CBSE Class 10 History Revision Notes Novels Society and History
THE RISE OF THE NOVELS
- The novel is a modern form of literature.
- It is born from print, a mechanical invention.
- The novel first took firm root in England and France.
- Novels began to be written from the seventeenth century, but they really flowered from the eighteenth century.
- Now Shopkeepers, clerk along with traditional aristocratic and gentlemanly classes in England and France now formed the new readership for now.
- As the readership grew and the market for book expanded, the earning of authors increased.
- The novel allowed the flexibility in the form of the writing.
THE PUBLISHING MARKET
- For a long time the publishing market excluded the poor as the price of the novel was very high.
- But soon, people had easier access to books with the introduction of circulating libraries in 1740.
- The novel was one of the first mass – produced items to be sold.
- Novels allowed individuals the pleasure of reading in private, as well as the joy of publically reading or discussing stories with friends or relatives.
- In rural areas people would collect to hear one of the person reading a novel aloud.
- Apparently, a group at slough in England were very pleased to hear that Pamela, the heroine of Richardson’s popular novel, had got married in their village.
- In 1836 a notable event took place when Charles Dicken’s Pickwick Papers was serialised in a magazine.
- Magazines were attractive since they were illustrated and cheap.
THE WORLD OF THE NOVEL
- Novels are about ordinary people.
- They do not focus on the lives of great people or action that change the destinies of states and empires.
- In the nineteenth century, Europe entered the industrial age.
- Factories came up, business profits increased and the economy grew.Cities expanded in an unregulated way and were filled with overworked and underpaid workers
- Deeply critical of these developments, novelists such as Charles Dickens wrote about the terrible effects of industrialization on people’s lives and characters.
- Dickens criticized not just the greed for profit but also the ideas that reduced human beings into simple instruments of production.
COMMUNITY AND SOCIETY
- The vast majority of readers of the novels lived in the city.
- Thomas Hardy wrote about traditional rural communities of England that were fast vanishing.
- This was actually a time when large farmers fenced off land, bought machines and employed labourers to produce for market.
- The novel was the vernacular, the language that is spoken by common people.
- A novel may take a classical language of the streets and make them all a part of the vernacular that it uses.
THE NEW WOMEN
- The most exciting element of the novel was the involvement of women.
- Women got more leisure to read as well as write novel.
- Novels began exploring the world of women – their emotions and identities, their experiences and problem.
- Many novels were about domestic life a theme about which women were allowed to speak with authority.
- The novels of Jane Austen gives us a glimpse of the world of women in gentle rural society in early – nineteenth – century Britain.
- But women novelists did not simply popularize the domestic role of women.
NOVELS FOR THE YOUNGS
- Novels for the young boys idealized a new type of man: someone who was powerful, assertive, independent and daring.
- Most of these novels were full of adventure set in places remote from Europe.
- Love stories were written for adolescents girls also first became popular.
COLONIALISM AND AFTER
- The novel originated in Europe at a time when it was colonizing the rest of the world.
- The hero of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719) is an adventurer and slave trader.
- Crusoe’s behavior was not seen as unacceptable or odd, for most writers of the time saw colonialism as natural.
THE NOVEL COMES TO INDIA
- Stories in prose were not new in India.
- Tales of adventure and heroism in Persian and Urdu, known as Dastan.
- The modern novel form developed in India in the nineteenth century, as Indians become familiar with the western novel.
- The earliest novel in Marathi and Baba Padmanji’s Yamuna Paryatan(1857).
- Leading novelists of the nineteenth century wrote for a cause.
- Indian novelists wrote to develop a modern literature of the country that could produce a sense of national belonging and cultural equality with their colonial masters.
THE NOVEL IN SOUTH INDIA
- Novel began appearing in the south India, languages during the period of colonial rule.
- O. Chandu Menon, a subjudge from Malabar, tried to translater an English novel called Henrietta temple written by Benjamin Disraeli into Malayalam.
- He gave up this idea and wrote instead a story in Malayalam in the manner of English novel books.
- Indulekha was the first modern novel in Malayalam.
THE NOVEL IN HINDI
- Many novels were actually translated and adapted from English and Bengali under influence.
- The first proper modern novel was written by Srinivas Das of Delhi.
