Any author starts their novel by coming up with a theme and expanding on it through different characters, their writing style, plot, and setting. For instance, take Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist, a novel by Tim Federle. The book incorporates comedy to make his writing stand out. By analyzing and explaining different stories using cocktails, one thing that stands out is the theme of humor. So, what makes a theme important in literature? Here are a few reasons highlighted.
Creates Additional Dimension to A Novel
Say you write a thriller with interesting characters and a catchy plot, but you lack a theme. A reader will admit that the novel was a good read, but they will forget it soon. However, if you go on a deeper level and explore loneliness, the reader will have something to think about. That is what the theme is in your book. It adds weight to a text. If you go a step further and make your theme less cliché, you have managed to win the heart of a reader. Most authors are constantly asking what do readers want? Readers love honesty and something they can relate to. Be brave enough to show others how you see the world from your point of view.
Helps Readers Understand a Text
When a reader picks up a book, as much as they are seeking entertainment, they are also seeking to learn. If you do not include a theme that readers can relate to or understand, then you will leave them dissatisfied. Even from a young age, you will notice that humans have been on a journey to understand the meaning of everything. Therefore, having a well-thought-out theme helps your reader understand the message you are trying to pass across better.
Helps Narrate a More Focused Story
A theme is like a guidance system or the novel’s compass. It tells a writer what belongs in the story and what does not. Therefore, it guides you on the right way to go. If death is the theme of your novel, then every scene or chapter needs to advance this theme somehow. If at one point you find that you are exploring greed or guilt, you have lost track, and your story is likely to lose focus.
A theme unifies all elements of a novel from narrative style, characters, plot, and symbolism. All these elements somehow affect how a theme is developed for a final coherent presentation, which is the book. For instance, if your theme is love, you have to develop characters that bring out this emotion. Your plot needs to grow in a way that shows what your theme is, and any symbols you use should be leaning toward that. Therefore, for all your elements to make sense, they will have to revolve around this theme.
The theme creates meaning which creates an impact on a reader. It is what makes a difference between a great story and a mediocre story. It adds depth, and once a writer understands how powerful it is, they will be able to craft an excellent story for the readers.