The writer's point of view on the issue or a revelation about human nature are the ideas he or she desires to express about the subject. To determine the theme, first identify the storyline of the tale, the way the story employs characterisation, and the fundamental conflict in the story. The main theme of the story can then be found by looking at how the characters have been affected by the events of the story.
For example, in "A Tale of Two Cities", the theme is human nature. The story is told from two points of view - that of Charles Dickens and that of his narrator - and it explores how people react to historical events that are very different but which have some things in common. For example, both Charles Dickens and his narrator are affected by the French Revolution. However, while Dickens was a prisoner in France he read about the execution of Louis XVI and the destruction of the Parisian prison system, whereas his narrator escapes from the prison in which he is held captive just before it is attacked by the revolutionary soldiers.
By exploring how this historical event affects two completely different people, "A Tale of Two Cities" makes us think about human nature. People are often drawn to what is popular and new, so most people would like to be involved in the French Revolution. However, because it is a dangerous time there are also many people who want to stop the revolution.
Then look for patterns in the nature of the evils that befall the characters. These will be clues to what the theme is.
Here are some examples:
In "Little Red Riding Hood", the villain is the wolf. The main evil that befalls the characters is being eaten by the wolf. This reveals that the theme of the story is "fear". Fear of what? Of wolves!
In "Goldilocks and the Three Bears", the villain is Goldilocks. The main evil that befalls the characters is when they eat her. This reveals that the theme of the story is "self-control". Control of what? Of eating things that are not your three bears!
In "Cinderella", the villain is the stepmother. The main evil that befalls the characters is when they are forced to leave the palace. This reveals that the theme of the story is "poverty". Poverty of what? Of a prince's life!
In "The Little Mermaid", the villain is the sea witch.
A story's theme is its underlying meaning, or "main concept." In other words, what vital life belief is the author attempting to transmit through the creation of a book, play, short story, or poem? This notion, or idea, crosses cultural boundaries. A piece of writing will frequently include more than one theme. For example, a play can focus on the themes of love and loss or death and resurrection.
The themes in Shakespeare's plays are many and varied. They include loyalty, tyranny, romance, corruption, justice, freedom, betrayal, greed, revenge, and hope. Many more could be listed.
In general, the themes that run through most works of fiction are similar across cultures and time periods. They usually concern relationships between people, how they affect our understanding of morality, and the nature of human happiness.
For example, the theme of many English novels from the 17th century to the early 20th century was love lost or stolen. The main characters would often fall in love with each other but then be forced to separate because of their different social positions. Only later would they get back together at least once.
The theme of most American novels from the late 18th century to the present day has been happiness vs. misery. Do good things always lead to good results?
The topic is conveyed by what the characters say, do, and think, as well as through the events of the tale. The topic is also evident in how the narrative's structure and setting are formed and presented. For example, a novel about explorers in Africa would likely reveal the theme of adventure.
In addition to what the characters say and do, there are many other ways that the theme of a story can be inferred. For example, one could infer the theme from the main character's point of view or even from that of a minor character. An author can also suggest the theme of his or her work by choosing details for their placement within the story. These details include metaphors, allusions, and illustrations such as scenes and characters.
Finally, an author can imply the theme of his work by using language to describe it. For example, if the author describes his main character as "brave" or "determined," then probably courage is the theme of the story. If the author uses words like "failure" and "loss," then undoubtedly these elements are important parts of the story.
As you can see, revealing the theme of a story is not an easy task. However, it is not impossible either. An author can try to express the theme through various methods including description, metaphor, and analogy.