Major Themes of Steppenwolf

Themes Identity Harry sees himself as comprised of two exclusive selves. He is the wolf who longs to be alone and free of societal constraints. Yet he is torn by his other half which identifies with tame bourgeois society. While he longs to break free of culture, he is drawn to culture. His drive for … Read more

Lolita Themes of the Book

The Power of Language: Nabokov had a strong love for language, it was his belief that proper language could enhance anything the same level as fine art. In his novel, Lolita, the use of language overpowers the shocking subject matter and perhaps even gives it a beautiful quality that it is not deserving of. Lolita is … Read more

Themes of Beowulf

Loyalty Beowulf celebrates a warrior culture. For this reason, loyalty is of paramount importance. One of the central points, which demonstrates this, is the conflict between Beowulf and Unferth. Beowulf is from another place and another tribe. His allegiance to Hrothgar is through a family debt, yet he proves himself more loyal to Hrothgar than Unferth … Read more

Major Themes of The Stranger

The Irrationality of the World It is important to remember that Camus was a philosopher who described the irrational aspect of existence. His belief is that there is no rational meaning or order to life. This tendency to deny order and meaning where there is none is central to Camus’s notion of the absurdity of life. … Read more

Flowers for Algernon Themes and Symbols

Themes Ignorance Is Bliss Charlie is shown to be an ambitious man with the mental capabilities of a child. Charlie seems to live blissfully in ignorance before his intelligence as he believes his bullies at work are his friends and he thinks highly of them. He also seems to have suppressed his painful childhood memories … Read more

Major Themes of Atlas Shrugged

The Mind over Labor The “Strike of the mind” is one of the main issues in the novel. Rand’s belief that great minds are the engines of social progress is contained in this theme. It is the work of great minds which create and fuel progress and not labor. The idea that society is driven … Read more

Le Morte d’Arthur Major Themes

Major Themes Honor and Chivalry The Knights of the Round Table must renew their oath of Chivalry every year in order to assure the king of their honor. This includes mercy, fighting for good, and protecting ladies. Each knight in his own way is an example of these virtues. However, they all seem to succumb … Read more

Themes of The Sun Also Rises

Important Themes The Aimlessness of the Lost Generation The generation of people who lived through World War I are often referred to as the Lost Generation. Lives were devastated and old values were revealed as pointless in the wake of the war. The characters in the novel cannot relate to the values and beliefs which … Read more

The Catcher in the Rye Major Themes

Innocence If anything drives Holden’s cynicism it is what he sees as the loss of innocence. He idealizes this state over all others. His dream is to be “the catcher in the rye” in which children play in a state of protected innocence and he has the role of catching them should they wander too … Read more

As I Lay Dying Themes and Symbols

Themes and Symbols The Ephemerality of Existence and Identity: Addie Bundren’s death prompts several characters to explore existence and identity. Vardaman is confused and horrified by the transformation of a fish he has caught and cleaned into pieces of what is no longer a fish, and associates that image with the transformation of his mother from … Read more

Major Themes of Through the Looking Glass

Important Themes Words and Things One of the main ideas that comes forward in Through the Looking-Glass is the gulf between words and the thing they are alleges to mean. Alice’s conversation with Humpty Dumpty on the meaning of the poem the Jabberwocky is a central moment. Although the poem is made up of nonsense words, Humpty … Read more

Themes of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Woman as Evil Tormentors: The exception being Candy and Sandy, the prostitutes, the other females in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest are regarded as uniformly menacing and chilling beasts. Chief Bromden, the novel’s narrator, and McMurphy, the protagonist, are often heard referring to the suffering endured by the mental patients as being akin to emasculation or castration … Read more

Major Themes of The Prince

Important Themes Statesmanship and War Machiavelli firmly believes that the soundness of the state is derived from a powerful military. He is not an advocate of democracy. The ruler derives his authority and power entirely from his ability to conquer and destroy all enemies—even potential enemies. He sums this up when he says that “the … Read more

Themes of Virgil’s Aeneid

There are several themes present in the Aeneid. The most prevalent are The Dominance of Fate, The Suffering of the Lost, and the Power of the Romans. The Dominance of Fate Throughout the entire poem, Aeneas is guided by the principle to fulfill his fate. Despite encountering tremendous suffering on his journey, and experiencing many victories, his … Read more

1984 by George Orwell Important Themes

The primary theme in 1984 is obviously the despotic power of an over-powerful state. The belief that one single authority will always tend toward being corrupt and violent is woven throughout the novel. The other main theme is the idea that access to knowledge is access to power. Throughout the novel, the main conflict is over who … Read more

Major Themes of Anne of Green Gables

Important Themes Imagination and Intellect Anne is an extremely imaginative young girl. In many ways she is completely driven by her imagination to the exclusion of all else. She makes up imaginary friends and idealizes notions of romance and love. Yet, just beneath this world of imagination and wonder is the budding intellect which will … Read more

