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BEGE-144: Understanding The Novel

BEGE-144: Understanding The Novel

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022

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Assignment Code: BEGE-144/TMA-01/2022

Course Code: BEGE-144

Assignment Name: Understanding the Novel

Year: 2022

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Max. Marks: 100

Answer all questions.


Section A


Q1. Write short notes in about 200 words each: 4 × 5 = 20


(i) Types of the novel

Ans) The following are the different sorts of novels:


Because of a widespread notion that the past is richer, bloodier, and more sexual than the present, there is a type of historical novel, little more than a charade, which has a popular appeal. The serious student of fiction finds reason to relegate the category to a secondary position because of the technical conservatism of most European historical novels.



A picaresque novel must have an apparent length, loosely connected episodes that are virtually full in itself, intrigue, fights, amorous adventure, and optional elements such as stories within the main plot, songs, poetry, or moral homilies. With such a structure, or the absence thereof, the driving force must inevitably originate from a wild or roguish rejection of the stable bourgeois existence, a thirst for the wide road, with adventures in inn bedrooms and encounters with dubious travellers.



The term sentimental meant refined or elevated sensibility in the mid-eighteenth century, and it is in this context that it must be interpreted in Laurence Sterne's Sentimental Journey. One of the characteristics of the Romantic movement was the popularity of sentimental love novels, which maintained a certain moving nobility despite a predisposition toward excessive emotional posturing. Under the influence of sanctimony, religiosity, and a great commercial demand for bourgeois fiction, the term sentimental began to imply a self-indulgence in superficial emotions throughout the Victorian era.



A Gothic novel's atmosphere was intended to be gloomy, stormy, ghostly, and full of lunacy, wrath, superstition, and the spirit of vengeance. With its strange God-defying experiments, eldritch shrieks, and, above all, its monster, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, which retains its original popularity and even renown, contains all of the usual Gothic ingredients. In the United States, Edgar Allan Poe masterfully invented the Gothic style, and he has had a significant influence.



The psychological novel limited itself to a few characters whose motives for action could be scrutinised and understood, whereas more primitive literature was characterised by a proliferation of action and incidental characters. The psychological novel did not first arise in England until the Victorian era, when George Eliot became its most famous proponent. Since then, it has been thought that the serious novelist's primary focus is the human mind's workings, and hence most of the best literature must be classified as psychological.


(ii) New areas of novel writing

Ans) Western literature became more modern around the turn of the twentieth century, shedding images such as Victorian, realistic, and its image as "the great instrument of social representation," as Malcom Bradbury puts it. It found a home when paradigms, as well as expectations, wants, and imagination, were evolving. Different kinds of the novel have taken centre stage by the end of the twentieth century. By the turn of the 2000, the book as a genre had undergone significant transformations.


A vast number of writers who had made significant contributions to post-war British fiction had passed away. In 2000, novelists such as Graham Greene, William Golding, and Anthony Burgess, as well as Kingsley Amis, Iris Murdoch, and Penelope Fitzgerald, were honoured, while Arthur C Clarke was honoured in March of 2008. New writers were energised by the millennium's cultural excitement. But something else was happening: some fundamental conceptions of the novel, such as its Britishness, were swiftly disintegrating and disappearing, and the scene was now prepared for writers from other cultures, such as Scotland, Ireland, and India, to name a few.


The novel's most noticeable characteristic now is its vast diversity, diversity, and varied roots. Bradbury considers the novel in the new millennium to be one that deals with history and the novelist's relationship with the past, using A S Byatt's Booker-winning novel Possession: A Romance as an example. Penelope Fitzgerald was another writer who was interested in the link between history and fairy-tale. But, at the end of the day, fiction, or the book, is at its most fertile in the millennium. Novels, apocalyptic cities, gender wars, homosexual, and lesbian relationships, marital! collapse, feminist self-discovery, football fever, serial killers, child abuse, New age consciousness, and laddish girls and girlish boys all have recurring themes.


