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Novels, Society and History: 10th SST

Question: How most of the novels of the 19th century represented the true picture of the community and the society?

Answer: 

  1. In the 19th century, Europe entered the industrial age. Novelists such as Charles Dickens and Emile Zola wrote about the terrible effects of industrialisation on people’s lives and character.
  2. British novelist Thomas Hardy wrote about the traditional rural communities of England that were fast vanishing.
  3. In ‘Pride and Prejudice’ novelist Jane Austen has written about the social status of women.

Question: What did G.A. Henty write about in his novel?
Or
How did the novels for the young boys idealise a new type of man? Explain.

Answer:

  1. He wrote about strange lands being conquered by the young Englishmen.
  2. He wrote novels for young boys idealising a new type of man; someone who was powerful, assertive, independent and daring.
  3. He represented the colonisers heroic and honourable.
  4. His novels were about young boys who witness grand historical events, get involved in some military action and show what they called English courage.

Question: Who was Charlotte Bronte? How has she presented the picture of a woman in her novels?
Or
Describe the depiction of women in the novels of Charlotte Bronte.
Or
In which way was women depicted in Charlotte Bronte’s novel ‘Jane Eyre’?

Answer: Charlotte Bronte was an English novelist. Her novels dealt with women who broke the established norms of the society before adjusting to them. Such stories allowed women readers to sympathise with rebellious actions. In Charlotte Bronte’s, Jane Eyre, published in 1874, young Jane is shown as independent and assertive woman or girl. While girls of her time were expected to be quiet and well behaved, Jane at the age of ten protests , against the hypocrisy of her elders with startling bluntness. She tells her aunt, who is always unkind to Jane: “People think you a good woman, but you are bad You are
deceitful ! I will never call you aunt as long as I live.”

Question: How did the early novels contribute to colonialism?
Or
With the help of an example show how the early novels in Europe contributed to colonialism?

Answer:

  1. The early novels contributed to colonialism making the readers feel that they were a part of a superior community of fellow colonialists.
  2. The hero of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe is an adventurer and a slave trader, who treated the coloured people as sub-humans.
  3. Most of the writers of that time saw colonialism as natural.
  4. Colonised people were seen as primitive and barbaric, and colonial rule was considered necessary to civilize them.

Question: How were the poor people, for a long time, excluded in the publishing market in eighteenth century Europe? Explain any two reasons.

Answer:

  1. For a long time the publishing market excluded the poor. Initially, novels did not come cheap. Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones (1749) was issued in six volumes priced at three shillings each-which was more than what a labourer earned in a week.
  2. Literacy level of the poor was very low due to non-availability of schools for poor.

Question: Why did the readership of novel begin to include poorer people? Give any three reasons.
Or
“For a long time the publishing market excluded the poor.” Give reasons for such an exclusion.

Answer:

  1. Introduction of libraries: But soon, people had easier access to books with the introduction of circulating libraries in 1740.
  2. Cheap novels: Technological improvements in printing brought down the price of books and innovations in marketing led to expanded sales.
  3. Hiring out novels: In France, publishers found that they could make super profits by hiring out novels by the hour. The novel was one of the first mass-produced items to be sold.

Question: “Social changes in Britain led to an increase in women readers”. Explain.
Or
Explain the factors that led to women writing novels in Europe.

Answer:

  1. Industrialisation: Industrialisation provided an opportunity to the women to work in factories. This provided them economic freedom.
  2. Urbanisation: Industrialisation led to urbanisation. The urban families started provided equal opportunities both to men and women.
  3. Increase in income: The eighteenth century saw the middle classes become more prosperous. Women got more leisure to read as well as write novels. And novels began exploring the world of women – their emotions and identities, their experiences and problems. Many novels were about domestic life – a theme about which women were allowed to speak with authority. They drew upon their experience, wrote about family life and earned public recognition.

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