What is theme? Heres a quick and simple definition:
A theme is a universal idea, lesson, or message explored throughout a work of literature. One key characteristic of literary themes is their universality, which is to say that themes are ideas that not only apply to the specific characters and events of a book or play, but also express broader truths about human experience that readers can apply to their own lives. For instance, John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath (about a family of tenant farmers who are displaced from their land in Oklahoma) is a book whose themes might be said to include the inhumanity of capitalism, as well as the vitality and necessity of family and friendship.
Some additional key details about theme:
All works of literature have themes. The same work can have multiple themes, and many different works explore the same or similar themes.
Themes are sometimes divided into thematic concepts and thematic statements. A work’s thematic concept is the broader topic it touches upon (love, forgiveness, pain, etc.) while its thematic statement is what the work says about that topic. For example, the thematic concept of a romance novel might be love, and, depending on what happens in the story, its thematic statement might be that “Love is blind,” or that “You can’t buy love.”
Themes are almost never stated explicitly. Oftentimes you can identify a work’s themes by looking for a repeating symbol, motif, or phrase that appears again and again throughout a story, since it often signals a recurring concept or idea.
For this discussion board, I would like you to come up with at least one theme for these first 143 pages of The Nickel Boys. What do you think a good theme for this work would be? Why? Make sure you point to at least 2 specific examples from the book to support your claim — this can be brief — this is not a journal, but a discussion.
So you should be able to briefly state what you think one of the themes of this novel are based just on the first 143 pages of the book The Nickel Boy & then point to two examples or scenes from the book that help explain why you have arrived at that theme.
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