Major Themes of Alice in Wonderland

Major Themes The Inevitable Loss of Childhood Innocence Everything from Alice’s physical changes to the discomfort she feels in the presence of the Duchess represent the inevitable movement from childhood to the lost innocence of adulthood. Alice begins as a cool and rational girl, but all of her sense of order is shaken as she … Read more

Themes of Brave New World

The Totalitarian State Much like 1984, Brave New World takes place under the complete control of totalitarian state. Whereas 1984 operates via complete surveillance and control of information, Brave New World operated through technological changes and manipulation of the human biology. The World State maintains it complete control by maintaining a populace that is controlled through superficial pleasure and internal conditioning designed … Read more

The Crucible by Arthur Miller Important Themes

Intolerance The Crucible deals with the idea of living under a single over-riding system of belief which excludes everything else. Because the play is set in Puritan colonial America, we see how this oppressive system of belief can exclude any thought of meaningful justice, of mercy, or even of rational argument. The only thing that matters … Read more

Gulliver’s Travels Important Themes

Might versus Right Throughout the novel the reader is confronted with images of brute strength in contest with what is right. Gulliver can defeat the Blefuscudian because of his immense size but there is little indication what the correct course of action might be. He defeats them simply because he is big. Later, in Brobdingnag, he … Read more

Major Themes of The Little Prince

Themes Children versus Grownups The major theme in the novel is the contrast between grownups and children. Children are considered the most natural form of mankind that are still unaffected by society, they have a wide imagination and a love for thing that don’t always have to be practical. On the other end of the … Read more

Animal Farm Themes

Totalitarianism Orwell has been quoted as saying, “Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been against totalitarianism.” A statement that is evident in Animal Farm. Totalitarianism refers to a state of government that seeks out ultimate control over every aspect of life – from thoughts, beliefs, ideas and even politics and … Read more

Things Fall Apart Important Themes

Important Themes The Complexity of Igbo Society Chinua Achebe has said that this is one of his main themes in the book. He provides detailed descriptions of the legal codes and practices, the marriage customs and familial codes, community leadership and laws, and the religious beliefs of the Igbo people. The book takes great pains … Read more

The Outsiders Themes and Symbols

Important Themes The majority of the book the Outsiders focuses on attempts to bridge the gap between social classes, namely between the rich and the poor. As Hinton suggests, the differences in socioeconomic status is not necessarily what makes the Socs and the greasers rivals, but rather their inability to come to terms with love, … Read more

All Quiet on the Western Front Themes of the Book

All Quiet at the Western Front is about people who are trying to deal with the war: soldiers, commanders, civilians, prisoners of war, and fugitives. One of the most prominent themes is the way of adapting to harsh conditions of those men who became soldiers while being very young, like Paul and his schoolmates. They know … Read more

William Golding’s Lord of the Flies Themes of the Book

The main theme of Lord of the Flies is evil in human nature. According to pessimistic opinion of Golding, humans are evil and even barbaric, and only a thin film of civilization prevents them from falling back into savagery. Another important theme is violence. A former school teacher, William Golding was familiar with many unpleasant aspects in … Read more

Doctor Faustus Themes and Symbols

Themes and Symbols Sin, Redemption, and Damnation Doctor Faustus is a Christian play, as such it deals with themes at the root of Christianity and its views on the world. First, there is the concept of sin, which Christians define as being acts that go against the will of God. By making a pact with the … Read more

Macbeth Important Themes

The Corruption of Ambition We see evidence throughout the play that Macbeth is by nature a brave soldier and one who adheres to duty. However, once ambition in the form of the witches’s prophecy and the influence of his wife begin to overtake his natural tendencies, he tends toward murder and violent usurpation. Lady Macbeth … Read more

Romeo and Juliet Important Themes

Love as a romantic Ideal: Love as a theme plays out as a passionate force that cannot be ignored or controlled. Romeo falls in love with Juliet at first sight and every other consideration, including his own safety or even his own life, is immediately forgotten for the pursuit of romantic love. Juliet’s love is equally … Read more

Major Themes of The Awakening

Themes Self  vs  Society The novel criticizes the patriarchal society that deprives a woman of her freedom to think, feel and act as she pleases. Girls are taught from a young age to betray their own instincts and live a dual life which consists of an inner and an outer self. Edna defies society by … Read more

The Great Gatsby Themes Analysis and Interpretation

The Great Gatsby Theme – Money Gatsby’s natural talents, fearlessness, and agile mind allowed him to get unbelievably rich. Just like the author himself, he didn’t know what to do with his funds. He earned them through illegal ways of selling alcohol when it was prohibited to do so. The author speaks very little about … Read more

Heart of Darkness Themes and Symbols

The hypocrisy of imperialism: Heart of darkness focuses on the issues that surround imperialism in very complex ways. While marlow ventures from the outer station to the central station, and eventually up the river to the inner station, he stares in the face of torture, cruelty and slavery. At its root, the novel paints a dark picture … Read more

