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How Theme Shapes a Story

In: English and Literature

Submitted By hopinacarr28
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Running Head: Theme

How Theme Shapes a Story
By
Trina Carr
English 125
Instructor: Clifton Edwards

Running Head: Theme page 1

Like many people who haven’t studied literature, if someone asked me what the theme of a story was, I would have given a synopsis of the story detailing the actions and characters in it. As I have come to learn, theme is much more than a distilled retelling of a story. Theme gives a story a deeper meaning. The theme focuses the story and is the behind the scenes force that propels the story forward. In other words it gives the story purpose and shape. “Theme will attempt to hold all the elements of your story in place. It is like a cup. A vessel. A goblet”(Bain, T 2010). In this paper will attempt to explore how literary elements like symbolism and character build and affect the narrative of theme in a story. One element of a story’s theme is symbolism. Symbolism according to our text is something that has a literal identity but also stands for something else (Clugston, R 2010). For an example the five interlocking ring of the Olympic symbol. Clearly they can be identified as ring, but when they are colored blue, yellow, black, green and red, they become much more. They are a symbol of the pinicle of atheletic compition and excellence. Symbolism in literature gives the writer’s work texture. It is one element that is used to provide the reader with a deeper meaning of the story. It is what makes the reader care about the story. Symbolism when used as a tool pushes you toward the underlining truth a story. Jean Rhys uses many symbols in her story I Used to Live Here Once. One of central themes of this story is a journey. The woman in the story is on both a literal and figurative journey to discovering the truth of her current...

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