The Evolution of the Novel: A Comprehensive Guide

Q. 1. What are the two planes on which the action of a novel moves? SMP1-1
Ans. The two planes on which the action of a novel moves are time and place. Every story takes place at same point or points in space and in time. It is incumbent upon the writer of fiction to “place™ his story in space and time, as carly as possible in his narrative, so that you will begin making the proper associations with the setting. The setting also presents a share of technical difficulties, but most novelists embrace them gladly. The novel is a prose form and emphasizes realism: its style ought to be, for the most part, terse and transparently plain. Whatever poctic impulse the novelist may have is likely to be frustrated: only the setting provides him an outlet for it; for in his descriptive writing he is allowed to express his feeling for beauty and create a scene in lavish hues, if he wishes.

Q. 2. How does Aristotle define plot? Does his definition hold true for the novel as well? 
Ans. Plot is the “first principle.” the most important feature of tragedy. Aristotle defines plot as “the arrangement of the incidents™ i.¢., not the story itself but the way the incidents are presented to the audience, the structure of the play. According to Aristotle, tragedies where the outcome depends on a tightly constructed cause-and-effect chain of actions are superior to those that depend primarily on the character and personality of the protagonist. Aristotle’s notion of mythos in Poetics differs from the modern interpretation of plot most prominently in its role in drama. According to Elizabeth Belfiore’s Tragic Pleasures; Aristotle on Plot and Emotion, Aristotle believed that “plot is essential to tragedy, ethos [character] is second to plot™. . Aristotle believes that “psychological and ethical considerations are secondary to the events themselves”. Aristotle’s view focuses nearly all of his attention on the events of the plot, which, in turn, leaves the characters to become merely conveyors of situations rather than humans with convictions and motives. Many of Aristotle’s conclusions directly oppose those of modern narratologists such as Vladimir Propp, who “reverses Aristotle’s theory that ‘tragedy is imitation not of human beings but of actions,” by writing that storics are about characters who act™. Propp also argues that basic story clements, which he defines as functions, “are in fact ethically se they are defined in terms of a character who has specific ethical qualities™. Propp’s view-point directly conflicts with that of Aristotle in Poetics because Aristotle states that drama consists of a logical sequence of events that is not affected by cthical dilemmas. G. W. F. Hegel, a noted philosopher and narratologist, belicved that tragedy consists of the conflicts colored, either in themselves or beca between cach character’s ethical justification and the resolution toward a greater rational good. Hegel’s view-point places character conflict as the central focus of tragedy, in clear contradiction to Aristotle’s plot-centric theory of tragedy. According to Meir Sternberg, modernist dramatic theory endorses the “Open ending, and post-structuralism for preaching endless indeterminacy,” which is most noticeable in the modern absurdist theater. In comparison, Sternberg asserts that Aristotle’s viewpoint directs all complex endings and forms of closure into simple causeand-effect sequences.

Q. 3. Write a brief account of the developments in the novel as a genre from the 18th to the 19th century. SMP1-2 
Ans. The development of the novel as a genre from the 18th to the 19th century marks a significant transition in literary history, characterized by a multitude of factors that reshaped the landscape of fiction writing.
-Firstly, the novel evolved as an extended form of fiction, distinguishing itself from shorter narratives like novellas and narratives of middle length. Its prose format, as opposed to long verse narratives of earlier periods, allowed for intricate plot development, the introduction of numerous characters and motifs, and the exploration of evolving character dynamics throughout the story. This shift in form enabled authors to delve deeper into human experiences and societal issues within a specific historical context.
-The term ‘novel’ derived from the Italian ‘novella’, meaning ‘a little new thing’, initially referred to short prose tales. However, influences from various literary forms such as the picaresque narrative, characterized by satirical adventures of a rogue, and the romance tradition, paved the way for the emergence of the novel as a distinct genre. Notable works like “Don Quixote” and “Utopia” contributed to the genesis of the novel, setting the stage for its development in subsequent centuries.
-The 18th century witnessed the rise of fictional realism, spurred by innovations in printing and the availability of cheap paper. Ian Watt’s influential study, “The Rise of the Novel”, emphasized this shift towards realism, distinguishing the novel from earlier prose narratives. Philosophical fiction also gained prominence during this period, blending narrative with philosophical discourse, as seen in works like “Candide” and “Micromegas”. Experimental narratives, exemplified by Laurence Sterne’s “Tristram Shandy”, challenged traditional storytelling conventions and explored linguistic complexities, reflecting a growing interest in narrative innovation.
-The 19th century saw further transformations in the novel’s evolution. Changes in copyright laws and the rise of circulating libraries democratized access to literature, expanding the novel’s readership. Novelists began engaging with pressing social and political issues, reflecting the changing cultural landscape. Themes of social responsibility and moral integrity became central, sparking theoretical debates on the role of the novel in society. Major writers like Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy embraced the romance tradition, infusing their works with deep social commentary and emotional resonance.
-In conclusion, the transition from the 18th to the 19th century marked a period of profound change and innovation in the novel as a genre. Evolving literary forms, technological advancements, and shifting cultural attitudes all played crucial roles in shaping the novel into a powerful medium for exploring human experiences and societal complexities.

