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SociologiaSpagnoloStoriaTedesco » Umanistiche » Appunti di Inglese » 18th century NOVEL

18th century NOVEL

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Scarica gratis 18th century NOVEL

18th century NOVEL

the word is derived from the Latin 'novus' and from the Italian 'novella', it was original and reported recent events or news. NOVEL=prose story relating recent events

The novel potrays characters and actions of real life , the fictitious elements coexist with the parameters of real life. It is caracterised by realism --> different concept of time and space.

Time : exact, chronological obsessive     Space: very detailed with descriptions full of particulars ---> this increase the impression of real life.

Factors that determined the rise of modern novel:

-the influence of 'philosophical realism'(Descartes,Locke),which focused attention on the individual strength ;

-the influence of Methodism: it taught the individual values + personal effort+ the importance of work and of daily activity;

- the growth of reading public (particularly women readers; the diffusion of newspapers)

-growi8ng demand for novel after the birth of libraries

-wealth of the middle class

-the influence of fictional realism ( like the picaresque narrative, ex:Cervantes's Don Quixote)

FATHERS: Dafoe/Richardson

FEATURES: Novelist--> he is the spokesman of the middle class

Novel---> concerned with what could alter the social status; directed to the middle

class public

AIM: the writer's first aim is to write in a simple way in order to be understood widely

STORY: Real life, human experiences, as novels were directed to self-reliant, self-made men

SUBJECT/CHARACTERS: the bourgeois man and his problems, definite characters, the hero of the

narrative, the mouthpiece of the author, the reader sympathises with

him. They struggle for survival for social success.

Characters are divided into: -people who believe in reason(Robinson C)

-people who cannot control their passion and subordinate reason to

their grooving(necessità)

TIME: chronological sequence of events; characters are rooted in a temporal dimension

SETTING: detailed descriptions

NARRATOR: is omniscient, intrusive; he never abandons his characters    



growth of the novel-reading public --> changes in the reader-writer relationships:

---> As the writer had become a PROFESSIONAL WRITER---> there is any form of patronage, writer becomes independent--->he begins to write to please his public(larger middle class public) that wanted to read about things close to their own individual experience

Writers began to look at reality for inspiration => Novel= a picture of life


- clock time + physical setting are used. TIME + SPACE were made tangible through the use of

details( such as names of streets, particular days)

certain 'COMMUNICATING QUALITIES'(colours,size,exetion) became of primary importance

attentions are focused not only outdoor settings but also INTERIORS(such as bedrooms..)

NAMES + SURNAMES were given to the characters

greater importance was given to MONEY as a status symbol

a CONFLICT was emphasized between :-->middle-class values (money,power..)

--> chivalric values (honour, glory..)

--> traditional gentlemen values (manners, fashion..)


common sense and prudence.


He is the first novelist who broke with tradition and started this new type of fiction.At the age of 60 he turned to prose fiction considering it as a kind of business activity which now paid better than others

BUT he had to find a COMPROMISE between puritan ideas and novels. To justify his works he said that his stories were true and that they give a MORAL LESSON to the readers


V this conception of fiction led him to write novels with more or less the same features.

REALISM                     - novels were usually presented in the form of diary or autobiography,related in the first-person in order to

increase verisimilitude

LACK OF                      - not a real plot but a sequence of events unfolding in chronological order and around the same protagonist


LACK OF - the characters not develop during the story, they are flat


INDIVIDUALISM          - only 1 main character (hero o heroine)that stuggle against misfortunes and count on self-reliance for

survival. Character are self-made and found is salvation in himself(puritan heritage)

ISOLATION                   - usually isolated physically and socially/morally (Crusoe,Moll flanders)

NO SENTIMENTALISM - a very little despair even in the most tragic situation Common sense prevails feelings

MORAL ATTITUDE      -prayers and expressions of gratitude to God . Moral conclusion is not implicit in the character's actions

PICARESQUE                - prose autobiographies of a person about his own experience;

ELEMENTS                     episodic in structure;

some characters are rogues and exploit the society they live in;

direct or indirect critic to society.



He had a natural talent for letter-writing and realized that the theme of certain letter could be material for a complete novel.His novels are essentially moral lessons in the form of love stories full of passions, subjectivism and self-revelation

He write for middle class people and show them how to reach success -> social improvement.There is a contrast between the honest bourgeoisie and the corrupt aristocracy.


PLOT                             - novels no longer based on a sequence of fantastic episodes but on a single story made up of

everyday events and emotional situations (a pretext to analyze the flow of feelings and passions)

SETTING - novels no longer set in far off countries or exotic places (# Defoe) but in a domestic

environment, confined to interiors

CHARACTERIZATION -the male characters are middle class men with private lives, family problems and repressed

desire(# defoe's are picaresque rogues or outcasts)

REALISM - in each novel in the treatment of characters and situations ambiguous mixture of reality and

illusion , realism in the minute recording of mental processes and feelings.

