Ap English Literature Theme

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Theme is defined as the underlying meaning in a work of literature. Authors develop theme to connect literature to our daily lives. “The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst, “A and P” by John Updike, and “Cold Equations” by Tom Goodwin, all have different themes, but place an important emphasis on the heartache and pain caused by learning the truths in life. In these short stories, each character has a realization about life and it changes their future perspective on the world. The theme in “The Scarlet Ibis” is the duality of pride, and the idea that although some pride is good, when you let it control you, it can be devastating. The narrator in “The Scarlet Ibis” is reflecting on his life with his brother Doodle, who was born with physical disabilities.…show more content…
Barton learns this through his experiences with Marilyn in space and it changes his perspective on the world. When Marilyn decides to get on the spaceship to see her brother, she believes that all she will have to do for breaking the rules is pay a fine. She is ignorant to the truths of the situation because, “she was of Earth and had not realized that the laws of the space frontier must, of necessity, be as hard and relentless as the environment that gave them birth” (Goodwin 12). Barton on the other hand knows that she will have to be jettisoned because he is a pilot from space and realizes that there was absolutely no other option. The juxtaposition of Barton and Marilyn’s view on the situation at hand develops the theme because they both come to the understanding that, even though it is unfair, she must be jettisoned because you can’t change the laws of nature. The theme exemplifies human emotion. This experience with Marilyn changes Barton and almost re-humanizes him. Barton is so stuck in the ways of space that he truly is a product of his environment. Discovering Marilyn changes him beacause she is from earth and reminds him of the humanity that is non-existent in space. In the beginning of the story, Barton thought little about having to jettison someone because “he was an EDS pilot, [and was] inured to the sight of death, long since accustomed to it and viewed the dying of another man with…show more content…
The use of theme in “The Scarlet Ibis” stresses the duality of pride. In “A and P,” Updike uses theme to remind us of the feelings of stepping away from society, and just how hard that can be. Finally, in “The Cold Equations,” Goodwin uses theme to show the balance we all must have in our lives between who we are and things we cannot
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