Q. 7. What in your opinion was the reason for the emergence of the novel in England? SMP1-5
Ans. Various factors contributed to the emergence of the novel in England. The main reasons are as follows: Socio-political Changes: The old system of patronage was gradually fading. Now the writers did not need patronage from the feudal lords since their was reader was there to support. The Industrial Revolution: The industrial revolution in England and other parts of Europe gave a stron thrust to the development of novel. Among other things, it provided people with leisure time that could be used in reading and writing. All this also contributed to establishing a full grown market for the sell of the novel. Development of Print Technology: Industrial revolution brought about great improvement in the print technology which in turn made it possible for the large scale production of books and novels. The process was also made casier. Increase in Rate of Literacy Rate: In the 18th century people started studying more and more as the industrialization required skilled persons. This meant there were more readers now than before. Increase in Population: With the improvement of technology and medicine, the health got an unprecedented boost up and the average age of the population increased contributing to greater population.
Q. 8. What were the themes of the early Odia novels?
Ans. The early Odia novels primarily revolved around themes related to the life and culture of tribal people, as well as Gandhian principles and social issues. The first full-length Oriya novel, “Padmamali” by Umesh Chandra Sarkar, published in 1888, is widely acknowledged as a landmark in Odia literature. Another notable early novelist is Ramshankar Ray, whose serialized novel “Soudamini” appeared in a monthly journal, “Utkal Madhupa,” in 1878. “Soudamini” was a historical romance set against the backdrop of Sultan Allauddin Khilji’s invasion of Ujjain in the 14th century AD.
Sri, likely a pseudonym, authored the unfinished novels “Anathini” and “Mathara Sambada,” which hinted at the emergence of social criticism and fictional techniques like satire, irony, and burlesque. However, it was Fakir Mohan Senapati who significantly contributed to Odia fiction with his masterpiece “Cha Mana Atha Guntha,” published in 1897. This marked a shift towards novels of social realism, focusing on power dynamics between the landed aristocracy and the common people amidst British imperialism.
Q. 9. Why is Africa referred to as ‘The Dark Continent’?
Ans. Africa earned the epithet ‘The Dark Continent’ for several reasons. Firstly, the term arose because much of its interior remained unexplored and unknown to Europeans until the 19th century. This lack of geographical knowledge contributed to the continent’s mysterious and enigmatic reputation. Secondly, early European visitors perceived Africa as a land inhabited by primitive and uncivilized peoples, often equating darkness with ignorance. This association was reinforced by the belief in “black magic” and superstitions prevalent among African societies. Thirdly, the racial composition of Africa, with its predominantly black population, further reinforced the label ‘dark’ in a literal sense.

Page No – 1-2,7-8
 Q. 1. What are the two planes on which the action of a novel moves?
 Q. 2. How does Aristotle define plot? Does his definition hold true for the novel as well? 
 Q. 3. Write a brief account of the developments in the novel as a genre from the 18th to the 19th  century.
 Q. 4. Discuss the influences upon Chopin that you think may have helped to shape her novel.
 Q. 5. Do you think the date of publication of The Awakening is significant? Why?
 Q. 6. Can you use the feminist approach to analyze The Awakening? 

Page No – 3-4,9-10
– Q. 7. What in your opinion was the reason for the emergence of the novel in England?
 Q. 8. What were the themes of the early Odia novels?
 Q. 9. Why is Africa referred to as ‘The Dark Continent’?
– Q. 10. Write short notes on the following: 
 (a) Amos Tutuola
 (b) Title of Things Fall Apart
 (c) Simplicity in Things Fall Apart
 (d) The Plot of Paraja

Page No – 5-6,-11-12
– Q. 1. Is it important to make a distinction between plot and story? What is the nature of difference  between the two?
 Q. 2. What was the reason given by Europeans for ‘entering’ Africa?
 Q. 3. Imagine that you are asked to review TheAwakening by a leading newspaper of the city. Write  ashort review, expressing your responses.
– Q. 4. What were the developments in the novel in the last century?
– Q. 5. What is the contribution of Freud, Jung and Lacan to psychoanalytical studies?
 Q. 6. Do we need to classify novels at all? Give a well-thought-out answer.
– Q. 7. Write a brief note on Gopinath Mohanty.

Page No – 13-14,19-20
– Q. 8. How do you think the 19th-century readership would have affected the novel?
 Q. 9. Does a novelist always use time and place categories in a realistic manner? If not, why?
– Q. 10. Write short notes on the following: SMP2-6
 (a) T. M. Aluko
 (b) Egwugwu
 (c) Universality in Things Fall Apart
 (d) Defining Plot

Q. 1. Is it important to make a distinction between plot and story? What is the nature of difference between the two? SMP2-1
Ans. The distinction between plot and story has been a subject of discussion among literary theorists. Aristotle initially separated actions in the real world from the selected and arranged units in what he termed “mythos.” Novelist and critic E.M. Forster further elaborated on this in his work “Aspects of the Novel” (1927), defining story as the chronological sequence of events and plot as the causal and logical structure connecting these events. Forster’s example of “the king died and then the queen died” versus “the king died and then the queen died of grief” illustrates this difference.
– Critics have debated the validity of this distinction, arguing that the sequence of events in a story inherently implies some form of causality. However, despite criticisms, the differentiation between story and plot persists in literary analysis, providing a framework to assess the connectivity between events in a narrative.

Q. 2. What was the reason given by Europeans for ‘entering’ Africa?
Ans. Europeans justified their entry into Africa under the guise of civilizing the supposed “savage” peoples of the continent. However, their true motives were rooted in economic and political exploitation. By the mid-19th century, Protestant missions were active in missionary work along the African coast, often serving as fronts for exploration, trade, and colonialism. Early colonial expeditions focused on establishing coastal forts for trade and colonization, with little knowledge of or interest in the vast interior of Africa until the late 19th century.

