Essay Example on Themes in Literary Works: Major vs. Minor

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1066 Words
Date:  2023-04-09


Themes in the literature work are stated directly or indirectly, depending on the type of work. The categorization of topics is into major and minor in literary works. A major theme is a notion which a writer repeatedly talks about in his or her work, thus becomes the most fundamental idea in a writer's work. On the other hand, a minor theme denotes a notion that appears briefly in an author's work. An example of a significant subject is crime and murder in the poem called Power by Audre Lorde.

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Analysis of the Theme of Crime and Murder in "Power" by Audre Lorde

Power is a poem that refers to a black boy called Sean bell, who was unarmed but killed in 1973 by a police officer called Thomas Shea. The officer was violent, racist, and deceiving. Two types of linguistic power and two kinds of speech are in contrast to this poem. They include rhetoric and poetry. The rhetoric part includes nonfiction in which is usually used in the creation of policy and justification of acts of violence by state actors. The kind of rhetoric in the poem is trotted out to tarnish the reputations of innocent blacks that are unarmed after being murdered by police officers.

The theme of murder is depicted in the first four lines when Lorde calls upon the readers to put their children first. In the first four lines, the writer distinguishes between rhetoric and poetry. Lorde associate's poetry to killing oneself, while rhetoric is related to killing a person's children.

The difference between poetry and rhetoric

Is being ready to kill yourself

Instead of your children.

The writer explains that it does not matter the crime or the race; children must always come first.

Secondly, under the theme of crime and murder, the author introduces the audience to an old horror story of vampires. Lorde gives us an example of a bloodsucker. She explains it when she says:

blood from his punctured cheeks and shoulders

Is the only liquid for miles

And my stomach

Churns at the imagined taste while

My mouth splits into dry splits

Without loyalty or reason

Thirsting for the wetness of his blood.

The use of a vampire story is cunning and full of dread. She explores our human emotional connection to the mythical creature to explain the horrors that are currently happening in our societies.

Thirdly under the theme of crime and murder, the author uses brutality to explain two actions. Firstly, a policeman who shoots a ten-year-old and speaks harsh words to the dying child.

Police who shot a ten-year-old in Queens

Stood over the boy with his cop shoes in childish blood

And a voice said, "Die you, little motherfucker."

The imagery "cop shoes in childish blood" and the words the cop utters "Die you little motherfucker" display a monster that exists in our current societies. These kinds of people appear taped on cell phone videos, in horror stories told over and over again or in some American homes. The author's tale on brutal police officers is not hard to believe, especially in African American societies due to the many occurrences of such incidences. Thus American children do not think such occurrences can happen to them because the African -American individuals get most of the attention of the police because of their skin color. It is one of these children that, in the future, become a brutal individual portrayed in the last and final stanza.

But unless I learn to use

The difference between poetry and rhetoric

my power, too, will run as poisonous mold.

Fourthly, under the theme of crime and murder, revenge is depicted when the author describes what happens because of the traumatic gap between poetry and rhetoric. The writer describes to us what happens to a child corrupted by trauma transformed like the mother who thinks of hurting others.

and one day I will take my teenaged plug

and connect it to the nearest socket

raping an 85-year-old white woman

who is someone's mother

Also, under the theme of crime and murder, the topic of racism has been displayed in the poem. Racism is the discrimination of people based on their color. The officer shot the ten-year-old because of his color. It is described by the author when she explains what the officer said in his defense

At his trial, the police officer said in his defense

"I didn't notice the size nor nothing else, only the color."

Additionally, the jury composed of eleven white men gave a verdict of non-guilty to the 37-year-old policeman. Despite the policeman's horrific actions, the jury of white men felt that justice the officer did the right thing.

The theme of murder and crime depicts that a person's surroundings can affect how others treat him or her. The officer killed the ten-year-old because he associated black people with misconduct. Thus, when the policeman saw the ten-year-old, he assumed he was guilty and shot him. This type of incidence is rare among white people because they are not associated with crimes.


In summary, this poem, the real power to act accordingly, has been robbed by various things. Firstly, a mother's ability to give life cut short and its replacement is bloodsucking thirst. Secondly, a policeman's power to serve and protect all citizens is corrupted with the ability to dominate and murder. Lastly, a child's strength is twisted and poisoned, thus becomes pointless and violent. Therefore this poem is not a fantasy but explains the daily terror occurrences that occur in our societies.

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