Q.1. Write the main contribution of Vaikkom Muhammad Basheer as a novelist to Malyalam literature. (2008)
Ans. Basheer brought into Malayalam literature writing themes which were considered very unusual at that time – poverty, insanity and life in prisons.
Q.2. Mention the main theme of Oliver Twist written by Charles Dickens. (2010)
Ans. The main theme of ‘Oliver Twist’ is to show the darker side or negative effects of industrialisation (like alcoholism, crimes, beggary etc.) in a city such as London.
Q.3. Why did the novel become popular? What was the impact of novel on the people?
(i) The novels became popular because the world they portrayed seemed real, believable and absorbing. The reader felt one with the characters and looked at life through their eyes. He was transported to their world.
(ii) The novel gave a double pleasure to its readers. They enjoyed reading a novel in private and then experienced the joy of discussing it with friends by publicly reading it. They could discuss the stories with relatives.
(iii) In rural areas, people gathered to hear one of them read a novel aloud, and the listeners became deeply involved with the lives of the characters.
Q.4. Outline the changes in technology and society which led to an increase in readership of the novel in the 18th century Europe.
Ans. Technological improvement and development in printing led to more and more books being printed. More books led to larger sales. In fact, the novels were mass produced and sold rapidly. More books brought the prices down and even the poor could afford them. In the beginning novels were not cheap. One volume of Tom Jones written by Henry Fielding cost three shillings and there were six volumes of the book. The price was more than a labourer could earn in a week. Novels were lent out by circulating libraries and publishers made profit in 1740.
Q.5. What were the main themes of the novels in the 19th century?
Ans. In the 19th century, the Industrial Revolution had changed the society. Factories came up and the rich kept all the profits and became richer. The poor had a miserable time. There was unemployment and people roamed on streets in search of jobs. Novelists wrote critically about the deplorable condition of the poor. Charles Dickens described these conditions in his novel Hard Times and ill-treatment of children in workhouses in his novel Oliver Twist.
Q.6. Write short notes on :
(a) The Epistolary Novel
(b) The Serialised Novel
(a) With the growth of readership of novels, different styles of writing novels were adopted by the writers. Epistolary novels were written in the form of letters. They were private and personal letters. Sammuel Richardson wrote Pamela in the 18th century in this style.
The two main characters wrote letters to each other and revealed the conflicts of their mind — specially the heroines.
(b) The serialised novel was a novel published as a serial in a journal. People waited for the next issue of the journal and it created suspense. Each issue was discussed and people identified themselves with the characters. Charles Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers was the first novel to be serialised in England in 1836.
Q.7. Who was Kalki? What is his contribution to the growth of novel?
Ans. Kalki was the most popular Tamil writer of historical novels. His real name was R. Krishnamurthy. He was a great nationalist and took active part in the Indian national movement. He was the editor of two very popular Tamil magazines, Kalki and Anandavikatan. He wrote novels in a simple language, which captivated the hearts and minds of his Tamil readers for an entire generation. His novels were stories of adventure and heroism. His novel Ponniyin Selvan was serialised in the magazine Kalki.
Q.8. Discuss how the novel affected women readers.
Why did novels become popular among women? Write three points. (2010)
Ans. The first influence was that women did not remain readers only. They started wielding the pen themselves. Their early writings were poems, essays or life stories. The novel became a tool in their hands to express the new emerging women, a free woman who had the right to fall in love and choose her life partner. They were women who controlled their lives and chose themes in their novels of women who had great influence on the affairs of the world.
Q.9. Write a short note on novel in Assam.
Ans. The first novels in Assamese were written by the missionaries. Phulmoni and Karuna were translations from Bengali. The Assamese students of Kolkata formed an association in 1888 — Asamya Bhasar Unnatisadhan. They published a journal called Jonaki. The first major Assamese historical novel was Manomati (1900) written by Rajanikanta Bardoloi. The period is of the Burmese invasion of 1819. It is a love story about two lovers who belonged to hostile families and were separated by war. The novel has an happy ending with the lovers uniting once again.