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Product_catalog : School : LitLink : Grade08 : The War of the Wall
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Reader's Toolbox
Theme. A theme is a central idea in a literary work. A theme usually makes a statement about life, society, human behavior, or the world. Sometimes the theme of a literary work is directly stated, but most often, the reader must explore the elements of the work—characters, setting, and plot—to discover the theme(s). As you read, think about some possible themes of the story. Consider the story from the narrator’s perspective—the perspective from which it is told—and also consider the events from the perspective of the artist. Thinking about the story from different perspectives can help you clarify your thoughts about the story and develop one or more statements about its theme.

Irony of Situation. An event that contradicts the expectations of the characters, the reader, or the audience of a literary work is an example of irony of situation. As you read, look for events in the story that contradict your expectations or those of
characters in the story.

Reader's Resource
  • Art Connection. A mural is a painting or design that is painted on a wall. People paint murals on indoor and outdoor walls. There is a long history of painting murals inside and outside of churches and other public buildings. Mural painting started with prehistoric artists who painted pictures on the walls of caves—these pictures often depicted hunting scenes. In ancient Egypt, tombs of the dead were decorated with murals. These murals showed the people and possessions that were known to be important to the dead person. The ancient Romans created murals on the inside walls of their homes and gardens.
  • In the United States, there was a period in the 1930s when artists painted murals on government buildings, primarily showing Americans at work and at play. Murals on public buildings were again popular in the 1960s and 1970s. Many of these exterior murals portrayed images of human goodness and community or expressed social themes such as deep concern for racial discrimination, the rights of women, poverty, and war. In “The War of the Wall,” a mural is created on a wall in the narrator’s neighborhood.
readers journal
How might you react if a stranger started making changes to a place or thing with which you strongly
identify yourself?
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