The topic is not the subject, which may be summarized in a single word: love, war, friendship, and so on. The subject is not the story's moral, which instructs readers what they should or should not do, generally demonstrated with repercussions. Nor is it the plot, which consists of incidents that occur during the telling of the tale. The subject is simply everything that happens within the story's setting and around which the story's events are organized.
A theme is a central idea or thought that runs through a work of art or literature. The themes of great works vary widely, from the simple (love, death, etc.) to the complex (honor, tyranny, freedom). However, all great works share certain common features that reflect their treatment of different aspects of one central concept. These features include universality, particularity, and complexity.
Works of art and literature can only treat particular cases of these concepts because they are limited by their purpose, which is to express and explain this fundamental idea/thought. Thus, they must leave some parts of these ideas unexpressed or unexplained.
For example, Romeo and Juliet is a particularly particular story about two young people in love who die tragically together. However, the wider issue of family honor versus dishonor is left unresolved.
A theme is frequently characterized as a story's moral, however a theme does not have to be a moral. Cheaters never win, honesty triumphs, and decent men finish first, are just a few of the morals that function as motifs. However, a story's topic may not come over as a moral at all. Themes are frequently statements about the human condition. Some examples include: friendship, loyalty, love, courage, justice, and happiness.
The theme of a story can be described as the underlying message or lesson that the author wants the reader to understand. For example, in "David Copperfield" the theme is kindness toward others. Mr. Micawber in Charles Dickens' novel "David Copperfield" demonstrates this quality by being kind to everyone, even those who treat him badly. Despite his poor treatment from some people, Mr. Micawber remains kindhearted.
Sometimes the theme isn't clear until later in the story. For example, in "To Kill A Mockingbird" the theme is probably innocence until proven guilty. However, the author doesn't explicitly state this fact until near the end of the story.
In order to understand the theme of a story, one must understand what type of story it is. This can be done by reading the summary/plot description below.
The theme in literature refers to the major concept or moral of the work. Sometimes the primary concept or moral is conveyed explicitly, and other times the reader is required to consider the key idea. Most literary works have more than one subject. It is ideal to express the subject in a single statement. However, a work can be complete within itself, requiring no further explanation.
Some examples of themes in literature are evil, guilt, punishment, redemption, freedom, love, courage, loyalty, justice, oppression, peace, war, tyranny, democracy, etc.
The theme of a work can be described as the central idea or message that the author tries to convey through his/her story. The theme cannot be expressed in only one sentence; rather, it is an overall feeling that the writer wants the reader to grasp from reading their work.
For example, John Steinbeck's novel The Grapes of Wrath deals with the theme of poverty. Steinbeck uses this theme to show how important it is for people to seek justice, regardless of their status in society. He also demonstrates how much destruction can come from one small act of injustice - namely, the Joads' journey across country to find land for themselves and their children.
Another example is Walt Whitman's poem "I Sing the Body Electric". This poem contains several different themes: friendship, death, marriage, politics, war, humanity, etc.
What is the overall theme? The topic conveys a message of bravery, hope, or love. The core concept, on the other hand, is simply what the tale is about. In some ways, the core concept is a condensed version of the plot. It can be said that the plot is the story's thread which keeps getting picked up again and again throughout the work. Thus, the core concept may be seen as the main idea or purpose behind the writing of the work.
In conclusion, the theme of a work of literature can be described as the message or idea it tries to convey. This could be something as simple as "bravery wins over fear" or as complex as "love is the ultimate truth".