What is a Thematic Statement?

Have you ever read a book or watched a movie and felt like there was a deeper message or meaning behind the story? Well, that deeper message is often conveyed through something called a thematic statement. In simple terms, a thematic statement is a sentence that expresses the big life lesson or theme of a story. It captures the author’s message about life, human nature, or the world in general. It’s usually written in a way that makes the idea relatable and applicable to more than just that story you’ve read. Thematic statements help us understand the underlying meaning of a story.

Here are some examples of thematic statements:

Example 1: “Courage can be found in the most unexpected places.”

This statement tells us that bravery is not limited to certain individuals or situations. Instead, it can be discovered in surprising and unlikely circumstances. This statement encourages us to look beyond appearances and recognize the courage within ourselves and others. The writer who crafted this statement read a story where this idea was reflected in the characters and their journey.

Example 2: “Love conquers all obstacles.”

This statement suggests that love has the power to overcome any challenges or difficulties that tend to get in the way. It reminds us of the strength and resilience that love can bring, and how it can triumph over even the toughest and most difficult situations. The writer who crafted this statement read a story where this idea was reflected in the characters and the plot.

Example 3: “Family is more important than material possessions.”

In this statement, there is an emphasis on the idea that relationships with our loved ones are more valuable than any material things we may own. It encourages us to prioritize spending time and building strong connections with our family members over acquiring material possessions. Again, the student who crafted this statement read a story where this idea was reflected in the events and characters’ experiences.

Note that thematic statements do not make specific reference to character names. Instead, they are written in a way that is broad (general) and transferable, which means they can apply to works beyond the one that provided the inspiration for that particular thematic statement.

Tips for Identifying a Thematic Message

1. Review the main conflicts in the story. What lessons or messages can you take away? 2. Consider the feelings and emotions the story brings out or is intended to evoke from its audience. What ideas or values do these emotions point to?

3. Think about what the characters learn or how they change throughout the story. What broader lessons or truths can you draw from their experiences?

Practice Opportunities

There are many ways to develop the skill of identifying and writing a thematic statement.

Stories:

Here’s a short story about a cat named Alvin. Read the passage and use your knowledge and skills to determine a theme and then a thematic message.

Alvin, a small tabby cat with piercing green eyes, had lived a life filled with ups and downs. From his earliest days as a stray kitten, he had faced countless challenges that tested his resilience. The difficult weather conditions, harsh streets, and constant hunger never broke his spirit. Alvin learned to adapt, finding shelter in hidden corners and scavenging for food wherever he could. Some people also fed him and gave him a safe place to nap– like Max, the owner of a local convenience store. As time went on, Alvin found himself in a loving home. His new owners showered him with affection and provided him with a comfortable life. Yet, Alvin’s resilience remained, even in the face of comfort. He never forgot the struggles that had shaped him.

Identify a theme in the passage and then write a thematic statement.

Movies:

Select a movie you’re familiar with and then write and explain a thematic statement.

Music:

Select a song and then write and explain a thematic statement.

We hope you found our article on thematic statements helpful!