A topic will be expressed in one word or in a phrase (a few words).
A theme will be expressed in a complete sentence. It makes a statement or expresses an opinion about life that could apply in many situations.
Some of the Topics in
Words By Heart
Life in the U.S. (Texas) in 1910
Aspiring/Trying to Excel
Racism toward African-Americans
Sharecropping in the South
Living your beliefs
Some Themes in Words By Heart
Family can provide strength and purpose for individuals.
It is better to be understanding and forgiving of others than it is to blame and to seek revenge.
Forgiving is not an easy thing to do.
Rewards don't prove you're somebody. You need to know that within yourself.
Nobody's better than anybody else.
What we should aspire to is to try to be better than ourselves, not better than others.
“Nobody needs to be defended,” Papa said.
“Something always comes to fill the empty places. Something comes to take the place of what you lose.”
--Papa, page 30
“That’s what we’re here for, to serve each other.”
Papa, page 70
A person could “see past the outsides of things [and people] to the true lasting part at the center that was good and exactly as it should be.” p. 62
“Those words you memorized (scripture verses) are not cotton, to see how much you can stuff in your sack and get rewarded for. They’re rules to live by. They’re to aspire to.” p. 71
This is a theme expressed in the movie The Help, but it also fits Words By Heart: "If you can love your enemy, you already have victory." Preacher Green in The Help (2011)