Topics: Literature, Fiction, Novel Pages: 9 (2126 words) Published: May 15, 2015
Comparative Literature
Topic: Thematology

Submitted to: Dr. Rajinder Kumar Sen
Submitted by: Ravneet Kaur
Registration no: CUPB/MPh/SLLC/CPL/2014-15/22
Date of Submission: 1-12-2014

Centre for Comparative Literature
School of Language Literature and Culture
Central University of Punjab

Thematology is the contrastive study of themes in different literary texts. The term ‘thematology’ literally means ‘the study of themes’. As a subfield in comparative literature, according to the French study of comparative study of literary works as they relate to other literary works beyond their national borders as far as the themes are concerned.

Theme: A theme is an idea or message about life, society, or human nature. A theme is a work of literature; however, the theme is not only focused on the work of literature itself but on what the work of literature suggests about people and society in general. theme (theem): a common thread or repeated idea that is incorporated throughout a literary work. A theme is a thought or idea the author presents to the reader that may be deep, difficult to understand, or even moralistic. Generally, a theme has to be extracted as the reader explores the passages of a work. The author utilizes the characters, plot, and other literary devices to assist the reader in this endeavor. One theme that may be extracted by the reader of Mark Musa’s interpretation of Dante’s The Divine Comedy Volume I: Inferno is the need to take account of one’s own behavior now, for it affects one's condition in the afterlife. One example of this theme can be found in Canto V - “...when the evil soul appears before him, it confesses all, and he [Minos], who is the expert judge of sins, knows to what place in Hell the soul belongs: the times he wraps his tail around himself tells just how far the sinner must go down” (7-12). In addition, Dante’s use of literary techniques, such as imagery, further accentuates the theme for the consequences of not living right, for he describes “the cries and shrieks of lamentation” (III:22), “…the banks were coated with a slimy mold that stuck to them like glue, disgusting to behold and worse to smell” (XVIII:106-108) and many other terrifying examples of Hell. In truly great works of literature, the author intertwines the theme throughout the work and the full impact is slowly realized as the reader processes the text. The ability to recognize a theme is important because it allows the reader to understand part of the author’s purpose in writing the book.  See Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry and Drama, NTC’s Dictionary of Literary Terms, and Literary Terms: A Dictionary. Susan Severson, Student, University of North Carolina at Pembroke   

Theme is a key term in thematology is a short statement of value system implicit in a lliterary work. It should not be confused with “subject matter” at times theme is identified with a character, situation or even place and time. For example, the novel That Long Silence by Shashi Deshpande presents the Indian society of twentieth century. The novel is the story of an educated middle class girl, Jaya, who finds herself restricted in her married life. The silence between Jaya and her husband deteriorates the situation. She, in the novel talks about married life with her maid Jeeja, Naina and ponder over her and Mohan’s relationship. Towards the end of the novel she should break the silence and try to achieve her identity as an individual.

Through the simple story of That Long Silence Deshpande has raised many issues or themes, as:- 1 Deshpande suggests about the social status of women in twentieth century. 2 Female quest for identity.

3 How females struggle for the belongingness.
4 She has raised the issue of male domination over females.
5 Conditions (problems) of middle and lower class women.
Focus of Themes: Themes often focus on one of these issues:
The Nature of Humanity
The human...
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