What is a theme? It is an abstract idea which is expressed
through a work of art. A landscape painting might express beauty. A song might be about love. The story "The Boy Who
Cried Wolf" portrays the author's opinion about honesty.
Possible literary themes to consider are listed below. Your group
will work together to choose one theme or a pair of either opposite or
Use your theme as a unifying focus for your group presentation.
For example, "This is a story of obstacles to ambition."
Another example: "This story portrays the importance of loyalty."
Your findings about your cultural specialty should support your theme
or themes. For example, "In the story of 'The Crane Wife,' the
husband's ambition made him impatient to see his wife's work, with
disastrous consequences. In a similar way, Yoshitsune's ambition
led him to take great risks in battle, and may have caused his
death. How can this attitude toward ambition help us to
understand Japanese history past and present?"
The list and worksheet below can help you get started.