Theme in literature is a topic we’ve delved right into before. Every story has themes – even if it is they’re consciously explored or simmering under the surface ar – and also the expedition of various themes to add depth and also layers to any type of story, especially if those themes space universal.

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So this particular day we’re acquisition a watch at some of the most popular themes explored in the world of books, with some certain literary design template examples.

From broad, sweeping concepts, like love or death, to more particular ideas, like coming of age or great vs. Evil, we’ll sheathe a wide selection of the most typical themes and the publications that explore them.

Here goes!


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1. Love

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the number one point out on our list goes come the layout of love.

One that the most well-known topics covered not just in books, yet in movies and also music together well, love is a universal, multi-faceted template that’s to be explored in a variety of ways throughout the history of literature.

First love, shed love, forbidden love, unrequited love; the love in between partners, in between parents and children, between siblings, in between friends; the strength of love to conquer all…

You surname it – if it’s acquired anything to carry out with love, it’s a template that’s to be explored in multiple books.

So what space some different love theme instances in literature?

Shakespeare’s Romeo and also Juliet is obviously among the very first stories that pertains to mind – a tragic tale of forbidden love with terrible consequences.Pride and Prejudice by jane Austen is another classic example, trying out the type of love that grows slowly, wherein there has once to be dislike and misunderstanding.Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë explores love in a various light, highlighting the means its intensity has the strength to disrupt and even destroy lives.One the the crucial focuses the R. J. Palacio’s Wonder is the unconditional, fierce love in between family, specifically parents and children.

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2. Death

Coming in at a close second is an additional of life and literature’s global themes: death.

You’ll it is in hard-pressed to uncover many books that don’t resolve death in some way or another. Even if it is it’s an expedition of grief ~ the loss of a love one, an gift musing on the nature that the life-and-death cycle, or a question about what, if anything, comes ‘after’, fatality is a renowned topic throughout many genres.


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Here room some examples of publications that discover this theme:

The book Thief by Markus Zusak is, in fact, narrated by death himself, exploring the nature the his function in taking person lives against the background of WWII Germany.In The lovely Bones, Alice Sebold explores death through another unusual perspective: the of a girl who has recently been murdered, and also who watches over her family members in a kind of limbo state if trying to involved terms v her own death.The fault in our Stars features teenage characters coming come terms through their mortality in the challenge of terminal illness.J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series encompasses numerous themes (most, if not all of the people on this list, in fact!). However perhaps the most pervasive theme of the collection is death, i m sorry is explored constantly indigenous the death of Harry’s parents with to Voldemort’s final attempts to come to be immortal.

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3. Good vs. Evil

The battle between good and angry is a theme that’s specifically common in fantasy series.

It doesn’t need much explaining; books that discover this theme generally attribute a battle between an excellent and evil, in which good usually (but not always) triumphs.

Some publications featuring a good vs. Angry theme:

The lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien pits great quite clearly against angry in its story of hobbits, elves and also men teaming up to defeat the power-hungry Sauron and his armies of dark creatures.George R. R. Martin’s A track of Ice and also Fire series explores every nuance of the principles of ‘good’ and also ‘evil’, native the portrayal of morally grey personalities through come the battle with the story’s overarching villains, the White Walkers.The Chronicles of Narnia, C. S. Lewis’ magnum opus, complies with four siblings who pass into an entirely brand-new world, in which they encounter personalities both great (e.g. Aslan) and also evil (e.g. The White Witch).Stephen King’s post-apocalyptic novel The Stand also functions the light-vs-dark dichotomy, staging a fight between great and evil with the personalities of mommy Abagail and also Randall Flagg.

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4. Coming of age

Popular not just in children’s and young adult books, but likewise adult literature as well, resulting age is a generally explored theme.

Stories that attribute this design template tend to attend to experiences in a young character’s life that bring about a lose of innocence and/or a an essential change in their mindset and outlook ~ above life.

Some coming of age layout examples:

The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger adheres to Holden Caulfield, a sixteen-year-old boy managing teenage angst and rebellion in the 1950s.Louisa may Alcott’s classic Little Women chronicles four sisters’ journeys native childhood to womanhood in 19th century Massachusetts.A Tree grows in Brooklyn by Betty blacksmith is the turn-of-the-century resulting age story that Francie Nolan, who learns the realities the life while farming up in the slums the Williamsburg.Stephen Chbosky’s The exclusive right of gift a Wallflower is the story the teenage Charlie navigating every the obstacles that come with the time in between adolescence and also adulthood.

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5. Power and corruption

Power and corruption space two concepts that go hand-in-hand, and are explored together a unified theme across many genres.

Power is explored in literary works on many different levels, from power over other human being through to power over life or fatality itself. And with any form of power comes the potential because that corruption, frequently explored together misuse the power, or the lengths come which someone will certainly go to achieve it.