(iii) Third Person Narrative

Ans) The narrator uses third-person pronouns like 'he, “she,' or 'them' to refer to all characters in third-person viewpoint, never first- or second-person pronouns. In other words, the narrator is a separate entity from the characters in the storey. By far the most frequent way of storytelling, third-person viewpoint has been used in some of the most well-known stories in the English language. Here's the first chapter of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, a work famed for being written in the third person. It is a commonly known truth that a single man with good fortune must be in need of a woman. Regardless matter how little known such a man's sentiments or ideas are when he first enters a neighbourhood, this truth is so deeply embedded in the minds of the surrounding households that he is seen as the lawful property of one or more of their daughters.


"My dear Mr. Bennet," said his lady to him one day, "have you heard that Netherfield Park is let at last?"

Mr. Bennet replied that he had not.

"But it is," returned she; "for Mrs. Long has just been here, and she told me all about it."

Mr. Bennet made no answer.

"Do you not want to know who has taken it?" cried his wife impatiently.

"You want to tell me, and I have no objection to hearing it."

This was invitation enough.


The narrator is someone different from the novel's characters, which is an obvious distinction of the third-person viewpoint. In reality, the storyteller is nearly always anonymous. As a result, a third-person narrator is frequently referred to as a "anonymous narrator."


(iv) Symbolism

Ans) Symbolism is a literary tactic in which a writer utilises one thing to represent another more abstract, usually a physical object or experience. A powerful symbol usually shares a set of important features with the thing it's supposed to represent or is connected to it in some manner. Symbolism can be found in both characters and situations. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus informs his children Jem and Scout that killing a mockingbird is a sin because mockingbirds don't harm anyone; they just sing. Mockingbirds in the narrative represent purity and beauty because of these characteristics, whereas murdering a mockingbird represents a senseless act of cruelty. For example, the colours red, white, and blue are often associated with patriotism (at least in the United States), which is why they're frequently used on political yard signs. Colours like orange and brown are associated with the autumn season, which is why they appear in so many Thanksgiving decorations. Other forms of symbolism include road signs, logos, and emojis, in which the images correspond to ideas, companies, or moods.



Section B


Answer the following in about 300 words each: 4 X 7.5 = 30


Q1. How would you define writing style? Explain.

Ans) Writing style, like any other sort of style, aids in the expression of who we are. It's the writer's choice of how to express himself or herself in writing. Whether they intend to or not, everyone has their own personal fashion style. Personal style is defined by the clothes and accessories we select to wear each day. A relaxed and laid-back style is expressed when someone wears a T-shirt and jeans with some outdated flip flops. Someone who wears a button-down shirt and leather shoes, on the other hand, is demonstrating to the public that they are serious about their work. The same is true when it comes to writing. In literature, writing style refers to the way a person, a period, a school, or a country expresses themselves via words.


However, as Bryan Ray points out, style encompasses "readers' relationships with texts, writers' grammatical choices, the importance of adhering to norms in some contexts while deviating from them in others, the expression of social identity, and the emotional effects of particular devices on audiences." As a result, style is a phrase that can relate to both specific features of an individual's writing habits or a specific text, as well as aspects that extend beyond the individual writer. Writing style is the choice of words, sentence structure, and paragraph structure used to convey the idea effectively, in addition to the necessary elements of spelling, grammar, and punctuation. The former is referred to as style, or rhetoric, whereas the latter is referred to as rules, elements, basics, mechanics, or manual. The rules govern what a writer does, whereas style governs how he or she accomplishes it. A writer has a lot of freedom in how to represent a topic while adhering to established English usage guidelines.


Q2. Is it necessary to have an understanding of an age to read a writer/ a novel? Think and answer.

Ans) No, as people spend more time watching television, movies, and videos in their spare time, they have less time to read novels. As a result, several critics have declared the novel dead. However, when you consider the amount of books released every year, you'll see that the novel is far from dead. On the contrary, it has evolved into fresh genres, such as campus novels (about university life), Black novels (about African-Americans in America and the West), Jewish fiction, popular romances, detective novels, science fiction, and crime thrillers. The list goes on and on. If you take public transportation in London (for example, the tube or the bus), you'll notice that most commuters are engrossed in some best-seller or another. It is apparent, then, that the book is still alive and well. It's difficult to pinpoint the exact age at which I began reading books. But, when I think back on the lengthy journey, it was rather pleasant.