Q. 3. Imagine that you are asked to review TheAwakening by a leading newspaper of the city. Write ashort review, expressing your responses.
Ans The Awakening by Kate Chopin stands as a powerful testament to the ongoing struggle for women’s freedom and equality, a struggle that has persisted for over a century and a half. Included in the Norton Anthology of Literature by Women, Chopin’s novel has rightfully earned its place among the literary greats. It skillfully captures the complexities of societal norms and the inner turmoil of its protagonist, Edna Pontellier, as she grapples with the constraints of her time.
– What makes The Awakening particularly noteworthy is its ability to transcend its historical context and resonate with readers even in the twenty-first century. Despite initial controversy surrounding its publication, Chopin’s work has stood the test of time and continues to find relevance in today’s world. Its exploration of themes such as female agency, identity, and societal expectations remains as poignant as ever.
– While Chopin’s literary reputation suffered a period of obscurity after her death, it experienced a revival in the late 1960s, thanks in part to Per Seyersted’s critical biography and edition of her complete works. The burgeoning feminist movement of the time also played a significant role in bringing attention to Chopin’s writing, highlighting the voices of women who had long been marginalized in the literary canon.
– Today, Kate Chopin’s work rightfully holds a place in the canon of American literature. The Awakening serves as a timeless reminder of the ongoing struggle for gender equality and the enduring power of literature to challenge societal norms and provoke thought.

Q. 4. What were the developments in the novel in the last century? SMP2-2

Ans. The last century brought about significant developments in the novel, marking a period of immense evolution and diversity within the genre. From the early 20th century to the present day, the novel has undergone numerous transformations in style, form, and thematic concerns, reflecting the changing socio-political landscape, technological advancements, and shifts in cultural paradigms. Here, I’ll outline some key developments in the novel over the past century.

– Modernism: The early 20th century saw the rise of Modernist literature, characterized by a break from traditional narrative techniques and a focus on subjective experiences, fragmented narratives, and stream-of-consciousness writing. Writers like James Joyce with “Ulysses” and Virginia Woolf with “Mrs. Dalloway” experimented with form and language, challenging conventional storytelling.
– Interwar Period: The period between World War I and World War II witnessed the exploration of existential themes, disillusionment, and the fragmentation of identity in novels such as “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald and “The Sun Also Rises” by Ernest Hemingway. These works reflected the mood of uncertainty and cultural upheaval in the aftermath of the Great War.
– Postcolonial Literature: Following the end of colonial rule, writers from formerly colonized countries began to assert their voices in literature. Figures like Chinua Achebe (“Things Fall Apart”), Salman Rushdie (“Midnight’s Children”), and Gabriel García Márquez (“One Hundred Years of Solitude”) introduced readers to new perspectives, histories, and cultural narratives, reshaping the literary landscape.
– Magical Realism: This literary movement, prominent in Latin American literature but also found in works from other regions, blends the mundane with the fantastical, creating a rich tapestry of reality and myth. Writers like Márquez, Isabel Allende, and Haruki Murakami employ magical realism to explore cultural identity, memory, and the complexities of human experience.
– Postmodernism: Postmodernist novels, emerging in the mid-20th century, challenge the notion of a unified narrative and question the authority of the author. Works like “Gravity’s Rainbow” by Thomas Pynchon and “Infinite Jest” by David Foster Wallace are known for their metafictional elements, non-linear structures, and playful engagement with language and storytelling conventions.
– Multiculturalism and Diversity: The latter half of the 20th century and beyond saw a greater recognition of diverse voices in literature, with authors from marginalized communities contributing to a more inclusive literary landscape. Writers such as Toni Morrison (“Beloved”), Zadie Smith (“White Teeth”), and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (“Half of a Yellow Sun”) explore themes of race, gender, and identity with nuance and complexity.

Q. 4. Discuss the influences upon Chopin that you think may have helped to shape her novel. SMP1-3
Ans. Kate Chopin’s novel, “The Awakening,” bears the imprint of various social, intellectual, and cultural influences that characterized the late 19th and early 20th centuries. One significant influence was the World’s Exposition (Fair) in Chicago in 1893, which heralded the rise of the machine age. This event, along with the dissemination of Darwin’s theories of evolution, challenged fundamental assumptions and traditional beliefs, fostering an atmosphere of questioning and change.
-Moreover, Chopin’s work was shaped by the ongoing movements in women’s suffrage. The period saw the emergence of voices like Lucretia Coffin Mott, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who advocated for women’s rights and equality. The first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls in 1848, and subsequent efforts to secure voting rights for women, provided a backdrop against which Chopin explored themes of female independence and autonomy in her novel.
-The Industrial Revolution also played a significant role in shaping Chopin’s narrative. The transformation of handicrafts into machine-powered industries created new opportunities for lower-class women to earn wages as factory workers, marking the beginning of their economic independence. However, middle and upper-class women were still expected to conform to traditional roles as homemakers and symbols of their husbands’ wealth, a concept epitomized by Virginia Woolf’s notion of “angels in the house.” Chopin’s portrayal of women like Adele reflects this tension between societal expectations and individual desires.
-Furthermore, the suffrage movement paralleled the abolitionist movement, both of which gained momentum during and after the Civil War. While the 15th Amendment granted voting rights regardless of race, creed, or color in 1870, it did not extend to gender, highlighting the continued struggle for women’s suffrage. These historical developments not only informed Chopin’s portrayal of women’s evolving roles but also resonated with her contemporary audience, who were witnessing the changing status of women in society.
-In conclusion, “The Awakening” reflects a convergence of social, intellectual, and cultural forces that shaped Chopin’s understanding of women’s rights and autonomy. By weaving these influences into her narrative, Chopin challenged traditional gender norms and provided a poignant commentary on the complexities of female identity and agency in a rapidly changing world.

