This GCSE English Literature quiz asks questions on theme in Meera Syal's Anita and Me. Theme, in literature, is an idea conveyed by a text. Of course, every work of literature has more than one idea, so we usually think about themes, plural! The themes of an individual text will range from the most obvious of ideas to the most subtle. They also work in combination and you can often see an interplay of themes in a text as each theme develops alongside the others. Authors use the essential elements of fiction, including setting, character, plot and dialogue, in order to develop theme.
You will certainly have noticed the way that related ideas and concepts appear repeatedly throughout a text you’re reading. Such repeated ideas are the text’s themes. Think about the way these ideas are each introduced and developed over the course of the text.
One good place to begin with a thematic analysis is by examining your own opinions, especially if you find that you have reconsidered - or even changed - any of your own ideas about the issues raised in the text. If a text makes you think hard about an issue or persuades you to change your mind, then the author has successfully encouraged you to engage with one or more of its themes. Perhaps you’ve found that you disagree strongly with other readers, your classmates, or your teacher. If you stop to think about it, such disagreement should be expected: it would be very odd to share identical views with everyone else. Readers’ individual responses depend on their having brought individual thoughts, beliefs and experiences into consideration of the text.
After you finish reading a book, spend a little time comparing the thoughts and views you hold at its end with those you held before you began. Have any of your views changed? Have any been confirmed, or even strengthened? Can you identify why/why not? See whether you can point out the specific places in the text which challenged or confirmed your personal views.
The themes of this novel include the experience of growing up, family, friendship, culture, belonging, racism, and the relationship between fiction, myths and lies, among others. Read the questions below and test your knowledge of the themes of Anita and Me.