Major Themes of Death of a Salesman

Important Themes The American Dream Willy emphatically believes in the American myth of the rise of the individual in society. The notion that anyone can be achieve economic and social success through hard work is one of Willy’s central beliefs. He takes this in an almost childish sense. He believes that being well-liked and being … Read more

Themes of Fahrenheit 451

The main theme of Fahrenheit 451 is censorship and the declining level of mass culture against the background of increasing government control over citizens. The novel was published in 1953, with its nuclear hysteria, Cold War, book burning by Nazis and Stalin’s “Great Purge” that horrified Bradbury. For him love for books means intellectualism and … Read more

Major Themes of Beloved

Important Themes The Destruction of Identity Under Slavery The novel is largely about the horrors of slavery. But the erosion of the self emerges as a central theme. Even after characters escape slavery, they are haunted by the effects of the violence and dehumanizing brutality. Paul D loses his ability to have any real feelings for … Read more

The Old Man and the Sea Themes of the Book

The Old Man and the Sea is a multi-level text, where themes are naturally emerging from each other. The simplest example are relations between Santiago and Manolin that can be considered as tutoring, support, encouragement and so on. More interesting is the theme of Santiago’s attitude to the sea. He refers to it as “la … Read more

Major Themes of The Handmaid’s Tale

Themes Patriarchy The republic of Gilead is a patriarchal regime and upon its rise to power, women are its first victims. The laws implemented by Gilead start by firing all women from their jobs, then transferring their funds to the male of the family, then depriving them from education. Even the Aunts who are the … Read more

The Things They Carried Themes and Symbols

Themes and Symbols Physical and Emotional Burdens: The ‘things’ in The Things They Carried are both figurative and literal. While every character carries a heavy physical load, they also all carry tremendous emotional baggage; grief, love, terror, longing, etc. The physical burden carried by each man underscores the emotional burden. For example, Henry Dobbins carries around a pair … Read more

A Doll’s House Themes and Symbols

Themes The Sacrificial Role of Women A Doll’s House draws a drab portrayal of the role in life of women from all walks of life. The female characters in the play demonstrate Nora’s assertion that ‘even though men refuse to sacrifice their integrity, hundreds of thousands of women have.’ Kristine also indicated that she had sacrificed her own … Read more

The Pearl Themes and Symbols

Themes Greed Greed is the main evil force that the parable is meant to warn against. The doctor is greedy and only treats Coyotito after hearing of Kino’s pearl. The pearl dealers are greedy and want to trick Kino into selling his pearl for less than it’s worth. The town’s people are Kino’s neighbors in … Read more

AHAB in “Moby-Dick”

Although Ahab’s insanity appears to be what shuts him off from humanity, in reality it is what makes him human. Ahab desperately wants to be freed from his obsession – to not have to rely upon it to feel. It is because Ahab is no longer in control of his obsession that the reader eventually … Read more

Themes in “Bridge to Terabithia”

There are many main themes in Bridge to Terabithia. One of the most important is Jesse and Leslie’s magical kingdom in the woods called Terabithia. Terabithia is a small castle they built in the woods where they go to escape and have magical adventures. The “bridge” is a rope they use to swing over the … Read more

Themes in Siddhartha

The major theme of Siddhartha is that happiness comes from spiritual peace. Throughout the novel, the protagonist seeks such peace, which is finally achieved through several different stages of life. The first stage is that of an orthodox Brahmin’s son. In this stage, he reads the scriptures and performs ritualistic sacrifice. The second is an … Read more

How the Setting Reinforces the Theme and Characters in Araby

The setting in “Araby” reinforces the theme and the characters by using imagery of light and darkness. The experiences of the boy in James Joyce’s “Araby” illustrate how people often expect more than ordinary reality can provide and then feel disillusioned and disappointed. The author uses dark and obscure references to make the boy’s reality … Read more

Gatsby: Theme and character analysis of Tom and Daisy

The characters’ search of their own identities and the struggle that ensues is the most suffusive theme throughout The Great Gatsby . The fact that we never really know the characters, and the corrupt immoral things they do, directly represent the 20’s high society lifestyle. The characters continued to cheat on their spouses, let money … Read more

A Doll’s House central theme

During the time in which the play took place society frowned upon women asserting themselves. Women were supposed to play a role in which they supported their husbands, took care of their children, and made sure everything was perfect around the house. Work, politics, and decisions were left to the males. Nora’s first secession from … Read more

The Theme of Vengeance in Homer’s Odyssey

Homers epic poem The Odyssey a tale of Odysseus journey home. This is a story of a warrior named Odysseus and his 20 year expedition to his home Ithaca. A dominant theme in The Odyssey is vengeance; It is exemplified through Poseidon and his son, Polyphemus and through Odysseus and his son Telemachus battle with … Read more

Themes In Lost Horizon

What is Paradise? Throughout history man has sought to create, find, or at least image a paradise on earth, a place where there is peace, harmony, and a surcease from the pain that plagues our lives. On the eve of World War II, James Hilton imagined such a place in his best-selling novel, Lost Horizon. … Read more