- Srinivas Das’s novel, published in 1882, was titled Pariksha-guru(the master examiner).
- Pariksha Guru reflects the inner and outer world of the newly emerging middle class.
- Pariksha – Guru could not win many readers, as it was perhaps too moralizing in its style.
- Chandrakanta – a romance with dazzling elements of fantasy – is believed to have contributed immensely in popularizing the Hindi language and the Nagari script among the educated classes of those times.
- Premchand’s sewasadan deals mainly with the poor condition of women in society.
- Issues like child marriage and dowry are woven into the story of the novel.
NOVELS IN BENGALI
- The early Bengali novels lived in two worlds.
- Many of these novels were located in the past.
- Another group of novel depicted the inner world of domestic life in contemporary settings.
- Bakim read out durgeshnandini(1865) his first novel, to such a gathering of people who were stunned to realize that the Bengali novel had achieved excellence so quickly.
- The prose style became a new object of enjoyment.
- The novel rapidly acquired popularity in Bengal.
- Telling stories in simple language made Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay the most popular novelist in Bengal and probably in the rest of the world.
NOVELS IN THE COLONIAL WORLD
USES OF THE NOVEL
- The colonial administrator found ‘vernacular’ novels a valuable source of information on native life and customs.
- They allowed how people dressed, their forms of religious worship, their beliefs and practices, and so on.
- Indians used the novel as a powerful medium to criticize what they considered defects in their society and to suggest a remedy.
- Novels also helped in establishing a relationship with the past.
THE PROBLEM OF BEING MODERN
- Although they were about imaginary stories, novels often spoke to their readers about the real world.
- Social novelists often created heroes and heroines with ideal qualities, who their readers could admire and intimate.
- Chandu Menon portrayed Indulekha as women of breathtaking beauty, high intellectual abilities, artistic talent, and with an education in English and Sanskrit.
- The heroes and heroines in most of the novels were people who lived in the modern world.
- The character like Indulekha showed readers how Indians and foreign lifestyles could be brought together in an ideal combination.
PLEASURES OF READING
- Picture books, translation from other languages, popular songs sometimes compose on contemporary events, stories in newspaper and magazines.
- There was a flood of popular novels in the early decades of the twentieth century.
- Detective and mystery novels often had to be printed again and again.
NOVELS AND WOMEN’S
- Many people got worried about the effects of the novel on readers.
- Women and children were often singled out for such advice: they were seen as easily corruptible.
- Some parents kept novels in the loft in their houses, out of their children’s reach.
- Young people often read them in secret.
- In some languages, the early creations of women were poems, essays or autobiographical pieces.
- A reason for a new popularity of novels among women was that it allowed for a new conception of womanhood.
- Some women authors also wrote about women who changed the world of both the men and women.
- It is not surprising that many men were suspicious of women writing novels or reading them.
CASTE PRACTISES, ‘LOWER – CASTES’ AND MINORITIES
- This concerned the marriage practices of upper – caste Hindus in Kerala, especially the Nambuthiri Brahmins and the Nayars.
- Novels like Indulekha and indirabai were written by the members of the upper castes, and were primarily about upper – caste characters.
- Potheri Kunjambu’s Saraswativijayam stresses the importance of education for the upliftment of the lower castes.
THE NATION AND ITS HISTORY
- The history written by colonial historians tended to depict Indians as weak, divided, and dependent on the British.
- In Bengal, many historical novels were about Marathas and Rajputs.
- The imagined nation of the novel was so powerful that it could inspire actual political movements.
THE NOVEL AND THE NATION MAKING
- Premchand’s novels, for instance, are filled with all kinds of powerful characters drawn from all levels of the society.
- The women characters are strong individuals, especially those who come from the lower classes and are not modernized.
- The very act of choosing such a person as the ‘hero’ of a novel is significant.
- Godan (the gift of cow), published in 1936, remains Premchand’s best-known work.
- The novels became the part of the lives of different sections of the people.
- Developments in print technologies allowed the novel to break out of its small circle of readers and introduced fresh ways of reading.
- Bringing together people from varied backgrounds produces a sense of shared community.
- The most notable form of this community is the nation.
- We can say then that novels produce a sense of sharing, and promote an understanding of different people, different values and different communities.