I am trying to create an argumentative thesis for the movie The Book Thief. I would like to know if my thesis is actually one. My topics are acting, set design, and plot. How would I create a thesis using these?

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A thesis statement is an argumentative claim about a subject. It is typically only one sentence long, though in some cases two are used if needed (some teachers might not want two, though, so it may be best to ask about that detail in advance). For example, if one were...

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A thesis statement is an argumentative claim about a subject. It is typically only one sentence long, though in some cases two are used if needed (some teachers might not want two, though, so it may be best to ask about that detail in advance). For example, if one were writing a thesis statement about how Romeo and Juliet is about the effects of prejudice, one might make a thesis statement like this:

In Romeo and Juliet, the feud and the violence of the characters show how unchecked prejudice can be made deadly.

Considering there are three subjects here (acting, set design, and plot), it may seem to be harder to create a single-sentence thesis, but it can be done. One must think about how all of these elements work together to achieve an intended effect in the movie adaptation of The Book Thief. It is easy to think of all these elements in isolation, but movies are meant to have all elements come together to create a story and a world for the audience to experience.

A good question to start with might be this: What kind of tone does the movie have? That is, how does it make the viewer feel? The Book Thief is a dark story dealing with the Nazi regime from a child's perspective. How does the lighting of the sets create mood for this story? What elements of the design of the setting and costumes are emphasized (swastikas? neutral or bold colors? dust?)? Do the actors adopt a naturalistic style (which creates a more realistic feel) or an artificial one (which might make the story seem more like a fairy tale)? Continue asking these questions, finding out what makes the movie work as the filmmakers intended. Reading interviews with the cast and crew can help.

Once it is decided what feel or theme the movie is trying to put across, the thesis could potentially read something like the following:

The acting, set design, and plot of The Book Thief emphasize the importance of relationships in the face of tyranny and danger.

It can be as simple as that, since the body paragraphs will go into detail about what in the set design, plot, and acting accomplishes this end.

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