What's a theme for Tears of a Tiger? One I can give examples and draw pictures of?

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

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How about using the theme of suicidal thoughts and actions?  This is most definitely a theme in Tears of a Tiger.  I will fully explain this theme (as well as give you some examples) and then I will suggest a few possible pictures you could draw to represent this theme.

It is the character of Andy, of course, who commits suicide.  This should surprise the reader.  However, if you look at the buildup of despair in Andy's feelings, the foreshadowing becomes a bit more clear.  The actual suicide scene is described fairly vividly in the "Facts Without Feelings" police report.  Further, students turn on the grief counselor when Andy's death is not prevented.  The letters of the different students to Andy really show their grief and anger, one by one.  The letter written by Tyrone is a good example, taking the tone of great regret. Gerald's letter is more bitter and brings up lots of unanswered questions.  Rhonda's is the most thought provoking, of course, because it struggles to find the meaning behind the seemingly pointless death.  These letters are the most important in regard to the theme of suicide.  Here are a few examples to use as primary source quotes:

Do you know what courage is? I guess you don't. Do you know that the courage it took at that moment - to actually blow yourself away - was more than enough courage to keep on living?

Go ahead and cry, Andy. Don't be afraid of those tears. Sometimes they help to wash the soul clean.

But I'll always love you, and I'll always miss you and I'll never forget that It's okay to put dragons in the jungle and tears on a tiger.

Of course, more than just the taking of the life, Andy's suicide affects all the people he knows and causes much grief and anger among family and friends.  His little brother, Monty, is greatly affected and, further, the parents separate. Truly suicide has devastating effects.

Finally, let's approach a few ways you could draw the theme of suicide.  I would suggest drawing the suicide scene from "Facts Without Feelings," and then following it up with a portrait of each character, showing how each of their faces look as he/she writes his/her letter to Andy.  In these ways, you could vividly depict the theme.

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