Q. 5. Do you think the date of publication of The Awakening is significant? Why? SMP1-4
Ans. It is difficult to identify a novel that affected the study of 19th and 20th century culture in America more than The Awakening. The book was originally published in 1899. For the United States, this was a significant time in American history. First, many new rights were being given to women. Most women were just beginning to exercise their new rights established following the Civil War. They were no longer confined to the home and no longer needed to depend solely on men. Edna lives in a society where women are supposed to be somewhat “silent” in the household. Their main purpose was to obey their husbands and raise the family. These new freedoms allowed them to seek out a better lifestyle. Chopin was attempting to persuade her readers that Edna was supposed to symbolize this “new woman.” She did not fit into this Victorian style of life, and was willing to risk everything in her life for her own sense of freedom.

Q. 6. Can you use the feminist approach to analyze The Awakening? 
Ans. The theory presented was that Edna knew what kind of man she was marrying and all these things she went through: her friendship with Madame Reisz leaving the house, entertaining her friends at the party, her situation with Robert and Arobin were all selfish efforts toward the ultimate freedom which is death. Chopin faults Leonce as much as Edna for Edna’s problems. He is a cold fish. He is controlling and he puts on a show for friends and neighbors “proving™ he is a model husband which he is not. He is Creole and I think Edna, being as reserved as she is, is not the best mate for him. He possibly needs an outwardly passionate woman to keep him interested and alive as a husband. For a Creole he is reserved and he does not know how to respond to Edna’s reserve. By the end of Chapter V we know the Pontelliers have problems and we know Robert is sympathetic towards Edna. To this present day, women throughout America would be drastically different and would withhold fewer rights if it were not for women in the 19th and 20th century like the characters Madame Ratignolle, Edna Pontellier, and Mademoiselle Reisz in the novel The Awakening, by Kate Chopin. They shaped America into a place where freedom and equality for women is possible. Although the three women were different, they all contributed to different aspects of the feminist movement. Each character represents a distinct type of woman that strongly relates to the progressive stages of the great feminist movement in America. The female character, Madame Ratignolle, simply represents a “true woman,” who is everything that the society in the novel expects her to be and blindly follows the social duties of women. She is the perfect housewife and the perfect mother, who does everything that her husband expects her to do. In fact, Madame would give up anything, including her own life, for her children. It was women like Madame Ratignolle that encouraged other women like Edna Pontellier.

Page No – 15-16,21-22
– Q. 1. What according to you is the theme of Paraja?
 Q. 2. How is a non-literary translation different from a literary translation?
 Q. 3. What factors helped in the development of the written form of literature in Nigeria?
– Q. 4. In what way did the discovery of America affect the fate of Africa?.
 Q. 5. Things Fall Apart is both specific and universal in character. How?
– Q. 6. What was the reaction of the early reviewers when the novel The Awakening was published in  1899?
– Q. 7. Can you use the feminist approach to analyze The Awakening?

Page No – 17-18,23-24
– Q. 8. Can the novel of realism be entertaining?
– Q. 9. Why and how do we identify different types of plots? Are there any limitations involved in  such classifications?
– Q. 10. Write short notes on the following: 
 (a) Style:
 (b) The Future of the Novel:
 (c) 19th Century Britain:
 (d) Kate Chopin’s Oeuvre:

Q. 10. Write short notes on the following: SMP1-6
(a) Amos Tutuola
Ans. Amos Tutuola was a Nigerian author known for his innovative approach to storytelling. He gained acclaim with his novel “The Palm Wine Drinkard” (1952), which intentionally disregarded conventional grammar rules. Tutuola skillfully blended folklore with modern life, creating a unique narrative style. His subsequent works, including “The Brave African Huntress,” “Feather Woman of The Jungle,” “My Life in The Bush of Ghosts,” and “Simbi and The Satyr of The Dark Jungle,” continued to showcase his experimental storytelling.

(b) Title of Things Fall Apart
Ans. “Things Fall Apart” is a seminal English language novel by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, published in 1958. It is widely regarded as a foundational work in African literature and one of the first African novels written in English to gain global recognition. Achebe’s portrayal of pre-colonial Igbo society and the impact of British colonialism and Christian missionaries remains a significant aspect of the novel’s enduring relevance. “Things Fall Apart” offers a poignant exploration of cultural clash, individual resilience, and the complexities of tradition versus change through the protagonist Okonkwo’s story in pre-colonial Nigeria.

(c) Simplicity in Things Fall Apart
Ans. Achebe employs simplicity in language to convey the complexities of Igbo society through the character of Okonkwo. While the narrative could have focused solely on Okonkwo’s personal decline, Achebe chooses to explore the intricate dynamics of Igbo culture in Umuofia. By emphasizing the theme of complexity within Igbo society, Achebe provides detailed descriptions of various aspects such as justice codes, social rituals, marriage customs, food production, leadership structures, and religious beliefs. Through Okonkwo’s story, Achebe effectively portrays the multifaceted nature of pre-colonial Igbo life, enriching the narrative with cultural depth and authenticity.

(d) The Plot of Paraja
Ans. In “Paraja,” Mohanty crafts a tightly woven plot that chronicles the gradual degradation of Sukru Jani’s family. As Sukru Jani and his sons are compelled to leave, his daughters, Jilli and Bili, are left vulnerable and must fend for themselves. Despite their efforts to survive, they are eventually forced to work as laborers for town contractors. The novel portrays their struggles amidst economic deprivation and their alienation from traditional tribal life. Jilli’s desperation leads her to become the concubine of a contractor, while Sukru Jani endeavors to rescue his daughters. Eventually, Bili finds a husband, but tragedy strikes when Sukru Jani and his sons exact revenge on the exploitative contractor, symbolizing the Paraja community’s defiance against exploitation and the preservation of their honor.

