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What is the difference between subject matter and theme?I'm confused in determining the...

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marissa28 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 14, 2011 at 8:51 PM via web

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What is the difference between subject matter and theme?

I'm confused in determining the subject matter and theme of a poem and short stories.

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 14, 2011 at 11:46 PM (Answer #1)

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This is a good question. There are a few ways to look at this. So, I am sure that there will be some differences of opinion. Let me answer this question by making a few points.

First, there is some overlap between theme and subject. So, a subject matter and theme can be the same thing but this is not always the case. Let me give you an example, if there is a love story and main point of the story is about true love, then the theme and subject would be on love. There is overlap.

Second, subject and theme can also be different. The subject is the broader topic and the theme is a variation of the subject matter. The best way to underline this is by another example. Let's take the book, A Christmas Carol, as an example. The subject matter of this book is Christmas, but the theme is on giving and being generous.

In light of these two points, think of subject as the general topic and the theme as the specific topic.

Sources:

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marissa28 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 15, 2011 at 12:57 PM (Answer #3)

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your answer is awesome! thank you very much.

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