British Novel

In: English and Literature

Submitted By khush13
Words 774
Pages 4
This essay presents a brief overview of the development of the nineteenth century English novel.
Transition and Transformation:
One could be forgiven for believing that the words ‘fiction’ and ‘novel’ mean one and the same thing. The main reason for this confusion is that both of them have a common denominator; they both tell a story. In the novel, we have the theatre of life and for over two centuries it has been the most effective agent of the moral imagination. Though it has never really achieved perfection in form and its shortcomings are numerable, nevertheless one experiences from it not only the extent of human variety, but also the value of this variety. Fiction existed right from the first time man told a story and thus it is in this respect only, that it is similar to the forerunner of the novel as we know it today, which is any work of fiction in England written before 1670.
Novelists express their conscious conclusions about life as they experience it and these manifest themselves not only in the characters they create and their interaction with each other, but also in the way they make them react or respond to the various situations in which they find themselves and in what they say within these situations. They are relatively free to choose their material, but their conclusions about life and the nature of their novels are dependent on their innate personality, as this affects not only the way in which they present their characters, but also our own understanding and response to their inherent values and behaviour. In this sense, novelists can be seen as mediators between their characters and their audience, as this is the only way through which they can convey to us their attitude towards their characters and the total situation they are rendering.
The Victorian novel reflected the pressing social problems and philosophies of a complex age,…...

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