Theme. Warm Up: What is theme? How do you find it?. Understanding Theme. The theme of a story is its central message, a discovery of truth about life and the human experience. Theme is a full statement, not just one word.
What is theme?
How do you find it?
A very large oak was uprooted by the wind and thrown across a stream. It fell among some reeds, which it thus addressed: “I wonder how you, who are so light and weak, are not entirely crushed by these strong winds.”
They replied, “You fight and contend with the win, and consequently you are destroyed; while we on the contrary bend before the least breath of air, and therefore remain unbroken, and escape.”
BEARSTONE: “He didn’t know he was climbing toward a treasure and a turning point. He wanted only to reach that piece of desert in the sky.”
2. ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS: “I wanted to drop the stick and run too, but I went on digging roots because they were needed in the village.”
3. SACAJAWEA: “Deer do not attack a mountain lion, even though they outnumber it.”
4. HATCHET: “It was as if the water were more than water, as if the water had become all of life, and he could not stop.”
5. BRIAN’S WINTER: “He had learned this: Nothing that lived, nothing that walked or crawled or flew or swam or slithered or oozed – nothing, not one thing on God’s earth wanted to die.”
6. CALL OF THE WILD: “His eyes turned bloodshot, and he was metamorphosed (changed) into a raging fiend.”
BEARSTONE: Even when we are running away, life can take us where we’re supposed to be. Cloyd is trying to run away from the farm, but he finds the bearstone that changes his whole life.
ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS: We don’t always get to do what we want because duty calls. In this passage, Karana doesn’t go see the boat because she has to finish her chores.
SACAJAWEA: If you are weak, do not attack something/someone stronger than you, even if you have back up. Sacajawea was not rescued because her people were weaker than the tribe that kidnapped her.
HATCHET: When you lose everything, even simple things become precious. Because Brian had nothing, the water was more important than ever.
BRIAN’S WINTER: Everything in nature will fight to survive. Brian learns this when he has to hunt to survive.
CALL OF THE WILD: Bad situations can change us towards evil. Because Buck was being abused, he was filled with hate and wrath.