The importance of using theme in narrative is unparalleled. The theme is the underlining idea an author is trying to convey to an audience. A story without major ideas for the character and reader to experience, think through, and learn from is not a story at all. A story, by its very nature, must have a theme, sometimes many major and minor themes, all throughout. Themes are the ideas book clubs, poets, playwrights, literature students, film enthusiasts, movie-makers, and creative writers mull over in-depth. They are the meaning behind the entire story, the deeper reasons that the story has been written and shared.
There are several settings that serve to tell the story of the Ian MeEwan novel Atonement . The story begins in 1935 on the fabulous Tallis family estate in Surrey in Southeast England. The family is in the midst of a celebration but the heat is oppressive and other mysterious problems arise. The time then jumps to 1941, where Cecilia and Robbie meet in London. Robbie then heads over the channel to France, where he will see action against the Germans. The story then alternates between Robbie's military service in France and family matters in England and on the Tallis estate. The Tallis estate serves to show the wealth and power of the family members, while Robbie's horrors in France gives the reader a view of a different side of life--and death.