Narrative Theme

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Narrative Theme:

Making meaning of a story Narrative Theme

Stories Have Meaning:

Stories Have Meaning Stories are clearly meaningful to human beings since we spend a lot of our time telling them or listening and/or watching them. Some stories were created with specific moral lessons in mind. Others explore aspects of life through different characters and conflicts. But all stories have meaning; otherwise we would not find them so compelling.

Process of Making Meaning from Narrative:

Process of Making Meaning from Narrative Identify the protagonist(s) Identify the protagonist(s)’ main goal Identify who and/or what stands in the way of the protagonist(s)’ goal: antagonist(s) Define the central conflict Identify how the protagonist(s) has changed Suggest a theme based on protagonist, antagonist, and central conflict

Narrative and Theme:

Narrative and Theme Any theory about the theme of a narrative should be based on: How the central conflict began The consequences of the protagonist’s choices and actions during the conflict How the central conflict is resolved How the protagonist is changed by the central conflict What the protagonist learned or should have learned from the central conflict How other characters are affected or changed by the central conflict

Theme Should Connect to Story:

Theme Should Connect to Story A strong theme: Connects to the central conflict Focuses on the protagonist and how the protagonist changes and what he or she learned or should have learned from the conflict Relates to the title Gives a specific reason demonstrated by the story (because/so) Is general enough to apply to situations beyond the story Is specific enough to be useful

Theme Statement Template:

Theme Statement Template In [title] [author] shows that [idea] because/so [how story demonstrates theme].

Example: Aesop’s “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”:

Example: Aesop’s “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37egBk67s0o&feature=related If this link does not work, use the one on the homework calendar or Mr. Bates’s webpage.

Weak Theme Statements:

Weak Theme Statements It is bad to lie about wolves. Too specific to story. Who worries about wolves these days? No reason given. “Bad” is vague. It is unwise to tell lies. No reason given. Why is it “unwise”? Liars are not believed, even when the tell the truth. Why not? What does the story demonstrate? Liars are not believed even when they tell the truth because they have mislead people in the past and are no longer trusted. Clear, specific, detailed and closely tied to the story.

Theme Statement for “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”:

Theme Statement for “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” In [title], [author] shows that [idea] because/so [how story demonstrates theme]. In “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” Aesop shows that liars are not believed even when they tell the truth because they have mislead people in the past and are no longer trusted.

Theme Statement for “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”:

Theme Statement for “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” In “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” Aesop shows that liars are not believed even when they tell the truth because they have mislead people in the past and are no longer trusted. A strong theme: Connects to the central conflict Focuses on the protagonist, how the protagonist changes and what he or she learned or should have learned from the conflict Relates to the title Gives a specific reason demonstrated by the story (because/so) Is general enough to apply to situations beyond the story Is specific enough to be useful

Theme Statement for “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”:

Theme Statement for “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” In “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” Aesop shows that liars are not believed even when they tell the truth because they have mislead people in the past and are no longer trusted. A strong theme: Connects to the central conflict Focuses on the protagonist, how the protagonist changes and what he or she learned or should have learned from the conflict Relates to the title Gives a specific reason demonstrated by the story (because/so) Is general enough to apply to situations beyond the story Is specific enough to be useful

Theme Statement for “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”:

Theme Statement for “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” In “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” Aesop shows that liars are not believed even when they tell the truth because they have mislead people in the past and are no longer trusted. A strong theme: Connects to the central conflict Focuses on the protagonist, how the protagonist changes and what he or she learned or should have learned from the conflict Relates to the title Gives a specific reason demonstrated by the story (because/so) Is general enough to apply to situations beyond the story Is specific enough to be useful

Theme Statement for “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”:

Theme Statement for “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” In “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” Aesop shows that liars are not believed even when they tell the truth because they have mislead people in the past and are no longer trusted. A strong theme: Connects to the central conflict Focuses on the protagonist, how the protagonist changes and what he or she learned or should have learned from the conflict Relates to the title Gives a specific reason demonstrated by the story (because/so) Is general enough to apply to situations beyond the story Is specific enough to be useful

Theme Statement for “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”:

Theme Statement for “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” In “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” Aesop shows that liars are not believed even when they tell the truth because they have mislead people in the past and are no longer trusted. A strong theme: Connects to the central conflict Focuses on the protagonist, how the protagonist changes and what he or she learned or should have learned from the conflict Relates to the title Gives a specific reason demonstrated by the story (because/so) Is general enough to apply to situations beyond the story Is specific enough to be useful

Theme Statement for “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”:

Theme Statement for “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” In “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” Aesop shows that liars are not believed even when they tell the truth because they have mislead people in the past and are no longer trusted. A strong theme: Connects to the central conflict Focuses on the protagonist, how the protagonist changes and what he or she learned or should have learned from the conflict Relates to the title Gives a specific reason demonstrated by the story (because/so) Is general enough to apply to situations beyond the story Is specific enough to be useful

What is a theme in “On the Bridge”?:

What is a theme in “On the Bridge”? In your journal create a theme statement for the story “On the Bridge”. Be prepared to explain how your theme: Connects to the central conflict Focuses on the protagonist, how the protagonist changes and what he or she learned or should have learned from the conflict Relates to the title Gives a specific reason demonstrated by the story (because/so) Is general enough to apply to situations beyond the story Is specific enough to be useful

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