is the use of furniture to denote a certain place, such as the “chicano” style of furniture. The “chicano” is Italian for “little Italy.” The motif is repeated throughout the design of each chair, table, shelf, and other piece of furniture, symbolizing the cultural diversity of Italy.

Thematic repetition is also used in literature, where an entire plot is built off of a single central theme or motif. In the novel “A Wrinkle in Time,” by George Lucas, the central conflict of the story revolves around a central theme, which is the struggle between good and evil. Throughout the book the main characters are hindered by various vignettes, which are small stories about their relationships with others, and how the theme helps them work through their conflicts. Each character has a specific theme that helps them progress and be successful in the development of the plot.

These themes and motifs are found in literature and can even be found in non-lingual works. However, the motif that I am referring to here is that of an abstract idea. An abstract idea is any idea that one can relate to without having to go into detail, and it could be a statement about life, art, philosophy, science, etc. The themes of these abstract ideas can help writers create strong characters and develop themes in a literary work.