In my opinion, getting to the “heart of the matter” is delving into the deeper meaning of the novel, series, or play. They mostly discuss universal themes such as racism or moral dilemmas. It sheds light on what the authors deem important to them and in the time period they are focusing on. For example, in “Master Harold and the Boys” by Athol Fugard, Fugard focuses on racism in order to shed light on the issue in a unique way. In his case, he brought the perspectives of black servants who have a strong bond with their Master.
Literature can tackle both happy and dark topics in the “heart of the matter”. For instance, in “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller, Biff has unconditional love for his father. He gives up his American dream in order to satisfy his father’s life long dream. Biff even does this despite knowing about the affair his father had.