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Ex 46 Read the text, and do the assignments coming after it.




In analyzing a novel, we note a number of basic elements which the author has developed in his narrative. These elements aretheme, plot, characterization, setting, andconflict.

The theme is the main idea behind the story presented in the novel. This is sometimes described as the author's "message" or "thesis" or the "moral" of the book. In most novels, the theme is not stated in so many words, but if the author has handled his materials well, the reader is in no doubt as to what the novel must tell him. Thus, the theme of Uncle Tom's Cabin is the evils of slavery; the theme of The Catcher in the Rye is the feelings of a teenager in conflict with the society in which he lives.

A novel is basically a story. The plot of a novel is the sequence of imaginary events which make up the story. The novelist must plan this sequence of events carefully, not only to hold the interest of his reader but also to show the psychology of his characters and to express the idea or theme which lies behind the story. As the plot develops, it reaches a high point or climax, which is followed by a dénouement. To be effective, the plot must be believable. The reader must believe that the events described are really taking place, and that each event develops naturally from those that come before it.

Some novelists give more importance than others to the plot or story line. W.Somerset Maugham, for example, said that the heart of every novel lies in its story.

The characters, of course, are the people in the novel, presented to the reader by the author. It is through the people that the theme is expressed and the action of the novel is carried forward. The reader can be interested in a novel and can be moved only if the novelist can make the characters "come alive".

To make us "see" and understand his characters, a novelist uses description, dialogue, and the reactions expressed by the other characters. Perhaps the most important method of portrayal is the way in which the character reacts to the situations and problems presented in the novel.

(From "Comprehensive English in Review" by Joseph R. Orgel)


(a) Define each of the following. (Look for the definitions in the text.)


1. narrative. 2. theme. 3. plot. 4. characterization. 5. climax. 6. character.

(b) Match the following words with their definitions.

setting conflict sequence   dénouement portrayal the order in which things or events are arranged representation through the use of words final stage, where everything is made clear, in the development of the plot of a story, play, etc the physical and social background against which the characters live and the action (or plot) takes place the clash of opposing ideas, interests, etc


(c) Quickly look through the list and mark the lettered phrase nearest in meaning to the word or phrase tested.

1.Handle: (i) hand; (ii) use; (iii) misuse.

2.Imaginary: (i) real; (ii) unreal; (iii) carefully arranged.

3.Make up: (i) use cosmetics; (ii) take up; (iii) comprise.

4.Believable: (i) that can be believed; (ii) believing; (iii) impossible to believe.

5.Take place: (i) take part; (ii) happen; (iii) plan carefully.

6.Move: (i) excite strong feelings; (ii) change one's place of residence; (iii) progress.


(d) Choose the answer that expresses most accurately What is stated in the passage. Only one answer is correct.


"In most novels, the theme is not stated in so many words, but if the author has handled his materials well, the reader is in no doubt as to what the novel must tell him" means: (i) the theme is usually stated in so many words that, even if the author has handled his materials well, the reader is not at all sure what the novel is about; (ii) the theme is mostly expressed in so few words that though the author has used his materials expertly, the reader is not sure whether he got the message of the novel, or not; (iii) the theme is often only suggested (indicated indirectly), but if the author has made proper use of his materials, the reader is sure to get the message of the novel.

(e) Briefly state the essential elements of the novel. Discuss the importance of each of the elements. Say which element Maugham believed all-important, and why.

(f) The message may be presented in two ways: by description and by suggestion. Say which method the author believes to be the more effective, and why. Express your own opinion.

(g) Sum up (orally, or in writing) what the text has to say on each of the following points.


1. The structure of a novel. 2. The importance of the plot in a novel. 3. The role of the characters in a novel, and the methods of character portrayal used by novelists. 4. Making the novel believable.

(h) Briefly state the theme of each of the following novels.* Say to which type of novel you believe each of the books belongs. Give your reasons.


1. Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. 2. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. 3. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser. 4. The Iron Heel by Jack London. 5. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. 6. The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas. 7. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. 8. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. 9. Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. 10. The Nest of the Gentry by Ivan Turgenev. 11. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. 12. Quiet Flows the Don by Mikhail Sholokhov.

Types of Novels**


1. Theromance orromantic novel. 2. Thehistorical novel. 3. The realistic novel. 4. Thepsychological novel. 5. Theadventure novel (sometimes called the novel of incident). 6. Thesociological novel (also called theproblem novel).

(i) Discuss what makes a good novel.

(j) Write a close summary of the text.

For this: 1. Read through the passage carefully, making sure that you know all the words and exactly what they mean. 2. Read it through again to discover what is the main line of thought. 3. Underline the words and phrases which are essential and must go into the close summary. 4. Draw a line through the words and phrases which are not essential. 5. Of the words left some may be put in, perhaps in a different form, others will have to be left out.

Date: 2015-12-18; view: 619

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