You are on page 1of 6


Novel, long work of written fiction. Most novels involve many characters and tell a complex story by placing the characters in a number of different situations. The word novel came into use during the Renaissance (14th century to 17th century). Over the centuries writers have continually experimented with the novel form, and it has constantly evolved in new directions. Many readers consider the novel the most flexible type of literature, and thus the one with the most possibilities. The novel can be described as a narrative prose, based in story, in which the author may portray character, and the life of an age, and analyze sentiments and passions, and the reaction of men and women to their environment. The novel is only one of many possible prose narrative forms. It shares with other narratives, like epic and the romance, two basic characteristics; a story and a story teller. In a novel, the writer has the freedom to develop plot, characters, and theme slowly. The novel may celebrate grand designs or great events, but it also may pay attention to details of everyday life, such as daily task and social obligations. A novelist has more freedom than a playwright to portray events outside the framework of the immediate story, such as historical events that happen at the same time as the story.

Elements of Novel:
To create a fictional world that seems real to the reader, novelists use five main elements: plot, characters, conflict, setting, and theme. PLOT: The plot is the novels story and its underlying meaning. Plots can be anything the writer dreams up, from narratives so realistic that they seem like nonfiction to tales of the fantastic. CHARACTER: To engage the reader, a novel must feature characters with complex and complete personalities. Characters do not need to be physically realistic. Meaningful characters usually have hopes, fears, concerns, and ambitions that the reader can recognize. CONFLICT: The novelist makes the reader care about the story by introducing some sort of conflict. The conflict can be physical, emotional, or ethical, but it always creates some sort of tension that the characters must resolve. SETTING: Another element that the novelist uses to draw in the reader is the setting of the workthe time and place that the story occurs. THEME: The theme of a novel is the major idea that the novelist is setting forth in writing the book. The theme gives the novel greater depth than it would have if it were a simple recitation of a series of actions.

Techniques of Novel:
There are several major techniques that novelists employ to make their novels rich in meaning and rewarding to the reader, including point of view, style, and symbolism. A novelists style is the approach the writer takes in putting together words, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs. Many novelists deepen the meaning of their stories by employing symbolism, the use of objects or ideas as symbols that represent other, more abstract concepts. 1. POINT OF VIEW: The point of view of a literary work is the perspective from which the reader views the action and characters. Omniscient Point of View: In a novel written from the point of view of an omniscient narrator, the reader knows what each character does and thinks. The reader maintains this knowledge as the plot moves from place to place or era to era. An omniscient narrator can also provide the reader with direct assessment of action, character, and environment. First-Person Point of View: The first person provides total subjectivity and all the immediacy, intimacy, and urgency of a single individuals conflicts. The first person also shows a characters awareness at telling a story. The first person allows the author to write in the voice of a particular character.


Third-Person-Limited Point of View: the third-person-limited narrator allows the reader access to the thoughts of the main character. 2. STYLE: Style is the novelists choice of words and phrases, and how the novelist arranges these words and phrases in sentences and paragraphs. Style allows the author to shape how the reader experiences the work. Style can be broken down into three types: simple, complex, and mid-style. Simple: A simple style uses common words and simple sentences, even if the situation described is complex. The effect of the simple style can be to present facts to the reader without appealing to the readers emotions directly. Complex: A complex style uses long, elaborate sentences that contain many ideas and descriptions. The writer uses lyrical passages to create the desired mood in the reader, whether it be one of joy, sadness, confusion, or any other emotion. A mid-style: A mid-style is a combination of the simple and complex styles. It can give a neutral tone to the book, or it can provide two different effects by contrast. 3. SYMBOLISM: Many novels have two layers of meaning. The first is in the literal plot, the second in a symbolic layer in which images and objects represent abstract ideas and feelings. Using symbols allows authors to express themselves indirectly on delicate or controversial matters. Novelists have created symbolic patterns of imagery since the beginning of the genre. English novelist Joseph Conrad felt that the novelist must search for the image, meaning the outward sign of inward feelings. Even when symbols appear to have a clear meaning in one part of a novel, they can have another meaning in another part of the book. Symbols are not necessarily limited to one or two easy-to-identify meanings. 4. IMAGERY AND IRONY: In addition to point of view, style, and symbolism, novelists use many other specific techniques in their works. Two of the most important are imagery, the collection of descriptive details that appeal to the senses and emotions of the reader by creating a sense of real experience, and irony, the readers recognition that what is expected from a statement, situation, or action is different from what actually happens. The difference between imagery and symbolism is that the purpose of imagery is not to embody meaning but to create an illusion of reality by stimulating the readers senses. Nevertheless, an image may also serve as a symbol when it has special meaning and represents another idea, either to the reader or to the novels characters. Irony can be dramatic (acting without knowing that the effect of ones actions is the opposite of what one expected). Irony can also be situational. Authors may also use irony to reveal something about characters to the reader without having the characters become aware of it themselves.

