Posted: November 28th, 2013
Reader’s response on Nightfather by Carl Friedman
Themes are what make up many situations and form the foundation of the way entities relate with each other, elements of society and human nature. For example, a theme in a story is the idea that connects the message of the story. In essence a story’s theme is more of a type of lesson or idea that the narrator intends to convey to the audience. Trying to identify themes in a given context rests in connecting how characters relate to each other and the central topic as well as paying attention to the ideas and events. Literary analysis can therefore be challenging, but exhibiting qualities of citing the main topic and ideas of the context can assist in identifying themes to analyze.
One of the themes I find to be interesting in our current setting is the theme of nature. This theme has to do with the current awareness being raised about how man is destroying nature and gradually making the environment uninhabitable. Another theme concerning nature lays behind lies the ideology that nature is in constant conflict with each of us. Nature writing is the name given to the genre of writing that focuses on nature and the controversies surrounding it. Apart from American literature, this genre of literature is also being incorporated into other societies as well (Kirwen, 11). In particular, this theme of writing can be attributed to the world wide concerns that press for more environmental concerns. Many works related to this theme are normally in the form of creative fiction where the author expresses himself through an oral narrative. As its name implies, this theme is an exploration of the relationship between the natural world and human actions, but is however not limited to this focus. Many works on this literature genre also shed light on the nature and how it addresses societal, political, theological and personal issues.
The other theme that I tend to find meaningful is the theme of karma. This literature device is notably popular in the western world. The theme of karma normally manifests itself through works of societies with theosophical bearings. The western and kardecist age interpret the karma theme as virtue associated luck. The ideology behind this theme is that spiritually valuable and good actions should be dully rewarded with good luck and that this should be expected (Kirwen, 27). On the other hand, if one engages in harmful and non valuable spiritual acts, they should expect their action to be rewarded with bad luck. I find it interesting that karma is associated with threefold law or the law of return; the idea that harmful or beneficial consequences are destined to fall on an individual regarding their acts in the world.
Another theme that interests me is the theme of racism and or prejudice. Current literature and elements of society has been characterized by issues of racism and prejudice. This has for a long time permeated into current society, especially in America and other European countries. Almost every genre of literature has virtually highlighted on racism and how individuals face prejudice because of particular natural traits; whether African, Jewish, poor, or crippled, the minorities in the society tend to be victimized. Individuals who fall victim to these vices are depicted to possess qualities of strong will and tolerance (Kirwen, 34).
Hope and Courage
In addition, the other theme I can be able to analyze in literature works and societal elements is the theme of hope and courage. Literature keeps faith alive through ancient scribes and holy texts. Poets, dramatists and novelists present us with stages filled with characters that stand for good and evil, courage and fear, pride and humility, hope and despair through well orchestrated rimes and scenes (Kirwen, 16). Literature and human nature are evolving parables that present with characters who struggle as they hopefully attempt to comfort estranged and weary members of their family.
Another theme I can add on to is the theme of person versus society and the theme of person versus person. This theme is normally depicted in literature works as a means of depicting the current affairs in societal elements. In these themes, there is usually an individual who plays the role of the main character conflicting with the rest of society. These conflicts are based on social concepts and traditions. More often than not, the characters in question conduct themselves in a manner the rest of society does not agree with. Person versus self is a theme that depicts and individual who is in conflict with his personal beliefs and values. Despite the struggle being internal, external factors can prove influential to their situation.
Another theme that interests me is the theme of friendship. In our human culture and society, friendship is considered both necessary and fundamental. This theme is represented in many literature genres, and manifests itself through different forms depending on the culture. Every culture tends to praise selfless and loyal love of people in friendship. A good example of this theme can be identified among Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer characters in Mark Twain. Another theme that I find to be meaningful is the theme of good versus evil. The conflict of good and evil is a convectional theme in common literature genres. Sometimes, this is deemed a universal factor in human conditions (Kirwen, 43). This theme has many variations with one depicting itself in a battle between ideologies and individuals, where one side represents good and the other evil. The other variation of this theme involves internal struggling in characters. These struggles are internal conflicts between the good and evil personalities of the character.
Themes are what make up many situations and form the foundation of how we are able to analyze numerous human natures and societal elements. In my opinion, they are a brilliant form of art that make literature very interesting. They have the ability of imparting us with valuable information and lessons to learn, regarding the nature and the message in question.
Kirwen, Michael C. African Cultural Knowledge: Themes and Embedded Beliefs. Nairobi: MIAS Books, 2005. Print.
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