How does the title match the content of the book?

Expert Answers
e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Book titles have varying relationships to the contents of the book. Naturally, science books, philosophy and psychology books, text books, some non-fiction books and other informationally oriented works will bear titles that have a rather direct and expository relationship to the text. In fiction, this is not always the case. 

However, this is sometimes true.The Epic of Gilgamesh is a title that identifies a main character and type of story-telling. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a direct (though broad) statement as to the contents of the novel. A similar title-to-book-contents relationship is seen in books given character names or places as titles. Moby Dick, Silas Marner, King LearTortilla Flats and many other books and plays fall into this category. 

This manner of titling is not far from a related concept which presents an event or episode from the story as the title, i.e., The Chocolate War, and Catcher in the Rye

One common relationship of a fiction title to the contents of a work of fiction will be one of theme. The title often condenses the book's theme into a poetic phrase that in some way evokes a major theme in the text. Of Mice and MenWar and Peace and Crime and Punishment fall into this category.

Still other books will combine the above modes of titling, like The Great Gatsby, a title which expresses theme and identifies a major character. 

Another way to describe the relationship between title and content in fiction works is a "poetic relationship" as in White Noise, a book about contemporary fears, distractions, and addictions. The Crucible is another example of this type of relationship.

In each of the above modes of titling fiction, something important from the story is pulled out and used as a symbol for the entire story. We might say, simply, that fiction titles have a symbolic relationship to the text (the story, content of the book, etc.). However, the degree to which a title is representative of the themes, plot and characters of a story will vary from work to work. 

Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

*Are you asking in general or about a specific title of a book?  If so, please post a new reply with the specific title and author's name. 

Generally speaking, the title of a book usually suggests an important aspect or detail about the subject or message of the book.  Many times in novels particularly, the writer will choose a title that embraces one of the major themes of the novel.  For example, The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger deals with the main character's desire to be like the metaphorical 'catcher in the rye' and save children from the pain and hardship of growing up.  Another example is William Golding's Lord of the Flies; the title of this novel alludes to decay and destruction, one of the primary themes of the novel. 


jesseldridge | Student

Titles are most important part of books because the book title tells users overall information about book. So, if you want to write book then you should have to make attractive and effective title for your book. You have to make sure that the title has to precisely describe the contents of book.