2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 09:26
When studying a text, be it a fiction novel, a scientific dissertation, a pamphlet, a poem, an anecdote, the first thing the reader asks, sorting through words and sentences - what is written here, what did the author want to express with a set of these words? When the writer managed to fully reveal his idea, it is not difficult to understand it, the main idea of the text is already clear in the process of reading, and the leitmotif runs through the whole story. But when the idea itself is ephemeral, and even expressed not literally, but in metaphors, figurative description, it can be quite difficult to understand the author. Each reader will see in the main idea of the text something of his own, close, depending on his worldview, level of intelligence, social status in society. And it is very likely that what the reader learns and understands will be far from such a concept as the main idea of the text, which the author himself tried to put into the work.
Importance of defining the main idea
In most cases, the overall impression is formed even before the last phrase is read, and highthe ideas of the writer, with which he began to work, remain incomprehensible or completely unknown. In this case, it is very difficult for the layman to understand the enthusiasm of his friends or the positive reviews of respected experts on this work. Bewilderment about the fact that someone found something special in him, and someone did not, can at best puzzle, at worst - form a kind of inferiority complex. The latter concerns especially impressionable readers, and there are many of them. It is worth paying special attention to the works that caused polar reviews and understand what caused these impressions.
It is necessary to determine the main idea of the text. How to do it? To begin with, you should answer a few questions: “What did the author want to express and convey to the reader in his work, what made him take up the pen?” It is possible to determine the tasks that a writer, journalist or publicist set for himself, based on a comparison of the time when the text was written and the time where the author of the events described in it moved.
Characteristic examples of defining the main in the text
A rather characteristic example of this method of cognition is the immortal and brilliant work of Mikhail Bulgakov "Heart of a Dog". In each sentence, in a single passage, there is an allegorical attitude of the writer to the events taking place in the country after the 1917 revolution. Here the theme and the main idea of the text are veiled under the improbable transformation of one living individual into another under the influence of external factors. Bulgakov's attitude toglobal transformations in the state and the minds of its citizens are expressed as precisely and frankly as possible. He conveyed his position to the reader through the stylistic presentation of the text, highlighting the entire range of problems that arose in the country at that time, using the example of the private life of the inhabitants of a single apartment and their relationships with others. Comparing the important and minor events described in the story and taking place in the country, you can understand how to find the main idea of the text through the presentation of these events by the author.
Leveling to the author
Besides the above example of determining the main idea in a work, there are several ways of a general nature, without being tied to a specific author and his work. The most common is a careful reading of the text and the selection of several main associations that have arisen in the process of reading. If from the first time it was possible to understand the author and what he writes about, it is not worth rushing to assert that the main idea of the text has been found. It is better to convey your understanding of the topic in one or two sentences, and then reread the work again. If the conviction that everything was understood correctly the first time is confirmed, then the main idea of the text is stated intelligibly and with an ideal presentation. But if, with each subsequent reading, more and more new associations arise, one should try to penetrate more deeply into what has been stated and, along the way, get acquainted with the reviews of this work of the author. It is likely that, apart from himself, no one else understood anything. And in this case, choose a method, how to find the mainthe thought of the text is sometimes impossible.
Fortunately, there are very few works for the general public that are not amenable to analysis and reasonable perception, and such difficulties may arise when getting acquainted with topics of a narrow specific nature, but they, as a rule, arouse interest among a certain circle of readers, image whose thoughts and lives are close to the main theme of these works.
If the topic is set by the author himself
So, back to the general rule for determining the main idea of the text. After rereading the work two or three times, if the opportunity, desire and necessity require it, it is important to understand exactly what it is about and retell its essence. Sometimes the main thing in the text is hidden by the layering of overly lush and flowery phrases, it all depends on the style of presentation of the topic by the author. But if it was possible to formulate the main thing in one short and concise phrase, then the author managed to convey to the reader his attitude to the events or characters described.
From title to text
Sometimes the main idea of a work lies in its table of contents. This happens quite often. Sometimes the title is the key to the whole work, and in this case the method of how to determine the main idea of the text is to express the expanded author's position. For example, the theme of the novel by Nikolai Chernyshevsky "What to do?" is determined by a direct answer to the question posed in its table of contents or in the characteristic chapters describing the dreams of Vera Pavlovna. In the title of the novel, the question mark at the end of the phrase is the key to finding the main idea. If in the titlethe text has its own names, the attitude towards them that has developed after reading is also the key to determining the main thing in the above.
Read and think
And finally, another characteristic way of how to determine the main idea of the text. To do this, it is necessary to understand what conclusions the author himself makes from what the story was about. This can be framed as a kind of conclusion to which the author led the reader, and at the end of the work he drew a line under his idea with a few phrases. The example of morality in fables shows that in such cases the main idea is determined by the author himself, and the reader is left to either agree with it or not.
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