Genres of Novel:
Novels can be classified into dozens of genres, and novels may belong to several of these categories at the same time. SOCIAL NOVEL: The social novel focuses on the behavior of characters and how the characters actions reflect or contradict the values of their society. Novel of manner: focuses on a small segment of society. Chronicle Novel: paints a broad survey of society as a whole. PSYCHOLOGICAL NOVEL: The psychological novels intent is to reveal its characters inner selves at a particular time in life. EDUCATION NOVEL: The education novel describes stages in the life of its main character as the individual develops as a person. PHISOPHICAL NOVEL: Novels in which intellectual exploration is the main purpose are sometimes called philosophical novels. POPULAR NOVEL: Popular novels are novels whose primary intention is to entertain. They are accessible to a wide range of people and are usually written to achieve commercial success by providing readers with a good story.


Western novels: Western novels are set in the American West and feature cowboys and Native Americans. These books feature cattle rustlers, stage and train robbers, and gunfights. Detective novels: Detective stories and mystery stories typically involve convoluted plots, so that the reader remains as puzzled as the characters within the story. Popular novels: Many popular novels take the form of spy stories. Some writers emphasize the glamorous side of a spys life. Science-fiction novels: Science-fiction novels are books based on actual or imagined scientific discoveries. Some common subjects for science fiction include space travel, time travel, the discovery of other intelligent beings in space, and the creation of self-aware robots. Fantasy novels: Fantasy novels deal with magical and supernatural characters and events. Many fantasy works are written in a lyrical or witty style, and some appeal especially to children. Horror novels: Horror novels, also called occult novels, usually deal with a battle between supernatural forces of good and forces of evil. They are typically darker than fantasy novels. Romance novels: Romance novels are the stories of love Historical novels: The historical novel places its characters in a past time. The novelist attempts to portray that era realistically in both fact and spirit. GOTHIC NOVEL: The eighteenth century novel from Richardson to Miss Burney was, on the whole, conceived on realistic lines. Towards the close of the century the novel, like poetry showed signs of change, as it began to exhibit romantic tendencies. During the transitional period return to nature, absorption in the remote in time and space, especially in the middle Ages, became the marked literary characteristics. The new interest in nature made scenic descriptions or landscape an important element in novel. The interest in the past brought into being a new type of novel, known as the gothic novel, which anticipated the historical novel of the nineteenth century. The Gothic novel or the novel or terror is the peculiar product of the late eighteenth century. It is a new genre of the romantic fiction which drew its inspiration from the general revival of interest in medieval life and art, in Gothic castles, in churches and Cathedrals and in ruins. The novelists resorted to the use of ghosts, portents and satanic forces in order to arouse emotions of awe, mystery and terror. Gothic Novel, type of romantic fiction that predominated in English literature in the last third of the 18th century and the first two decades of the 19th century, the setting for which was usually a ruined Gothic castle or abbey (see Gothic Art and Architecture). The Gothic novel, or Gothic romance, emphasized mystery and horror and was filled with ghost-haunted rooms, underground passages, and secret stairways. The principal writers of the English Gothic romance were Horace Walpole, author of The Castle of Otranto (1764); Clara Reeve, who wrote The Champion of Virtue (1777); Ann Radcliffe, author of The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794); Matthew Gregory Lewis, author of Ambrosio, or the Monk (1796); Charles Robert Maturin, who wrote The Fatal Revenge (1807); and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, who wrote Frankenstein (1818). Charles Brocken Brown, the first American professional novelist, is best known for his Gothic romances. The genre was one phase of the literary movement of romanticism in English literature and was also the forerunner of the modern mystery novel (see Mystery Story). Later American writers who used Gothic elements in their fiction include Henry James, William Faulkner, and Flannery O'Connor. The term Gothic is also used to designate narrative prose or poetry of which the principal elements are violence, horror, and the supernatural. Many of the works of the late-20thcentury American novelists Stephen King and Anne Rice demonstrate the continued influence and popularity of the Gothic form.

THE 16TH CENTURY:- The novel developed in its modern form in Europe in the late 1500s and early
1600s, during the flowering of the Renaissance (14th century to 17th century), a time of renewed interest in learning and culture. The subject matter of the early novels reflected the concerns of society in general, including the emergence of the middle class as a social group, the questioning of traditional religious and moral values, curiosity about science and philosophy, and an appetite for exploration and discovery. The earliest novels, called picaresque novels, were stories of adventure featuring roguish main characters, or picaros, who traveled widely, depended on their wits for survival, and took advantage of those less clever than


