Possible Topics for Theme Statements
- Coming of age
- Forging a new identity
- A new land
- Change and Movement
- Moral dilemmas
- Problem situations
- Mental illness
- Strength of character
- Tenacity in the face of social ostracism
- The impulse to escape
- Social hierarchy
- Pioneering era as a lost Edenic world
Theme Statement Example
Animals are both competitors and companions to human beings in their solitude.
Characteristics of a Good Theme Statement
- Theme statements must be expressed in a complete sentence. “Love and rejection” is not a theme statement. It is just an indication of the topic of the story. What in particular is the author saying about love and rejection?
- Theme should describe the general meaning of a story, not specific events, actions or characters. Do not use the names of characters in the story when stating the theme. You should make specific references to the story, however, when providing relevant details and examples to support your theme statement.
- The theme must hold true for the story as a whole, not just part of it. Pay particular attention to the story’s conclusion to make sure that the outcome matches what you think the theme is.
- Avoid using familiar statements, or cliches, such as, ‘honesty is the best policy” to express the theme. The theme should be a generalization about life stated in your own words.