Q. 5. What is the contribution of Freud, Jung and Lacan to psychoanalytical studies? SMP2-3
Ans. Sigmund Freud, often regarded as the father of psychoanalysis, introduced revolutionary ideas about the human psyche. His concepts of the unconscious, defense mechanisms, and psychosexual development have had a profound impact on psychology and culture. Freud’s method of psychoanalysis, which involves exploring the unconscious through techniques such as free association and dream analysis, laid the foundation for understanding the complexities of human behavior and the treatment of psychological disorders.
– Carl Jung, a student of Freud, diverged from some of Freud’s ideas to develop his own theories, most notably the concept of the collective unconscious and archetypes. Jung emphasized the importance of spirituality, mythology, and the symbolic dimensions of the psyche. His work expanded the scope of psychoanalysis beyond individual pathology to encompass broader cultural and existential themes, influencing fields such as anthropology, literature, and art.
– Jacques Lacan, a French psychoanalyst, built upon Freudian and Jungian ideas while introducing his own concepts, such as the mirror stage, the symbolic order, and the imaginary and the real. Lacan emphasized the role of language and linguistics in shaping the unconscious mind, viewing the psychoanalytic process as a linguistic endeavor. His work brought a structuralist perspective to psychoanalysis, focusing on the symbolic systems that underlie human subjectivity and social interaction.
– Collectively, Freud, Jung, and Lacan have enriched psychoanalytical studies by offering diverse perspectives on the human psyche, its unconscious dynamics, and the complexities of human experience. Their contributions continue to shape the practice of psychoanalysis and inspire ongoing research and debate in psychology and related fields.

Q. 6. Do we need to classify novels at all? Give a well-thought-out answer.
Ans. Although no classification of novels is complete and does not include every type of novel, it is a necessary activity because looking at different classifications helps us learn about novels in a better way. Classification also aids in understanding what to expect from a particular novel.
– Novels can be classified based on various criteria, including:
-Extra-disciplinary Field (e.g., political novel, psychological novel, science fiction)
-Subject Matter (e.g., detective fiction, utopian novel)
-Literary Style (e.g., realistic, naturalistic)
-Emotion (e.g., romantic novels)
-Class Interest (e.g., proletariat or bourgeois novels)
-Geographical Areas Highlighted in the Novel (e.g., Oriental, Western, or local novels)
-Geographical Area to Which the Author Belongs (e.g., Commonwealth or Indo-Anglican novels)

Q. 7. Write a brief note on Gopinath Mohanty. SMP2-4
Ans. Gopinath Mohanty, born in 1914, stands as one of the eminent Oriya novelists of the mid-twentieth century. His literary contributions have garnered significant acclaim, particularly for his insightful portrayal of various aspects of tribal life and the struggles of the downtrodden. Mohanty’s influence on Oriya fiction was profound, alongside his elder brother Kahnu Charan, shaping the literary landscape for nearly three decades.
– Having received accolades such as the Visuva Milan citation in 1950 and the central Sahitya Akademi Award in 1974 for his monumental work “Matimatala” (The Fertile Soil), Mohanty’s literary journey was marked by recognition and honor. His dedication to literature was further acknowledged with awards such as the Soviet Land Nehru Award and the Padma Bhushan conferred by the Government of India.
– Mohanty’s upbringing and professional experience deeply influenced his literary themes and style. Educated at Ravenshaw College and Patna University, he later served in the Orissa Administrative Service, spending much of his career among the tribal communities of Koraput district. His firsthand experiences with the struggles and resilience of these communities provided rich material for his literary endeavors.
– With a prolific literary output spanning novels, short stories, plays, biographies, and critical essays, Mohanty explored diverse facets of Orissan life, both rural and tribal. His narrative style, characterized by lyrical prose and authentic dialogue, captured the essence of everyday existence in Orissa, resonating with readers across generations.
– Among his notable works, “Dadi Budha” (1944) holds significance as his first novel based on tribal life, portraying the poignant disintegration of a tribal community amidst the onslaught of modern civilization. Through vivid imagery and symbolic storytelling, Mohanty evokes the struggles and triumphs of tribal existence, drawing parallels with broader themes of societal change and cultural identity.
– Beyond tribal narratives, Mohanty delved into the lives of marginalized communities in coastal plains, addressing issues of caste discrimination and social injustice. Novels like “Harijan” (1948) and “Danapani” (1955) shed light on the harsh realities faced by the underprivileged, highlighting Mohanty’s commitment to social critique and reform through literature.
– Mohanty’s literary legacy extends beyond regional boundaries, with several of his works translated into English and other languages. While the nuances of his Oriya prose pose challenges for translators, efforts have been made to convey the depth and complexity of his narratives to a wider audience.
– In his exploration of tribal life, Mohanty invites comparison with renowned authors like Chinua Achebe, particularly in their portrayal of societal upheaval and cultural transformation. While both writers depict the erosion of traditional communities, Mohanty’s focus on the impact of colonialism remains distinct, reflecting his nuanced understanding of historical and cultural dynamics.

Q. 8. How do you think the 19th-century readership would have affected the novel? SMP2-5
Ans. The 19th century witnessed a significant expansion in the readership of novels, with the growth of commercial fiction and the serialization of novels in magazines and periodicals. This expansion in readership contributed to the strengthening of the novel as a literary form. However, the reception of novels varied widely, influenced by the prevailing social norms and attitudes of the time.
– In the case of “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin, the novel’s reception reflected the attitudes of the 19th-century readership. Despite the growth in readership, Chopin faced significant criticism for the subject matter of her novel. Contemporary critics, while praising the artistry of her writing, were predominantly hostile toward the themes explored in “The Awakening.” The novel’s exploration of female independence, sexuality, and societal expectations was met with condemnation and labeled as “unhealthy” and “vulgar” by some critics of the time.
– The negative reception of “The Awakening” highlights the conservative attitudes prevalent in 19th-century society regarding women’s roles and behavior. Chopin’s portrayal of a woman’s desire for freedom and self-expression challenged traditional gender norms, leading to controversy and backlash from some readers and critics. Despite the criticism, Chopin’s work remains a significant literary achievement, shedding light on the complexities of human experience and the struggle for individual autonomy.

