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Novels society and history: Pol. Science

Question: What do you mean by epistolary novel ? Give One example.
State the meaning of epistolary novel. Give one example for this type of novel.

Answer: The form of novel which used the private and personal forrri of letters to tell a story are known as epistolary. Samuel Richardson’s Pamela written in the 18th century explain much of its story through an exchange of letters between two lovers.

Question: Mention any three features of Pickwick Papers.


  1. Pickwick Papers were written by Charles Dickens.
  2. These papers were serialised in a magazine in 1836.
  3. Serialisation allowed readers to relish the suspense, discuss the characters of a novel and live for weeks with their stories like viewers of television soaps today.

Question: “The novels bring together many cultures”. Explain.
How did the novels bring together different cultures?


  1. Language: The novel uses the vernacular, the language that is spoken by common people. By coming closer to the different spoken languages of the people, the novel produces the sense of a shared world between diverse people in a nation. Novels also draw from different styles of language. A novel may take a classical language and combine it with the language of the streets and make them all a part of the vernacular that it uses.
  2. Bridging the gap between rural and urban culture: Many novelist like that of Thomas Hardy write exclusively about vanishing rural communities.
  3. New culture: Under colonial rule, many of the English educated class found new Western ways of living and thinking attractive. So many Indian novelists started writing about this new culture developing in India.

Question: Who is the writer of the novel Germinal? What was the theme of the novel?

Answer: Emile Zola, the French novelist wrote Germinal (1885). The novel is on the life of a young coalminer. In the novel, the writer tried his best to explain the harsh conditions under which the miners worked. It ends on a note of despair: The strike the hero leads fails, his co-workers turn against him, and his hopes are shattered.

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


  1. In the 19th century, Europe entered the industrial age. Novelists such as Charles Dickens and Emile Zola wrote about the terrible effects of industrialization 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?
How did the novels for the young boys idealize a new type of man? Explain.


  1. He wrote about strange lands being conquered by the young Englishmen.
  2. He wrote novels for young boys idealizing a new type of man; someone who was powerful, assertive, independent and daring.
  3. He represented the colonizers heroic and honorable.
  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?
Describe the depiction of women in the novels of Charlotte Bronte.
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?
With the help of an example show how the early novels in Europe contributed to colonialism?


  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-human.
  3. Most of the writers of that time saw colonialism as natural.
  4. Colonized 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.


  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 laborer 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.
“For a long time the publishing market excluded the poor”. Give reasons for such an exclusion.


  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.

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