PSYCHOLOGICAL        - great attention in given to human behaviour(#defoe) R's characters are capable of emotional ANALYSIS development. They are round characters

SENTIMENTALISM       -his novels are all love stories with happy or tragic ending

MORALISING PURPOSE -(=Defoe) to promote goodness and virtue

TECNIQUE -epistolary form



-the author record the sequences of thoughts and feelings almost moment by moment

-it provided immediacy

-it create a sense of intimacy between characters and readers

-it had the same function as soliloque in drama

-it anticiped the STREAM-OF-CONSCIOUSNESS technique of modern fiction

-it became an expression of idividuately

-defects such as prolixity and repetitiveness



Aristocratic man, he attack and satirized social and political corruption.

According to Fielding Richardson's Pamela was characterized by sham (falsa) he wrote Shamela with satirical and critic purpose. It is written in epistolary form and it was simply the parody of someone else's work.

It was only with "Joseph Andrews" that he realized the possibilities of the new literary genre and decided to approach it methodically by first defining and codifing novel rules.He use a preface that contained all the other constituent parts of classical epic with the exeption of metre.(such as fable , action characters..)


-fable+ action were no longer grave and solemn but light and ridiculous

-characters    were persons of middle or inferior rank so of inferior manners

-sentiment + diction were imbued with the ludicrous (no with sublime)

-thecomic element was very important to ridicule affectation produced by vanity and hypocrisy

To describe comic situations within an epic structure, F. Looked for a model and found it in Cervantes' Don Quixote,from wich in Joseph Andrews he borrowed the structure of journey,humor heroism,epic tone


PLOT                               -presents a combination of episodes, structure and organized in an organic unity(no longer based on a

simple sequence of events or on a single story)

SETTINGS -are outdoors no longer interiors

CHARACTERIZATION -belong to middle class and lower classes since the greatest diversities between them are the potential for

the truly comic; characters are STATIC

NO  -F. Is much more interested in society than in single characters(#Richardson)F. Propose to show not men

INDIVIDUALIZATION     but manners not an individual, but a species.

REALISM          -novels offer a realistic and genuine picture of 18th century English life

MORALUIZING -there in no idea of puritan punishment.Sexual instinct frankly presented and it isn't immoral but simply

PURPOSE                          controlled and directed to good. The moral message is connected with F's belief in men's natural

inclination to goodness.He wants to make man realize that virtue is better than vices and that laughter can

be the means to defeat immorality

NO EXAGERATED -there aren't melodramatic episodes; love is a strong feeling


SOCIAL -is made indirectly through the personal experiences of the characters who may for example be robbed by DENUNCIATION highwayman o unjustly sentenced to prison , in order to represent the danger of roads and the corruption

of justice

IRONY - connected with the mock-heroic character of the novels, irony is always broad (sguaiata)



His real gift as a writer was for Comic-Satiric narrative .

Stern anomalous novel derives from the fusion of a new technique with older elements.


OLDER ELEMENTS - The picaresque form : -the patchwork (collage) of episodes and the apparently limitless length of the novel

-the sense of chance (caso) that dominates the work

- The mock-heroic treatment of certain subjects

- The cast of characters,both high and low

The conventional biographical form announced in the title of novel

NEW TECNIQUE     - The association of ideas A new relationship between time and

- A new sense of time association of ideas is established by Sterne

Sterne anticipated by 2 centuries Bergson's theory of duration (la durée) , according to which each person lived moments and experiences which cannot be measured in fixed periods of time, since the mind has its own inner time, distinct from the conventional ones of external world. On the basis of this theory what is important is no longer the chronological sequence of events but what the character feels and thinks:no facts but emotional implications of facts. This is why S. Uses first person narration and basis his book on an overlapping(straboccare) of memories that the protagonist describes in an apparently illogical sequence of progression (flashforwards=anticipazioni) and regression (flash-back=analessi). This is also why great attention is paid to the so called "hobbyhorses"(manie) or rather obsessions,passions. Everyone in the book has his "hobbyhorse" since it is not determined by any external reality but rather by an inexplicable inner drive.

STERNE'S ORIGINALITY: break of the rules of the conventional biographical novel ; the narration is interrupted by digressions;

Parent's behaviour at the moment of conception may influence the foetus (Freudian theories);

The reader is involved by a long series of questions and answers, tragic events are imbued with mock-absurdity, and baffled.






No real plot

Sequence of events

Single story

Unity of episodes

Having an organic unity


Sequence of events not

following clock time,




Mainly indoors

The protagonist's


Interior/mental time


Flat ch.,prototype of

The middle class

Round ch, middle class


Ch belonging to different

Social classes, STATIC

Portrayal of a trait/obsession

Of ch.



1st personal narrator

Epistolary novel

3rd person narrator ,


1st person narrator,

association of ideas







Celebration of Puritan


Promote virtue

Men's inclination to


No moralizing purpose but

Showing the burden of life



Typical feature

No exaggerated





Irony is witty(pungente)

And always present

Mock-heroic , treatment of

Certain subject

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