Theme vs Topic
We keep hearing about the concepts of theme and topic frequently in our daily lives. As a student, we know what to do when the teacher asks us to write an essay on a topic while we write our blog keeping in mind the theme of our blog; but, aren’t the two concepts almost similar? Many feel so and think of theme and topic as interchangeable, but the fact is that there are many differences between theme and topic that will be highlighted in this article.
The theme of a story or a play is deeply related with its subject or content. The central idea or message that the author desires to convey is closer to the meaning of the theme of the story than its title or the topic. To have a consistent writing style, authors stick to a genre such as romance or thrill to have a fan following. Theme is a word often heard in art galleries where art lovers try to pick up the hidden theme from the works of an artist. If you pick up a novel and do not get an idea as to what the novel is all about after reading its title, what you need is a hint about the theme or the central, recurrent idea in the novel.
Charles Dickens, a great story teller, had poverty and poor children as the theme of many of his books where he has described in detail living conditions of the poor. In a class, a teacher can give a theme to the students upon which to write an essay. For example, she can ask students to come up with ideas and compositions about global warming as a theme.
Thus, it becomes clear that the broad idea, the message or the lesson that a writer wants to convey can be referred to as the theme of his book. Sometimes, theme is not stated in words, and it is merely implied by the author. Theme is not restricted to text as it can show up even in performing arts like dance, music, and even magic.
The subject of a story or a novel is often referred to as its topic. There are hot topics of discussion on a television show and you also get to browse by topics in a digital library. You are asked the topic of your presentation in office, and a teacher gives a topic to students to write compositions on it. If you are back after watching a movie, you know the topic upon which it was based.
Topic is specific and makes clear the subject matter of an essay or a book. If we take up the example of global warming as a theme given by a teacher, to write essays upon, students can choose various topics like over exploitation of natural resources, pollution, greenhouse gases, depletion of the ozone layer etc as their topics for essays.
What is the difference between Theme and Topic?
• Both theme and topic are closely related and have similar meanings
• Topic is specific while the theme is more general in nature
• Theme is like a strand or a thread that one can get from a story while the topic is the story about the main characters
• Theme is the central idea or message that the writer wants to convey. It may be stated or may even be implicit while the topic is always stated in words in a story