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Most literature has a theme, which is ultimately the message the author wants to convey to the reader for them to interpret. This message comes from the past and informs readers on a previous conflict that can be avoided if one listens. Concflict is a central facet of storytelling and authors write about conflicts in several mediums, one reason this is done is to provide an example to readers of conflicts so that they can be avoided in the future.
These messages from the past help us manage the outcome of our future, it helps us gain a bit of control.
Authors might write about a personal experience trying to warn us of the mistakes they made, others might make up a story and warn us about future problems, and some can inform us on what decision to make. Pieces of literature or like messages from the past are sent to us in order to warn us or inform us on the present or future.
The short story Two Kinds by Amy Tan is an example of an author sharing a personal experience to inform readers of the lesson they learned. Amy Tan learned a valuable lesson from her own past and she decided to share that with the public to share what she had learned from her experience. They share their stories with us in order to cause change in the world, they share this to help us prevent us from being in the same situation they were in. Authors share the past in order to provoke change in the present which in turn causes change in the future. Suyuan tries to turn June into a piano prodigy and this reflects on their Chinese culture. By sharing this story, the author can promote change into their culture’s negative values and traditions.
The conflicts found in a story aren’t always from past experiences, sometimes they can be part of someone’s imagination, but the story will always include a theme. By the Waters of Babylon by Stephen Vincent Benet is a story about a civilization in need of help. The protagonist goes on his own journey in order to get the help they need, this teaches the reader that an individual can change civilization. This theme can also be taken as a warning advising us that one man can change a large population, and this could be dangerous. The theme given to us by this story is from fiction, but the impact is there, the reader can learn from this story and apply it to his or her lifestyle. A warning does not have to apply to a certain situation in the present, it can be a warning about a way of living. A warning isn’t always a negative thing, a warning can also be inspiration, which is what this story gives to a reader.
Most themes reflect on what the protagonist has learn through their journey, this can be seen in Marriage is a Private Affair by Chinua Achebe. This story is like Two Kinds, both stories express the idea of breaking free from culture and values. Both share a similar theme, and both warn future readers of how they should react on a similar situation. These warnings guide the reader to make the right decision and help prevent further catastrophe.
All of these stories have a theme that the author wants its readers to know. Themes are the messages from the past the quote is referring to, future readers learn from these themes and they apply this knowledge to their lifestyle. The quote isn’t referring to a direct warning from the past but to a hidden message that is taken from it. Authors want us to learn from the themes they have given us and grow to become better informed individuals.
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