A literary topic is the central concept or underlying meaning explored by a writer in a novel, short tale, or other piece of literature. A story's theme can be communicated through characters, setting, dialogue, narrative, or a mixture of all of these components. The theme of a story is what the author wants the reader to understand or feel about the subject.
Book themes include moral values, human nature, religion, politics, and many others. These are some examples of themes that can be found in books: survival of the fittest, love is blind, honor among thieves, redemption, sacrifice, justice, and many more.
The theme of a book can be explicit or implicit. An explicit theme is one that is right under the reader's nose every time they read the book and assumes a visible form in the text. For example, John Steinbeck's 1939 novel Grapes of Wrath deals with poverty in America during the Great Depression. Although the main character, Tom Joad, struggles against this theme, others also appear in the text who benefit from it (e.g., rich farmers). In contrast, an implicit theme is one that doesn't become apparent until later in the reading process or even after finishing the book. For example, Thomas Hardy's 1872 poem "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" features an implicit theme of fate versus free will.
The core concept or underlying meaning of a literary work is referred to as the theme. It is the core concept of the tale; what the author is attempting to express; and what the author wants the reader to take away from the written work. A topic might be stated explicitly or impliedly. Examples of themes include heroism, love, death, greed, and freedom.
Classical literature is full of themes. For example, Shakespeare's tragedies are all about human weakness and the price we pay for our actions. Milton's Paradise Lost tells us about the battle between good and evil, and how humanity can choose which side to join. Goethe's Faust tells the story of a man who makes a deal with the devil in order to become famous, only to see his soul stolen away at the end of each chapter. In each case, the author is trying to convey a particular message or idea by telling a story.
Modern writers have also used stories to tell us about things such as loyalty, friendship, revenge, and forgiveness. F. Scott Fitzgerald used tales to explore the costs of ambition, success, and power through the eyes of several different characters. Ernest Hemingway told the story of a man going on a hunting trip very differently from the way he told the story of a man going on a fishing trip. Both authors were trying to show that one adventure can be both a hunting and fishing trip. Using stories in this way helps authors communicate important ideas about life.
A theme in literature is a core or underlying notion that might be presented explicitly or indirectly. At least one topic runs through all novels, tales, poems, and other literary works. Through a topic, the writer may communicate human understanding or a worldview. Don't mistake a work's subject with its theme: each Shakespearean play has a subject (love, revenge, ambition) but only one central idea - that love is love and it can never be truly shared.
Themes are common to all forms of art, but they are especially important in literature because plots tend to focus on single issues rather than on multiple topics. For example, Pride and Prejudice explores love, marriage, money, and status through the stories of six women and three men. Although each character represents a different theme, they all share a concern about wealth and position.
Themes can be explicit or implicit. An explicit theme makes itself known through words in the text or through references within the text to other pieces of writing. The Iliad and The Odyssey both have clear themes: bravery, fate, and mortality are all implicit in the stories but made explicit through reference to other poems or myths. These texts use poetry and myth as a way of commenting on society at large time periods.
Themes can also remain implicit until discovered by readers or scholars. For example, scientists have long debated what role chance vs. design plays in life.
The Meaning of a Theme The author's topic is the subject of the literary work, whereas the theme is a statement about or an opinion on the issue. It is a notion that may be represented through the main character's feelings, ideas, and dialogues.
All great novels have a central idea or theme that drives the story forward. This might be something as simple as "love conquers all" or as complex as "human nature is good at its core." Characters within the story should help us understand this concept so that it does not remain abstract.
Children's books often focus on childhood themes such as friendship, bravery, honesty, etc. As we grow up, other topics such as love, marriage, jobs, etc. begin to take center stage. But these subjects retain their original meaning when viewed through the lens of youth because that is how much they affect us.
Some examples of common themes in children's literature include:
Friendship - This can be based on actual friendships in life or simply concepts such as "all friends are not equal". Being a friend means doing things for others without expecting anything in return. It takes courage to be a true friend!
Bravery - Children often admire those who are brave enough to try new things, go on adventures, and confront danger. Examples include superheroes, pirates, and adventurers.
A theme is the main or central concept in a piece of literature. It is a story's uniting factor. The theme of a work of fiction can be a person, place, thing, idea, or principle that ties its various elements together.
Examples: war is hell; all men are created equal; happiness is the goal of every human being; death destroys even the strongest soul. These are all themes that appear in many different stories. A writer can choose to explore these themes in many different ways. He or she can write about them directly, as in the case of character-driven writers like Henry David Thoreau or Virginia Woolf. They could also use these concepts as springboards for creating narratives around other topics, as in the example of Homer's Iliad which explores the theme of war and its effects on friendship and love.
The theme of a story can also be an abstract concept, such as courage or jealousy. In these cases, the author builds their narrative around this central idea rather than exploring it directly. For example, Tom Jones by Henry Fielding focuses on the idea of justice versus mercy. John Galt writes at the beginning of Atlas Shrugged: "Who is man? Who isn't he? What is his purpose?
The term "theme" refers to the primary, underlying meaning of a written work as a literary device. The topic of a literary work is frequently what produces a memorable and important experience of a literary work for the reader. Themes are frequently influenced by the reader's perspective and interpretation. There are many examples of this in literature.
The theme of Romeo and Juliet is love. Love is an emotion that drives both young people to make impulsive decisions that have tragic results. Love is also what brings together two families who would otherwise have nothing to do with each other.
The theme of Hamlet is revenge. Although originally motivated by love, Claudius' marriage to Hamlet's mother forces him to act against his husband to protect his own reputation. Thus, he decides to kill Hamlet to hide the truth about his death. Claudius fears that if anyone finds out about the marriage, they might think he was responsible for his wife's death. Therefore, he has Hamlet's body buried on the estate so that no one can connect him to Claudius.
The theme of Macbeth is ambition. Duncan, the King of Scotland, promises to marry Macbeth's daughter after her father kills Malcolm, the king's son by his first wife. However, when Duncan dies, Macbeth believes that he will be next in line to the throne and wants to secure it for himself.