Q. 9. Does a novelist always use time and place categories in a realistic manner? If not, why?
Ans. No, a novelist does not always use time and place categories in a realistic manner. The approach to depicting time and place in a novel can vary depending on the author’s artistic intentions and the demands of the narrative.
– In some cases, a novelist may choose to portray time and place realistically, aiming to provide an accurate depiction of historical or contemporary settings. This approach involves meticulous research and attention to detail to create an immersive and authentic experience for readers. Authors who opt for realism often seek to capture the atmosphere, social dynamics, and cultural nuances of a specific time and place.
– However, realism is not the only approach to depicting time and place in literature. Some novelists may employ stylized or symbolic representations of time and place to convey deeper thematic or allegorical meanings. By manipulating temporal or spatial elements, authors can imbue their narratives with layers of symbolism, metaphor, or psychological insight.
– Additionally, speculative fiction genres such as science fiction, fantasy, and magical realism often involve imaginative reimaginings of time and place. Authors in these genres may create entirely fictional worlds or alternate histories, allowing them to explore speculative concepts, social commentary, or philosophical themes.

Q. 1. What according to you is the theme of Paraja? SMP3-1
Ans – In Gopinath Mohanty’s novel “Paraja,” the central theme revolves around the struggles and challenges faced by Sukru Jani, a tribal man, and his family. Mohanty delves into the intricate social and economic dynamics of tribal life, depicting the exploitation and hardships endured by the tribal community. Through Sukru Jani’s narrative, Mohanty explores themes of poverty, exploitation, and the quest for dignity and freedom amidst oppressive circumstances. The novel sheds light on the harsh realities of tribal life, including their cultural practices, socio-economic conditions, and the complex interactions with moneylenders and authorities. While Mohanty portrays various aspects of human relations within the tribal context, there isn’t a single predominant theme; instead, the novel offers a comprehensive portrayal of tribal life in general.
Q. 2. How is a non-literary translation different from a literary translation?
Ans – Translating non-literary texts differs from translating literary works in several key aspects. Non-literary translations, which often involve technical or factual content, rely more on conveying information accurately rather than preserving nuances of style or literary devices. This type of translation typically follows a more straightforward word-to-word approach, aiming for clarity and precision in conveying the original meaning.
– On the other hand, literary translation involves the interpretation and transcreation of complex literary elements such as themes, characterization, symbolism, and narrative style. Translating literary works requires a deep understanding of the cultural, social, and historical context of both the source and target languages, as well as a sensitivity to the author’s unique voice and artistic intentions.
– Literary translators face the challenge of capturing the richness and subtleties of the original text while adapting it to resonate with readers in the target language. They must navigate linguistic ambiguities, cultural nuances, and aesthetic considerations to ensure that the translated work retains the essence and impact of the original. Unlike non-literary translations, which focus primarily on conveying information, literary translations aim to evoke similar emotions and experiences as the original work, albeit in a different linguistic and cultural context.
Q. 3. What factors helped in the development of the written form of literature in Nigeria?
Ans – The official language of Nigeria, English, was chosen to facilitate the cultural and linguistic unity of the country. The choice of English as the official language was partially related to the fact that a part of the Nigerian population spoke English as a result of British colonization that ended in 1960. Spread of education and literacy also helped the early writing of novels in Nigeria. In states where Islam prevailed, significant written literatures evolved. The founder of the Sokoto caliphate, Usuman dan Fodio, wrote nearly 100 texts in Arabic in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. His prose and poetry examined issues such as good government and social relations from an Islamic moralist perspective.

Q. 4. In what way did the discovery of America affect the fate of Africa? SMP3-2
Ans – When America was discovered by Columbus at the other side of the Atlantic, Europeans needed an immense labour input for large-scale economic gains. Millions of black Africans were forcibly captured by the Spaniards, the British, the French, the Arabs, and the Portuguese and sold to be taken away to America. The trade came to be known as the Atlantic slave trade, also called the transatlantic slave trade. It was the trade of primarily African people supplied to the colonies of the New World that occurred in and around the Atlantic Ocean. It lasted from the 16th century to the 19th century. Most slaves were shipped from West Africa and Central Africa and taken to the New World (primarily Brazil). Generally, slaves were obtained through coastal trading with Africans, though some were captured by European slave traders through raids and kidnapping. Most contemporary historians estimate that between 9.4 and 12 million Africans arrived in the New World, although the number of people taken from their homestead is considerably higher.

Q. 5. Things Fall Apart is both specific and universal in character. How?

Ans – Things Fall Apart is viewed as both specific and universal in character because while dealing with specific characters in a specific society at a particular point in time, Achebe portrays the very predicament of humanity. The novel transcends the boundaries of a single person or a specific society and is applicable to any time and place.
– Achebe’s intention in depicting African society was to “correct” the distortions deliberately introduced by Europeans into the history and culture of the Igbo people in order to create an inferiority complex. Thus, Things Fall Apart is a novel about a specific society with the specific aim of restoring their self-confidence.
– However, the novel also explores the broader human condition. It tells the story of individuals or societies that grow rigid in their outlook with the passage of time and refuse to recognize changes in their circumstances, leading to their tragic end. This theme is not limited to the Igbo society of the late 19th century but is applicable to any society at any time. For example, it resonates with ancient Indian, Chinese, Greek, or Egyptian civilizations. Thus, the novel addresses the universal human predicament and has a timeless appeal.
– Achebe’s choice of the title “Things Fall Apart” from W. B. Yeats’ poem “The Second Coming,” which speaks about the cyclic movement of history in terms of order and anarchy, further underscores the universal themes explored in the novel.

