A theme can be described as the underlying ideas of literal work that can often be identified directly or indirectly by readers. Themes are usually established when readers pose in between the reading of a story to identify if the anticipated story agrees with whatever they are reading from the texts. While most stories can communicate more than one idea usually referred to as sub-themes, they often tend to concentrate on one of the concepts which become the central theme of the stories (McGlamery, Gayla, and Bryan Crockett 433). As opposed to words which describe the plot and the characters in the stories, a theme provides a general description of the story. An author presents a given theme through the experiences of the characters. Their experiences are usually supported by the plot and the setting of the stories which are typically bought up in a way that makes the central idea vivid to the reader. A good man is hard to find, and a pair of tickets are stories whose authors have majored on the protagonists of the stories, setting, situation and plot to highlight themes of good versus evil and self-identity respectively.
A good man is hard to find
A good man is hard to find by Flannery O’Connor is set on a family trip, and the author uses the family to bring out a central idea of the story. The author majors on the protagonists of the story, the Misfit and the Grandmother to communicate the theme story. She majors in the conversation between the Misfit and the grandmother to address her main idea of the story. When Hiram and Bobby Lee come back from the woods, on seeing the grandmother with the Misfit, Bobby Lee cracks a joke saying “she was a talker wasn’t she?” (McGlamery, Gayla, and Bryan Crockett 540) This deciphers the grandmother by providing her old characters. The Misfit further demonstrates this by saying that the grandmother would have been a good woman if there was someone to shoot her every day. The grandmother and the Misfit are the opposite of each other. The Misfit represents evil whereas the grandmother embodies the good things in the society. Although the grandmother was not good before, her encounter with death is the primary reason for her transformation.
The setting of the story also promotes the central theme of the story. The family meets the Misfit at a place where the grandmother could be frightened because there was one who could help. The central idea of the story, good versus evil is also strengthened by the author’s portrayal of the sudden change that can take place in a person’s life. In this setting, the woman sympathizes with the Misfit who had murdered her family. The grandmother tells the Misfit, “if you prayed….Jesus would help you” (McGlamery, Gayla, and Bryan Crockett 525). At this particular point, the author majors on a religious conversation between the Misfit and Grandmother, and thus uses this setting to bring out the power of religion in combating evil in the society. Religion is a sub-theme that strengthens the central idea of good and evil. The grandmother reaches out to the Misfit and tells him how knowing about bout Jesus would transform him into a good person.
Although the author brings out the grandmother as a character who is judgmental, it’s somewhat ironical to see again that the grandmother is urging the Misfit to accept Jesus as a way to becoming a good person. These two situations strengthen the theme of the story the relationship between good and evil in society. Moreover, the plots in the story help in building the central idea of the story because they stress the relevance of the people and the environment in making people good or evil. The role of people in making others good or evil is strengthened when the Misfit responds to the grandmothers’ words, that he could be honest by if he tried by saying, “yes’m somebody is always after you”( McGlamery, Gayla, and Bryan Crockett 524). The role of the plot can be seen when the family stops to have lunch at the barbeque stand, where they both agree that people are not always nice because they often change. Moreover, the author creates a situation where the car breaks down to build a setting that will facilitate communication between the Misfit and the grandmother.
A Pair of Tickets
Army Tan’s a pair of a ticket is a story about a woman who visits China to meet her half-sisters who had been abandoned by her mother during the world war. The mother always hoped for reuniting with her children, but unfortunately, she died before fulfilling her dream. The story which majors on the individual struggle in a bid to find their identity, through the protagonists Jing-Mei and different setting which enhance the central theme of the story. The author uses the character whose point of view enables the reader to understand the Jing-Mei’s personality and is so doing to understand the theme of the story. The author uses the setting back in the United States to demonstrate how the character struggles with heritage as an American citizen. In her conversation with her father she says, “why did she abandon those babies on the road, I need to know, because now I feel abandoned too” (McGlamery, Gayla, and Bryan Crockett 302). The latter’s conversation with her father brings out the internal conflict that she has and how seeking her heritage will help to solve some of the underlying questions. Jing-Mei wants to find answers to what she feels are the reasons for her situation.
Born in a country foreign country brings out central theme through the main character, Jing-Mei, which would otherwise not be the case if the setting was in China. Jing-Mei’s mother quest to reunite with her family and stressing of Chinese heritage further makes the character seek for her true identity. This also demonstrates the role of other characters in strengthening the main idea of a story. The setting of the story changes Jing-Mei nature as she begins to understand herself and the two conflicting cultures. She develops the need to find answers to her pressing questions and believes that once the questions are answered, then her conflict will be over (McGlamery, Gayla, and Bryan Crockett 301). The source of the conflict arises from her lack of enough knowledge about her mother and her denial of her true culture. As the plot progresses, right from when Jing-Mei is in schools and her encounter with her Caucasian friend as well as her association with the American culture builds the central idea of the story. The different settings of the story mainly in the United States and China helps the reader to understand the differences that existed between the two cultures. In struggling to know why her mother abandoned her twin sisters, she interacts with her family in China and learns the way of life of the Chinese.
In conclusion, the analysis of the central ideas in the pair of tickets and a good man is hard to find brings out the relevance of fiction stories in communicating certain aspects of human life. Fiction stories express the truth about human life because though they are imaginary, they are images for real things which are a reflection of what happens in society. For example, evil and goods act demonstrated in the society on a significant extent depends on the environment and the people around in the same way O’Connor has portrayed it in her short story a good man is hard to find. Fiction story usually has a given development right from the start to the conclusion. This development helps as to imaginary and create a connection between what we imagined the story and real aspects of human life. They communicate the truth because they major on the imaginary to express ideas that also support the central theme.
McGlamery, Gayla, and Bryan Crockett. The Norton Introduction to Literature. Norton, 1995, pp. 301-545.