Theme v. Topic

A common confusion for students is

the difference between a topic and a

theme. While both relate to the overall

message of a story, teachers are often

particular about the distinction between

the two terms.

openbook

A topic is a category or label that relates

to a story. There most likely are multiple

topics that can the story can be labeled as.

The topic of a story can simply be stated

as love, sisterhood, greed, et cetera. A

topic can be compared to tags used online

to inform others what a post or picture is

about.

 

In comparison, a theme is a more complete

message that a story may tell. Themes are

statements of more that a single word. An

example of a theme may be “Belief in yourself

will always result in success in the end” or

“Friends may turn their backs, but family

will always be there for you.” Like topics,

there will be more than one possible theme

of a story.

 

After having explained the distinction

between the two literary terms, I hope

you no longer see a gray area between

a topic and a theme.

 

The topic is “art” and “discovery.”

The theme is “Art can always be discovered

regardless of what you do.”

The blog is the Artistic Foundations.

 

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