Q. 8. Can the novel of realism be entertaining? SMP3-5
Ans – By the beginning of the 19th century, prose fiction had moved from a field of questionable entertainment and precarious historicity into the centre of the new literary debate. A new arrangement of the sciences taught at modern universities would finally protect the development. Theology, law, medicine, and philosophy had been the four traditional faculties. National literature became the object of a new university system in which the natural sciences acted as exact sciences, the social sciences with an outlook on the modern societies, and the humanities with a responsibility for history and culture. Literature in a definition that turned fiction into a central literary production would be a subject of the philologies in the latter segment of research.
– The traditional task of literary historians, to review the sciences, was referred to the individual sciences and their respective academic journals. The general debate of literature was turned into an exploration of poetry and fiction. The modes of this exploration were new. Poetry had been analyzed in poetological treatises asking for perfection and the rules that had to be mastered in the different genres. Early 18th-century critics had been ready to see the opera as the central poetic production of the modern era. One would differentiate between an Italian and a French style and consider an international production. This arrangement was discredited in the course of the 18th century. Operas became music and the new literary histories offered in the 19th century focused on the greatest works an outstanding nation or language had brought forth. The new interest lay in interpretations. Georg Gottfried Gervinus’ Geschichte der poetischen National-Literatur der Deutschen, published in its successive volumes between 1835 and 1842 became the European model with a project that rather resembled Pierre Daniel Huet’s Treatise on the Origin of Romances (1670) than any of the previous works on poetry or on literature (the sciences). The new literary historian spoke about the cultural significance of the works he analyzed. Unlike Huet, Gervinus was solely interested in the works of his nation, whose history and mentality he hoped to better understand. Other nations were of interest as they had threatened the intellectual development to be observed. Huet had given a world history of fiction. The 19th-century literary historian offered his project with the controversial promise to show how the nation had freed and found itself in its fictional production.
– Hence, we can say that there is a long time debate that the novel are the source of the entertainment only and that debate is not yet resolved.

Q. 9. Why and how do we identify different types of plots? Are there any limitations involved in such classifications? SMP3-6
Ans – A narrative can have one or more plot-lines, where events center around one or more groups of characters. For instance, in Dickens’ Bleak House, there is a plot line centered around Lady Dedlock and another around Esther Summerson. Single plot novels are rare, as most develop multiple plots, which can vary in importance. Subplots can serve as contrasts to the main plot, such as events occurring in different social spheres.
– Some narratives are tightly plotted, where events happen for a reason and one event leads to another. Tight plots contribute to increased suspense and often have a closed structure, tying up loose ends at the end of the story. Conversely, lack of suspense may result from an absence of a tight plot, as seen in certain modern and postmodern works that focus more on character development than plot progression.
– While some narratives emphasize causal connections between events, others are episodic or loosely plotted, where episodes are linked by common characters or themes. Plots that lack a final or preliminary conclusion are termed open-ended plots. For example, J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” is more open-ended than previous volumes, as it ends with Voldemort’s return to power and an imminent attack on the protagonists.
– Limitations in classifying plots arise from the complexity of narratives. Plots may not neatly fit into predefined categories, and some narratives defy traditional plot structures altogether. Additionally, interpretations of plot types may vary among readers and critics, making classification subjective to some extent.

Q. 10. Write short notes on the following: SMP2-6
(a) T. M. Aluko
T. M. Aluko was a Nigerian author known for his critical portrayal of traditional Nigerian life. He challenged many aspects of Nigerian tradition through his novels, suggesting that certain traditional practices were not suitable for modern society. Some of his notable works include “One Man, One Matchet,” “Kinsmen and Foremen,” “Chief, and The Honourable Minister,” and “One Man, One Wife.” Aluko infused his critiques with African humor, employing satire to convey his social commentary.

(b) Egwugwu
The Egwugwu were a significant aspect of Igbo society in Chinua Achebe’s novel “Things Fall Apart.” They were a group of nine masked adjudicators who represented the ancestral spirits collectively. The Egwugwu played a crucial role in resolving disputes and maintaining order within the community of Umuofia. However, their authority and significance were challenged when Enoch, a convert to Christianity, dared to unmask one of the Egwugwu during a public ceremony. This sacrilegious act led to tensions between the indigenous religious practices and the influence of Christianity, ultimately contributing to the conflict between tradition and colonialism in the novel.

(c) Universality in Things Fall Apart
Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart” is celebrated for its exploration of universal themes and its presentation of African society in a complex and dynamic light. Achebe sought to counter Western perceptions of Africa as primitive and backward by providing an authentic portrayal of Igbo culture. He believed that African voices needed to be heard to dispel stereotypes perpetuated by Western literature, even by well-meaning authors. By presenting the African experience from an insider’s perspective, Achebe aimed to challenge racist narratives and promote cultural understanding.

(d) Defining Plot
The plot of a novel refers to the narrative structure and thematic development of the story. It encompasses the sequence of events and their significance, emphasizing causality and the interrelation of events. English novelist E. M. Forster described plot as a “narrative of events,” highlighting the importance of coherence and progression in storytelling. Plots can vary in complexity, ranging from episodic structures to more intricate narratives that evolve through the interactions of characters and themes. Novelists often experiment with plot, employing techniques such as flashbacks, subplots, and nonlinear storytelling to enhance the richness of the narrative.