themselves. In contrast to the poetic romances of chivalry, which told of the pursuit of high spiritual ideals, picaresque novels celebrated adventure for its own sake. They also were episodic, meaning that the story was told in a series of episodes that did not depend on one another to make sense. A major picaresque novel was Lazarillo de Tormes (1554; Lazaro of Tormes), a rambling, anonymously written Spanish work that traces the misadventures of a boy making his way in a world of savage peasants, corrupt clergy, conniving nobles, and an array of rough characters. Through his experiences Lazaro learns the art of survival, including how to eat bread without being noticedhe takes mouse like bites from the loaf. In England, an early picaresque was The Unfortunate Traveller, or The Life of Jack Wilton (1594) by Thomas Nashe. A racy treatment of 16th-century Italy, it features sinister clerics, beautiful endangered women, and appearances by German theologian Martin Luther and Dutch scholar Desiderius Erasmus. Don Quixote (Part I, 1605; Part II, 1615) by Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes is a more serious work. It depicts an idealistic Spanish nobleman who imagines himself a hero but is actually an undistinguished, middleaged man who has read so many romances of chivalry that he has lost touch with reality. Featuring remote castles, strange inns, and motley company, the work dramatizes the collision between idealism and realism. With his work, Cervantes introduced the idea that the novel should penetrate surface appearances. For example, when Don Quixote encounters a barber wearing a brass basin on his head to shield himself from the rain, Don Quixote thinks that the basin is a magical golden helmet. His mistake represents the idea that things are not always as they appear. Despite Don Quixotes foolish misinterpretations, the work is not cynical and deflating, but instead celebrates the freedom that dreaming and idealizing can provide to people. The novel made few major advances in the 1600s. During that century public interest in the drama was strong, and English masters such as John Milton and John Dryden wrote outstanding narrative poetry. Many people considered the new form of the novel cheap and vulgar compared with drama and poetry. It also seemed to require less skill to create than verse did, and its subject matter was rarely as refined as that of the other literary forms. One exception was La princesse de Clves (1678; The Princess of Clves), an elegant work by French writer Marie de La Fayette about a married noblewoman who falls in love with another man. She keeps her feelings secret and does not remarry, even after her husbands death. The courtly set ting of the book placed it apart from the picaresque adventure tales. The book also treats the emotional states of its characters in much more depth than the picaresque novels do.

18th CENTURY: - In the eighteenth century the years after the forties witnessed a wonderful efflorescence
of a new literary genre which was soon to establish itself for all times to come as the dominant literary form. Of course, we are referring here to the English novel which was born with Richardson's Pamela and has been thriving since then. When Matthew Arnold used the epithets "excellent" and "indispensable" for the eighteenth century which had little of good poetry or drama to boast of, he was probably paying it due homage for its gift of the novel. The eighteenth century was the age in which the novel was established as the most outstanding and enduring form of literature. The periodical essay, which was another gift of this century to English literature, was born and died in the century, but the novel was to enjoy an enduring career. It is to the credit of the major eighteenthcentury novelists that they freed the novel from the influence and elements of high flown romance and fantasy, and used it to interpret the everyday social and psychological problems of the common man. Thus they introduced realism, democratic spirit, and psychological interest into the novel the qualities which have since then been recognized as the essential prerequisites of-every good novel and which distinguish it from the romance and other impossible stories. Reasons for the Rise and Popularity: Various reasons can be adduced for the rise and popularity of the novel in the eighteenth century. The most important of them is that this new literary form suited the genius and temper of the times. The eighteenth century is known in English social history for the rise of the middle classes consequent upon an unprecedented increase in the volume of trade and commerce. Many people emerged from the limbo of society to occupy a respectable status as wealthy burgesses. The novel, with its realism, its democratic spirit, and its concern with the everyday psychological problems of the common people especially