Some typical examples that the power and corruption theme:

Shakespeare’s Macbeth is the tragic tale of the title character seeking strength for its own sake, and dealing v the results of his very own ambition.Animal Farm through George Orwell is another classic exploration of the theme, an allegorical story about a team of pets who increase up versus their human being masters – with progressively sinister results.The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins attributes a dystopian society with a totalitarian federal government that uses its strength to mistreat, manipulate and also even murder its citizens.It’s the 2nd time we’ll mention The lord of the Rings on this list, but its exploration of power and corruption is too central to that story to be left out! The artefact at its heart is literally dubbed the ‘Ring that Power’, after all, and also it to be designed by Sauron especially to corruption those that wield it.

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6. Survival

All creatures re-superstructure the same straightforward instinct for survival, so it’s no surprised that this is a common theme transparent literature. In recent years, the rise in popular of the dystopian genre has made this layout even more prevalent.

Books exploring the layout of survival generally pit characters against an external force such together the environment, a an illness or a an effective antagonist.

Here space some survival design template examples throughout a few different genres…

Lord of the Flies by william Golding focuses ~ above a team of young boys stranded on a deserted island, chronicling your attempts come survive and also govern themselves.Yann Martel’s Life of Pi is the story the a boy’s attempts to survive after a shipwreck, stranded on a boat in the center of the Pacific Ocean.Cormac McCarthy’s The Road is a cold dystopian exploration of the relationship between a man and his boy as they struggle to endure in a harsh and unforgiving environment.

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7. Courage and heroism

Tales that heroism and courage in the face of adversity have actually been famous for hundreds, if not hundreds of years. In fact, among the many widely supplied story structures in the world is something called the hero’s journey.

This theme have the right to be explored in different ways and on different scales, however perhaps the most usual are ‘traditional’ hero stories about characters that are basically destined because that greatness, and, ~ above the flipside, stories around ‘unlikely’ heroes who attain greatness regardless of the odds.

Well-known examples of this literary theme include:

Tolkien’s The Hobbit tells the tale of unlikely hero Bilbo Baggins, who musters his courage and also leaves his quiet life as a homely hobbit to undertake vital quest.Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series follows the title character, who father is the god Poseidon, on a series of heroic adventures, fighting mythological monsters and also defeating dark forces.Robin Hood, a character from English folklore, is famed for his plot of heroism – namely, stealing indigenous the rich and giving come the poor.Beowulf, the Old English epic city by an anonymous author, speak the story the the location character, a hero who defeats monsters and villains in three various battles.

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8. Prejudice

A template that is every too existing in the civilization today, prejudice is additionally frequently explored throughout literature.

Tales of characters overcoming their prejudice and changing their method of reasoning for the better are common, but so are explorations that the destructive aftermath prejudice and hasty judgement can have.

Some instances of books about prejudice:

To death a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is among the most well known explorations of prejudice and also racism: white lawyer Atticus Finch is appointed to safeguard Tom Robinson, a black male falsely accused that the crime the rape.We’ve currently mentioned this one, but we couldn’t assist but carry it in again – after all, it’s right there in the title! jane Austen’s Pride and also Prejudice tells a love story based around mistaken first impressions and judgements.The dislike U Give through Angie thomas explores the pertinent worry of institutionalised racism and prejudice with the story that Starr Carter, who witnesses the fatal shoot of her (black and also unarmed) ideal friend by a police officer.Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein explores prejudice and also fear of the unknown with the story the Dr. Frankenstein and also the ‘monster’ that creates.

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9. Individual vs. Society

Stories through this design template revolves roughly a main character that is other of one outsider, at odds through the culture they live in.

They’re different from most, if not all of the people around them, and also they commonly either struggle to to the right in through society’s expectations or rebel versus them (sometimes both). This theme is specifically popular in dystopian fiction.

‘Individual vs. Society’ theme examples encompass the following:

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, probably the most famed dystopian novel in the world, adheres to protagonist Winston Smith together he rebels against an oppressive government.Huckleberry Finn features a title character that finds it tough to fit right into society, so runs away from residence to have his own adventures.The Giver, a YA dystopian series by Lois Lowry, is the story that a boy named Jonas that grows increase ‘different’ in a culture founded on ‘sameness’.Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 features a culture in which books are not only banned, however burned, complying with protagonist and also ‘fireman’ guy Montag as he decides to start saving publications instead.

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10. War

Our final theme is one that’s been appropriate for thousands of years: war.

From historic novels exposing the horrors the real-world wars, to speculative fiction stories featuring epos battles in between fantastical characters, war is portrayed consistently throughout the history of literature.

Some famous books exploring this theme:

Set during WWI, Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell come Arms follows Lieutenant freder Henry’s make the efforts to leaving the horrors of war behind.War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy has actually war as one of its main focuses; special, Napoleon’s invasion of Russia and its influence on 5 Russian families.Slaughterhouse Five is written by battle veteran cut Vonnegut, and also has been dubbed an ‘anti-war’ novel due to its exploration of the destructiveness of civilization War II, specifically the firebombing the Dresden.Margaret Mitchell’s classic Gone v the Wind is set in Georgia and Atlanta and follows the spoiled daughter of a plantation owner throughout the American polite War.

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We expect you’ve discovered our perform of literary theme examples useful! Feel cost-free to share her own instances for these themes in the comments.