by Debbie Erickson
(Mishawaka, IN US)
Question: Can you have more than one theme in a story?
Absolutely. In fact, dramatica theory states that a completely developed story will explore four thematic issues, and their counterpoints. That's one issue and counterpoint for each of the four throughlines.
The real meaning and thematic message of a story is ineffable, and is located in the blindspot at the intersection of all four throughlines, which is why no one can ever definitively say what the real meaning of a story is, though it is certainly possible to say what the thematic message is for any one throughline.