So i have to write an essay about symbolism in life of Pi and i am curious how to write a good thesis statement using the theme+opinion=thesis statement format
my symbols are
Richard Parker- animalistic instincts
The Algae Island- how its easy to sit back and enjoy the paradise while avoiding the struggles of moving forward but doing that will slowly kill you if your not careful
The Color Orange- Hope and Survival
I hope someone can help me
At first I was struggling to understand why I was confused about your initial question. Then I realized what was going on. The "thesis formula" that you are operating with says "theme plus opinion," but you want to focus on symbols. Themes and symbols are not the same thing. Themes are big picture ideas that symbols help illustrate. A theme of good vs evil will likely be supported with symbolic coloring (generally shades of light colors and dark colors). I'm going to assume, based on your symbols list that you want your thesis to be symbol specific, but there is a way to incorporate both theme and symbol into the same thesis statement.
One way to write a thesis is similar to your formula. State an opinion and give 2-3 specifics that back it up. Something like: "Yan Martel's "Life of Pi" illustrates to readers how powerful the will to survive is through the symbolism of Richard Parker, the Algae Island, and the color orange."
With that thesis statement, you are telling your readers that you plan to discuss the overall theme of survival AND that your evidence is the following three reoccurring or powerful symbolic images/events.
You could shape your thesis in a point-counter point format too. "Although 'Life of Pi' has important themes throughout, it is the symbolism in the novel that really leaves a lasting impression on readers."
You will probably want to clean that statement up, because it's a bit broad. There is no specific theme or symbol listed. It's too wide open, but can be modified to your case easily. The importance of this kind of thesis statement though is that you, the writer, are admitting to your audience the validity of an argument. But then you immediately follow that up by saying it is wrong. It's your job to highlight the initial argument and then prove why your opinion is more correct. Personally, I like the second kind of thesis statement better, because it allows you to whittle down a counter point your reader might have.