How to Write a Theme Based Essay
A theme based essay is an essay where you write something based on a theme which can be derived from a novel, drama, brief story, song, poem or any other literary object that has some form, or plot and story in it. The very first part in writing a theme based essay is to identify the theme(s) in the literary chunk of work you are thinking writing about. Without decently identifying suitable and suitable themes, you won’t be able to write a good theme based essay. So, the very first and foremost step in writing a theme based essay starts with identifying the underlying themes that you have read in your literature work.
To begin with, a theme can be as ordinary as the moral of a fable. However, themes just don’t stop with the moral of the story alone. They lie deep within the chunk of literature and need to be unearthed, as they are never introduced in a direct form. They need to be extracted from the characters, their deeds, the settings, the plot and everything else that is present in the novel, story, drama or any other chunk of literature. Finding the right theme for the theme based essay is one of the major pre-requisites for writing a theme based essay and students are urged not to overlook this part as incorrect or wrong theme can weaken the essay.
The very first step in finding the theme of a literary object such as a brief story or a novel is by looking at its title.
For example, if we take the novel ‘Blood Wedding’ by Federico Garcнa Lorca, we will see that it evokes a feeling of bloodshed and violence in us by just reading its title! The novel has such a plot that it is replete with violence and bloodshed from the beginning till the end. Even the 2nd phrase of the novel’s title looks like there is an element of wedding and marriage in the novel and is true to a fine extent, as there is a vivid depiction of wedding inbetween a prospective bride and bridegroom. In the midst of the wedding ceremony, there is a sea of violence and bloodshed and hence the title ‘Blood Wedding’. So, by looking at the title of the novel itself, we come to know that the prevalent themes in the novel would be both violence and wedding as they are reflected in the title itself.
Similarly, if we take a look at the novel ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’ by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, we will find that the title of this novel also presents a picture of death and violence just like the previous novel, which was mentioned above in this passage. The title also exposes that there is some amount of foreshadowing in the story or plot narration and we can get a hint here that the underlying theme in this novel is going to be composed at least of death, violence and foreshadowing. If you read this novel, you will find that the author, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, has written the novel in such a way that the underlying theme is basically based on these three elements, i.e. death, violence and foreshadowing.
Even if we take the novel ‘The House of the Spirits’ (also known as ‘La Casa de los EspГritus’ in the original Spanish version), we will find that the title exposes a lot about the underlying theme present in the novel. Spirits can mean ghosts, demons, and angels – anything that is not physical in nature but appearing as supernatural or occult. The House of the Spirits is true to its title as there are slew of ‘spirits’, ‘ghosts’ and supernatural coerces that encircle the house of the main protagonist. Since a house holds a family, there is also a lot of talk about family members in the novel. So, the novel essentially consists of themes that are related to the spirits, family members and houses.
So, we can see that the very first and foremost step in writing a theme based essay is to identify the main theme or themes from the title itself. However, just depending upon the title of the literary work is simply not enough for identifying the main themes in the novel or story. You must also read the entire novel/story right from the embark till the end a number of times as to acquaint yourself meticulously about the underlying themes present in it. The following steps will help you in identifying the underlying themes in a better way for your theme based essay:
- Notice the patterns and symbols in the story. Does it show up to be repeating itself regularly? For example, in the novel ‘Blood Wedding’, there is a lot of repetition and stress on blood and wedding. This indicates that these two form the main themes in the novel. If you go after the main patterns and symbols, you will get a better idea of the main themes present in the novel or story, which in turn will make it lighter for you to write the theme based essay.
Once you have identified the theme, you can commence writing your actual essay. The steps in writing a theme based essay are:
If you go after the above steps, you would find it lighter to write a theme based essay