In modern literary studies, a common theme is the central theme, central message, or theme in a story. A theme may be defined as a summary of the major themes developed in a literary work. The themes of a story may be categorized as thematic, polemical, and emotional. A theme in literature may be considered a device to draw the reader’s attention to some internal or external theme. Themes are also divided into two main categories: the thematic idea of a work and its thematic expression being what the work “says about the subject” or that which readers “believe the work to be about”.
In English literature, themes are often used to tell a story. Major themes develop in one story and dominate the remainder of the stories related to it. Major themes are found in stories with strong characters and in stories dealing with a central character or plot. Minor themes develop in lighter novels where there are less dominant themes or they are used to bridge clashing elements in the larger tale. In these lighter novels the theme is usually one of secondary importance.
In creative writing, themes are explored more thoroughly by artists. A writer who wants to explore themes in literature should look for literary theme examples from other creative works. This will give an artist an idea of the structure of themes explored in literature. Themes are explored throughout literature as an artistic means of expressing ideas, organizing events, and representing people, ideas, and concepts.
A few of the most prominent themes in literature are patriotism, idealism, individualism, realism, romanticism, mysticism, socialism, science fiction, and abstract art. A writer interested in exploring themes in literature should also look for literary theme examples from movies and television shows. Film and television themes are explored throughout plots and the main characters’ personalities. Film and television writers choose themes that are familiar to their audience; however, it is not always easy to choose a theme that can effectively express the characters’ personalities and ideas.
Thematic experimentation is also an important tool in developing themes and thematic concepts in literature. Thematic experimentation involves the use of sub-themes or different structural elements within the main theme to see what kind of reaction the reader will have. Sometimes it takes a writer several attempts to find just the right thematic element to use as a central concept in a story. One method of finding the thematic element that will work is to write down all of the main themes and characters and ask someone who is expert in the theme to tell you what they think about the story as a whole. This will give a writer the basic idea on what they should do.
All themes can be examined through the study of literature. A theme definition should be written down so that a writer will know if they have found the central theme or not. There is no hard and fast rule for determining the existence or non-existence of a theme. There can only be one theme that defines a story. It is up to the author to decide which theme to follow for their story.