A thesis, which oftentimes can be found in academic works, is a statement, a proposition, or a major idea that the author introduces at the start of the narrative. This statement always implies further consideration and creates an argument for the discussion. It may serve as the key subject of the narrative or as the central idea that will be traced throughout the text.
A thesis is usually an idea that the writer believes to be true. He or she might reinforce it with the course of the text providing proof and examples. It also can help the author set the course of the work and determine what direction the plot is going to develop in.
The term “thesis” originates from the Greek “thésis”, which translates as “something that is settled down”. It was first used in English approximately around 1350-1400.
There are cases when the term thesis is being juxtaposed with antithesis because of the similarity of their names. However, “antithesis” isn’t simply the opposite of “thesis”, it is a completely different linguistic tool. While a thesis implies a certain statement introduced by the writer in the introductory segment of the literary work, antithesis is a linguistic device that involves arranging (usually in a parallel syntactical structure) two contrasting ideas, concepts, or objects in an opposing way.
A thesis is more prevalent in academic pieces, where it is used to briefly present the contents of the work and its major idea. While being a more subtle device when used in literary pieces, a thesis can be employed for a couple of purposes.
The major role it plays in literary pieces is to help the author express his or her point of view, from which the story is going to be told. A thesis allows the writer to present a certain belief or idea and gives a push-start for the narrative. Oftentimes, it helps the reader understand the author better: his or her mindset, judgments, and opinions.
A thesis is oftentimes employed to help the reader realize what the narrative is going to be about. It is an effective tool that allows the author to convey the major idea or deliver a certain message at the very beginning of the narration and then gradually develop and support it. Thus, a thesis is meant to help the reader understand the main subject of the narrative.
When composing a thesis, an author creates something that will help him or her stay on track with the narrative idea. The thesis sets the direction for the plot, thus providing the writer with some sort of a plan or at least an idea of what the piece is going to look like. When clearly stating the ideas from the start of the literary work, the author establishes a certain order and a general mood of the text and keeps it in mind while working on the rest of the literary piece.
Despite oftentimes being a subtle component of literary works, a thesis can be found in a wide number of pieces. For instance, the famous introductory sentence from Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”. Here, the author states that a single man who possesses a good fortune is always in want of a wife and that this is a universal truth acknowledged by everyone. This thesis statement works in a couple of directions. Firstly, it makes a hint about what is prepared for the reader in the narrative. Secondly, it creates a push-start for the next part of the text where Mrs. Bennet tells her husband about their new neighbor (who happens to be single and wealthy). This thesis sentence sets the mood and allows the author to develop her idea further and deeper.
Another example of a well-composed thesis can be found in Leo Tolstoy’s work “Anna Karenina”. At the beginning of the narrative, the author claims that all happy families live and look the same, while each unhappy family has their own, unique problems and suffers in their own way. Here, the thesis is employed to express the author’s major idea for the narrative and to set the tone for the rest of the plot. This concept of an unhappy family being miserable in their own way can be easily traced throughout the plot, which proves the purpose of the thesis: to illustrate the most important idea of the narrative.
In her work “To Kill a Mockingbird”, H. Lee masterfully uses a thesis to introduce the main lesson of the literary piece. The author starts the narrative stating that it’s impossible to truly understand a person until you look at things from their point of view. By using the thesis here, the author clearly states the message of the story at the very beginning and sets the course of the future events in the narrative.
A thesis, being prevalent in academic works, serves as a linguistic tool in a number of literary pieces. It is a statement, a proposition, or a significant idea, with which the writer starts the narration. A thesis can represent the major concept of the story or propose a discussion point. The term derives from the Greek “thésis”, which can be translated as “settled”, “something set”.
The main role of a thesis in literary pieces is to present the author’s points of view or beliefs. It can also be implemented to set the tone for the narrative, convey a specific idea, deliver the author’s message, or give the reader an idea of what the narrative is going to be about.