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What is Theme

Grade 6
Aug 27, 2022

What is the Theme?  

What is theme a theme is the central, general message, the main idea, the controlling topic about life or people the author wants to get across through a literary work. 

To discover the theme of the story, think big. 

It is NOT “What the story is about.”  

Why knowing the theme is essential? 

Understanding how to find the theme is an important real-world skill that can be applied in many ways and helps you generalize the real-world! 

The theme is a universal lesson that is much larger than the story it is in.  


It is an idea that applies to me, to you, to anyone!  

Because it’s a broader message, a theme cannot contain characters, or the story’s plot in it.  

How to infer a theme? 

  • Think about it. 
  • Ask yourself these questions to help discover the theme. 
  • How did the character grow or change throughout the look? 
  • What did the main character learn? 
  • What moral lesson or life lesson could someone take away from the story/book? 

Try to be more specific. 

When you think about the theme, don’t just write a one-word answer. Use some of the details from the story or book to help you write a precise theme as it is related to the characters in the book. 

For example: 

If the theme is love or friendship, think about how this played itself out in the story. 


“The theme of ……………. shows that there is no greater love than one who gives his own life to a friend.”  

More than one theme. 

In some cases, books will have more than one theme. 

When this occurs try to tie all the events together into one main message. This will be the main theme of the story. 

Now, we will learn about common themes. 

Common Themes: 

  •  HONESTY  
  • HOPE  
  1. Look at the clues: Locating the theme of a story is really quite simple, once you look at the clues. A key clue for finding the theme would be the main character’s thoughts and actions. The character will magnify the theme of the book or story by what he/she says, thinks or does.   

Let us recapitulate what we learnt today.  

  • What is a clue? 
  •  Which type of theme did we study today?  
  • How to infer the theme?   
  • Examples of theme.      

Let’s Practice: 

Read the following short story and answer the question that follows. 

One day a man went to the nest of his goose and found there an egg all yellow and glittering. When he took it up it was as heavy as lead and he was going to throw it away because he thought a trick had been played upon him. But, on second thought, he took it home and soon found to his delight that it was an egg of pure gold. Every morning the same thing occurred, and he soon became rich by selling his eggs. As he grew rich, he grew greedy; and thinking to get all the gold at once, he killed the goose and opened it only to find nothing. 

What is the theme of this story? 

  1. Be wary of flatterers. 
  1. Do not attempt the impossible. 
  1. Appreciate what you have. 

Ans: c 


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