Features And Elements Of The Novel

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Features and Elementsof the Novel2nd Lecture

WHAT IS A NOVEL?(NOVEL PATTERNS) A novel is a long narrative, normally in prose, which describes fictionalcharacters and events, usually in the form of a sequential story. The genre has also been described as possessing "a continuous andcomprehensive history of about two thousand years". This view sees thenovel's origins in Classical Greece and Rome, medieval, early modernromance, and the tradition of the novella. The novella is an Italian word used to describe short stories, supplied thepresent generic English term in the 18th century. Ian Watt, however, in The Riseof the Novel (1957) suggests that the novel first came into being in the early18th century.

WHAT IS A NOVEL(NOVEL PATTERNS)? The romance is a closely related long prose narrative. Walter Scott defined the romance and the novel The romance it as "a fictitious narrative in prose or verse; theinterest of which turns upon marvellous (great) and uncommonincidents", whereas in the novel "the events are accommodated tothe ordinary train of human events and the modern state of society". However, many romances, including the historical romances of Scott,Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights and Herman Melville's Moby-Dick,arealso frequently called novels, and Scott describes romance as a"kindred term". Romance, as defined here, should not be confusedwith the genre fiction love romance or romance novel.

THE FEATURES OF THE NOVEL1. A Fictional Narrative Functionality is most commonly cited as distinguishing novels fromhistoriography. However, this can be a problematic criterion.Throughout the early modern period authors of historical narrativeswould often include inventions rooted in traditional beliefs in order toembellish (beautify) a passage of text or add credibility to an opinion. Historians would also invent and compose speeches for didactic(educational) purposes. Novels can, on the other hand, depict(describe) the social, political and personal realities of a place andperiod with clarity and detail not found in works of history.

THE FEATURES OF THE NOVEL2. Literary Prose While prose rather than verse became the standard of the modernnovel, the ancestors of the modern European novel include verseepics in the Romance language of southern France. Even in the 19th century, fictional narratives in verse, such as LordByron's Don Juan (1824), Alexander Pushkin's Yevgeniy Onegin (1833),and Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Aurora Leigh (1856), competed withprose novels. Vikram Seth's The Golden Gate (1986), composed of 590stanzas, is a more recent example of the verse novel.

THE FEATURES OF THE NOVEL3. Content: Intimate (Warm) Experience Both in 12th century Japan and 15th century Europe, prosefiction created intimate reading situations. A new world of Individualistic fashion, personal views,intimate feelings, secret anxieties, "conduct" and "gallantry"spread with novels and the associated prose-romance.

THE FEATURES OF THE NOVEL4. Length The novel is today the longest genre of narrative prosefiction, followed by the novella, short story, and flash fiction.However, in the 17th century critics saw the romance as ofepic length and the novel as its short rival. A precisedefinition of the differences in length between these typesof fiction, is, however, not possible. The requirement oflength has been traditionally connected with the notionthat a novel should encompass the totality of life.

THE ELEMENTS OF THE NOVEL1. Setting The background in which the story takes place. There are several aspects to setting:(a)Place: This is the geographical location of the story. Since novels are lengthy, the story may move from one place toanother. When asked to describe the setting, you may give the general geographical location (e.g., in a novel whichtakes place in numerous locations around Italy, you may mention only the country) or you may describe severalspecific locations.(b)Time: First, this refers to the period of history, if the story is set in the past. If the story could happen now or atsome recent unspecified time, we say that it is "contemporary." If it is a science fiction story, it may be set in thefuture. When describing setting, be as specific as the author is. Novels usually span (take place over) a much longerperiod of time than short stories, so you may need to say that a novel's setting in time is from 1937 to 1956. Whendescribing the setting of a portion of the novel, you may be able to specify the season, month, and even time of day.(c)Climate/Weather: This is an aspect of setting which is often forgotten, but it can be important to the novel. If thestory begins in the midst of a hurricane, it is significant to the story.(d)Lifestyle: This refers to the daily life of the characters. If a story takes place in a particular historical period, thelifestyle of the characters (e.g., whether they are poor farmers or residents of the court) is part of the setting.

THE ELEMENTS OF THE NOVEL2. Atmosphere The mood or feeling of the story, the emotional quality thatthe story gives to the reader. This is usually evoked by thesetting and, like the setting, may change throughout thenovel.You may say that a novel opens with a mysteriousatmosphere, a gloomy atmosphere, a light, carefreeatmosphere, etc.

THE ELEMENTS OF THE NOVEL3. Characters The people, animal, robots, etc., who take part in the actionof the story.

THE ELEMENTS OF THE NOVEL4. Conflict The struggle between opposing forces in the story. Conflict provides interestand suspense.There are various types of conflict, which can usually becategorized as one of the following:(a) a character struggling against nature.(b) a struggle between two or more characters(c) a struggle between the main character and some aspect of society(d) a struggle of opposing forces within one character. The reader usually follows the actions of one main character throughout thenovel; this character is referred to as the protagonist. The force with whichthe protagonist is in conflict is called the antagonist. In the case of the fourthtype of conflict listed, the antagonist would be another internal force within theprotagonist, e.g., self-doubt.

THE ELEMENTS OF THE NOVEL5. Plot The storyline; the ordered arrangement of incidents in astory. Plot arises out of the conflict in the story, whichbuilds to a climax.

THE ELEMENTS OF THE NOVEL6.Theme The central idea in the story or novel. It can usually beexpressed in a short statement about human nature, life, orthe universe.

THE ELEMENTS OF THE NOVEL The following is a summary of these major elements: Setting is the "where" and 'when" of the story or novel. Characters are the "who." Conflict is the "what." (What is the problem?) Plot is the "how." (How is the conflict developed andresolved?) Theme is the "why." (The author's message and one of thereasons why the author wrote the story or novel.)

WHAT IS A NOVEL (NOVEL PATTERNS)? The romance is a closely related long prose narrative. Walter Scott defined the romance and the novel The romance it as "a fictitious narrative in prose or verse; the interest of which turns upon marvellous (great) and uncommon incidents", whereas in the novel "the events are accommodated to the ordinary train of

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