appealed to these nouveaia riches and provided them with respectable reading material. The novel thus appears to have been specially designed both to voice the aspirations of the middle and low classes and to meet their taste. Moreover, it gave the writer much scope for what Cazamian calls "morality and sentiment"-the two elements which make literature "popular." The decline of drama in the eighteenth century was also partly responsible for the rise and -ascendency of the novel. After the Licensing Act of 1737, the drama lay moribund. The poetry of the age too-except for the brilliant example of Pope's workwas in a stage of decadence. It was then natural that from the ashes of the drama (and, to some extent, of poetry, too) should rise the phoenix-like shape of a new literary genre. This new genre was, of course, the novel. Before the Masters: Before Richardson and Fielding gave shape to the new form some work had already been done by numerous other writers, which helped the pioneers to some extent. Mention must here be made of Swift, Defoe, Addison, and Steele. Swift in Gullivers Travels gave an interesting narrative, and, in spite of the obvious impossibility of the "action" and incidents, created an effect of verisimilitude which was to be an important characteristic of the novel. The Coverley papers of Addison and Steele were in themselves a kind of rudimentary novel, and some of them actually read like so many pages from a social and domestic novel. Their good-humoured social satire, their eye for the oddities of individuals, their basic human sympathy, their lucid style, and their sense of episode-all were to be spired after by the future novelists. Defoe with his numerous stories like Robinson Crusoe, Moll Flanders, and Roxana showed his uncanny gift of the circumstantial detail and racy, gripping narrative combined with an unflinching realism generally concerned with the seamy and sordid aspects of life (commonly, low life). His lead was to be followed by ' numerous novelists. Defoe's limitation lies in the fact that his protagonists are psychologically too simple and that he makes nobody laugh and nobody weep. But his didacticism was to find favour with all the novelists of the eighteenth, and even many of the nineteenth, century. Some call Defoe the first English novelist. But as David Daiches puts it in A Critical History of English Literature, Vol. II, whether Defoe was "properly" a novelist "is a matter of definition of terms." The Masters: Between 1740 and 1800 hundreds of novels of all kinds were written. However, the real "masters" of the novel in the eighteenth century were four-Richardson, Fielding, Smollett, and Sterne. The rest of them are extremely inferior to them. Oliver Elton maintains: "The work of the four masters stands high, but the foothills are low." The case was different in, say, the mid-nineteenth century when so many equally great novelists were at work. Fielding was the greatest of the foursome. Sir Edmund Gosse calls Richardson "the first great English novelist" and Fielding, "the greatest of English novelists." Fielding may not be the greatest of all, but he was certainly one of the greatest English novelists and the greatest novelist of the eighteenth century.

FUTURE OF NOVEL:At the beginning of the 21st century, the novel, one of the most flexible of literary forms, remains a powerful way for authors to represent the human experience both on the individual level and on the societal level. In countries all over the world, writers use the novel to give insight into peoples actions, ideas, and aspirations. Novelists keep the form fresh by continuing to explore subject matter of vital interest to readers and by constantly innovating in form and technique. For five centuries the novel has been one of the most important ways for writers to comment on the human condition, and it shows no signs of weakening.

CAUSES OF THE POPULARITY AND RISE OF NOVEL IN THE AUGUSTAN AGE:The following factors contributed to the development of novel during the eighteenth century.


The Spread of Education and the New Reading Public.

In the eighteenth century the spread of education and the appearance of newspapers and magazines led to a remarkable increase in the number of readers. The newspaper and the periodical essay encouraged a rapid, inattentive, almost unconscious kind of reading habit. It is exactly such a kin d of habit that is required for novel reading. The middle-class people, who had a foremost place in English life and society, wanted to read for pleasure and relaxation without caring for any high classical or literary standards, and this change of emphasis favored the growth of the novel.


Moreover, the new reading class wanted to read about itself, about its own thoughts, motives and struggles. It did not have leisure enough for reading the lengthy heroic romances. It demanded new type of literature. So the novel was born, which mirrored the tastes and requirements of this new class of readers. Women, who had plenty of leisure, sought pleasure through novel reading.


The Democratic Movement.

The rise of the novel is also associated with the democratic movement in the eighteenth century. Hudson remarks: The comprehensiveness of the novel, its free treatment of characters and doings of all sorts and conditions of men, and especially its handling of middle class and low life, are unmistakable evidences of its democratic quality. The rise of the middle class is closely related with the democratic movement. With the growth of commerce and industry, the prestige of the old feudal nobility was on the wane. And the middle classes were increasing steadily in social and political power. The middle classes were inclined to morality, sentiment and reality. The novel reflected the temperament of the middle class and, therefore, it became popular.


Comprehensiveness of Form.

Novel as a new form of literary art offered a fresh field, in which the writers were to work independently. Hudson writes: Finally, as the form of the novel, gives a far wider scope allowed to the corresponding form of drama for the treatment of motives, feelings, and all the phenomena of the inner life, it tended from the first to take the peculiar place as the typical art form of the introspective and analytical modern world.


The Development of the New Prose Style.

One of the important causes of the development of novel is the evolution of a new prose style. As the novel deals with ordinary life, ordinary people, and ordinary events and with all sorts of miscellaneous matters, it requires plain, lucid and straightforward style. During the eighteenth century, writers like Addison, Steele, Goldsmith, Burke etc. evolved a plain style which was capable of expressing the realities of life. It has a close relation with the reflections and expressions the novel expresses.


The Decline of Drama.

Drama had grown artificial, unnatural and immoral during the earlier part of the eighteenth century. It was the decline of drama during the first half of the eighteenth century that made way for the novel. The latter part of the eighteenth century was the golden age of the novel. A true novel is simply a work of fiction which relates the story of plain human life, under stress of emotion, which depends for its interest not on incident and adventure, but on its truth to nature. Richardson, Fielding, Smollett and Sterne, known as the four wheels of novel- all seem to have seized upon the idea of reflecting life as it is, in the form of a story, and to have developed it simultaneously.