Narrative Writing: Literary Themes

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A typical student narrative includes plot and characters but lacks a larger idea to hold it all together. This is where a lesson on themes comes in…


Students will become familiar with four literary themes, learning to identify them as well as use them to create their own stories.

The Themes

  • Fall From Grace: A well-respected character makes a selfish decision, ruining their reputation. Sometimes, the character experiences redemption by making a selfless decision later in the story.
  • Coming of Age: A young character has conflict with authority. The character has an experience which makes them understand the authority's point of view, helping the to grow up. Also can be seen through a negative lens as Loss of Innocence.
  • The Quest: A character must find an item, person, or place by journeying across a long distance. During the journey, the character experiences events which change them. In the end, the destination is less important than the journey.
  • Alienation: A character is put into a strange setting, surrounded by strange people (or creatures!). The character learns from the strangers and teaches them as well.

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