What are major themes?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In literary terms, major themes are—as they sound—the most prominent and usually the most important themes that are present throughout a novel. Typically, these themes are consistently present for the duration of the novel and are obviously presented. They are not subtle or difficult to detect. For instance, some of...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

In literary terms, major themes are—as they sound—the most prominent and usually the most important themes that are present throughout a novel. Typically, these themes are consistently present for the duration of the novel and are obviously presented. They are not subtle or difficult to detect. For instance, some of the major themes of To Kill A Mockingbird include racism, prejudice, and loss of innocence. These themes are present throughout the novel and consistently tie into the plot and story line.

Major themes of a novel are often the most important concepts that an author wants readers to focus on and ponder. Major themes can also be reflected in the genre of literature. For instance, a major theme of a romance novel is love. A major theme of a book on the civil war is, of course, war. However, major themes can still be incredibly specific to a novel through the manner in which they are represented and through the story that is told.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team