Q. 6. What was the reaction of the early reviewers when the novel The Awakening was published in 1899? SMP3-3

Ans – The reception of Kate Chopin’s novel “The Awakening” upon its publication in 1899 was marked by a stark dichotomy of reactions. Initially, the novel received praise from early reviewers like Lucy Monroe, who hailed it as a “remarkable novel” and lauded its subtlety and brilliance as a work of art. Monroe commended Chopin’s keen analysis of character and emotional depth, acknowledging the novel’s ability to capture and represent life with nuance and complexity.
– However, this initial wave of positive reception was quickly overshadowed by a deluge of unfavorable reviews from critics who vehemently condemned the novel. Many critics deemed “The Awakening” vulgar, unwholesome, and even unholy, viewing it as a misappropriation of Chopin’s literary talent. They were particularly disturbed by the novel’s exploration of themes related to sexual impurity and moral ambiguity, which they deemed immoral and lacking in literary value.
– Critics were especially shocked and dismayed by the behavior of the protagonist, Edna Pontellier, whose journey of self-discovery and pursuit of personal freedom challenged traditional societal norms and gender roles. Chopin’s portrayal of Edna’s infidelity and self-centeredness elicited strong condemnation, with critics interpreting her actions as iniquitous and reprehensible.
– Many reviewers interpreted “The Awakening” through a religious and moral framework, using words like “sin,” “temptation,” and “repent” to describe Edna’s plight. They viewed Chopin’s departure from traditional views on sexuality and morality as an attack on established religious and societal values, sparking outrage and condemnation among conservative critics.
– Despite a few less condemnatory reviews that praised Chopin’s writing style and acknowledged the novel’s analytical depth, the prevailing sentiment among critics was overwhelmingly negative. Chopin’s attempt to depict Edna as a victim of societal constraints and ignorance was met with skepticism and disdain, as critics accused her of condoning immoral behavior and undermining traditional values.
– Chopin’s own comments attempting to clarify her intentions only seemed to provoke further hostility from critics, who interpreted them as a display of literary helplessness. Ultimately, “The Awakening” faced widespread condemnation and fell into relative obscurity in the years following its publication, as many readers and critics were not yet ready to confront the social, religious, and moral implications of Chopin’s groundbreaking novel.

Q. 7. Can you use the feminist approach to analyze The Awakening? SMP3-4
Ans – Using a feminist approach to analyze The Awakening sheds light on the societal expectations placed on women during the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as the quest for female autonomy and identity.
– The character of Edna Pontellier embodies the struggles faced by women in patriarchal societies. Edna’s journey towards self-discovery and liberation challenges traditional gender roles and societal norms. Her dissatisfaction with her role as a wife and mother, as well as her desire for independence and fulfillment, reflects the broader feminist movement seeking equality for women.
– Edna’s relationships with other female characters in the novel further highlight feminist themes. Madame Ratignolle represents the idealized image of a “true woman” who conforms to societal expectations of femininity. Her willingness to sacrifice her own desires for the sake of her family contrasts with Edna’s pursuit of personal fulfillment. However, Madame Ratignolle’s existence also serves as a source of inspiration for Edna, as she sees an alternative way of living through Madame’s example.
– Mademoiselle Reisz, on the other hand, embodies a different aspect of feminism. As an unconventional and independent woman, Mademoiselle Reisz challenges traditional notions of femininity and serves as a symbol of artistic and intellectual freedom. Her friendship with Edna provides support and encouragement for Edna’s journey towards self-expression and autonomy.
– Through the experiences of these female characters, The Awakening explores themes of gender, identity, and autonomy, offering a nuanced portrayal of women’s struggles and aspirations within a patriarchal society. Chopin’s novel contributes to the feminist discourse by depicting the complexities of women’s lives and advocating for their right to self-determination and fulfillment.

Q. 10. Write short notes on the following: SMP3-7
(a) Style:
– Style in writing varies from simple to complex, depending on the author’s approach.
– Ernest Hemingway’s “A Farewell to Arms” opens with a simple yet powerful description of nature and human activity.
– Henry James, on the other hand, employs a complex style with intricate sentences and phrasing in novels like “The Wings of the Dove.”

(b) The Future of the Novel:
– The 19th and 20th centuries witnessed a significant spread of education, leading to the popularity of novels.
– Industrialization and education spread simultaneously in Europe, and colonial powers introduced education in colonies to facilitate modernization.
– In the 21st century, there is an anti-novel current, departing from literary traditions of previous centuries.
– V. S. Naipaul advocated for writing that confronts issues directly without softening their edges.
– Nationalism has been a major concern in 20th-century writing, emphasizing cultural identities and struggles for independence.

(c) 19th Century Britain:
– The 19th century in Britain was marked by significant literary activity, with novels, short stories, and magazines gaining popularity.
– The Industrial Revolution brought profound socio-economic and cultural changes, making Britain a society in transition.
– The novel became the leading form of literature, with authors like Charles Dickens, William Thackeray, and the Brontë sisters producing enduring works.
– Themes in 19th-century literature ranged from social commentary to Gothic romanticism, reflecting the era’s societal changes and cultural norms.

(d) Kate Chopin’s Oeuvre:
– Kate Chopin, an American author, wrote two novels and numerous short stories in the 1890s, most set in Louisiana.
– Her stories were well-received in prestigious magazines of the time, covering themes of women’s lives and societal norms.
– While her early novel “At Fault” went relatively unnoticed, “The Awakening” faced widespread condemnation for its themes of female independence and sexuality.
– Despite criticisms, Chopin’s works have gained recognition in modern times for their exploration of women’s experiences and societal constraints.



Q. 1. What are the two planes on which the action of a novel moves?
 Q. 2. How does Aristotle define plot? Does his definition hold true for the novel as well? 
 Q. 3. Write a brief account of the developments in the novel as a genre from the 18th to the 19th  century.
 Q. 4. Discuss the influences upon Chopin that you think may have helped to shape her novel.
 Q. 5. Do you think the date of publication of The Awakening is significant? Why?
 Q. 6. Can you use the feminist approach to analyze The Awakening?