My mother told us stories from Magic Pot and Kalikkudukka (local children's magazines) as early as I can remember, perhaps when I was one or two years old. They showed up on Fridays. On Fridays, I recall waking up early and waiting at the gate for the newspaper boy to deliver them, then begging my mother to read them to me. When I was three years old, I was admitted to a nursery. I had already fallen in love with reading. I insisted on being taught to read. I'd had enough of playing. By the age of four, I was already reading magic pots. When I was three years old, I was admitted to a nursery. I had already fallen in love with reading. I insisted on being taught to read. I'd had enough of playing. By the age of four, I was already reading magic pots.


Q3. What were some of the themes of early Odia novels?

Ans) Novelists from Odisha such as Fakrmohan Senapati, Gopinath Mohanty, Pratibha Ray, Manoj Das, and others have written outstanding Oriya books. The Odia Novel has been influenced by Western literature as well as literature from the surrounding area. Bengali and British literature have had a significant influence on the development of Odia literature. The Odia language and the state of Odisha were denied independence until 1936, and it was only after this watershed moment in Odia history that the language's literature began to gain traction.


Although authors such as Ramshankar Ray and Umesh Sarkar attempted to write novels in Odia in the late nineteenth century, Fakir Mohan Senapati was the first to contribute to the development of the Odia novel (1843-1918). Chhanana Atha Guntha was his trend-setting novel (1897). However, no other writer contributed much after Fakir Mohan Senapati. Bhima Bhuyan by Gopal Ballav Das, written in 1898 and published in 1908, was the first Odia novel about tribals. The tale is based on the life of Bhima, a tribal hero from the Bhuyan tribe of Odisha's Keonjhar District. Matina Manisha by Kalindi Charan Panigarhi acquired popularity in 1931 because it was based on Gandhian values and objectives.


Q4. How did colonialism disrupt social life in Africa? Base your answer on your understanding of Things Fall Apart.

Ans) Long absences from the family also created complete upheaval of family life, in which each family member had a specific social and economic duty to play. Women were forced to work on the family fields in place of their husbands, while able-bodied male clan members were forced to work as wage earners on farms, factories, and mines rather than remaining farmers or cattle breeders. The subsistence-oriented barter system was replaced by a market economy in which money became the primary medium of exchange. Women, too, became victims of the disruption of their social organisation over time when they were forced to look for work. Things Fall Apart is Nigerian author Chinua Achebe's first novel, first published in 1958. It depicts pre-colonial life in the south-eastern portion of Nigeria, as well as the entrance of Europeans in the late 1800s. It is widely regarded as the prototypical modern African novel written in English, as well as one of the first to receive widespread critical praise. It is a required text in African schools, and it is extensively read and studied in English-speaking countries worldwide. William Heinemann Ltd. originally released the novel in the UK in 1962, and it was the first piece in Heinemann's African Writers Series.



Section C


Answer the following questions in about 400 words each: 5 X 10 = 50


Q1. Comment on the themes discussed in The Awakening.

Ans) Kate Chopin's novel The Awakening is a bildungsroman, or a moral or intellectual revolution novel. It follows Edna Pontellier as she spends her holiday with her family on Grand Isle, Louisiana, a popular getaway for wealthy Creole and French-descent families in 1899. It's about her sexual awakening, her discovery and assertion of this new ‘self' via defiance of the traditional roles of wife and mother, and the consequences of that defiance. Self-expression and a woman's right to be herself and an individual are major themes in the storey.


Edna is trapped in a normal marriage with Leonce Pontellier, a marriage of convenience she entered when she was very young and did not enter out of love or romance, despite the fact that he is a wonderful man and a caring husband. Her love inclinations and sexual yearnings have yet to be expressed, let alone satisfied. The family spends the summer on Grand Isle, where she meets and spends a lot of time with Robert Lebrun, an unmarried young bachelor, talking, swimming, and simply being together (and of course the Creole husband is never jealous, but you will find out more about this in the section on Creole background). Edna and Robert begin to sense a connection to one other and an intensity of emotion that they regard as strange, uncontrollable, and potentially harmful in the framework of their lives and conventional reality before they ever realise it.


This emotion is intense and all-consuming, leaving no time for rational thought or action. Robert recognises the impossibility of the situation and, unable to cope, leaves for Mexico to ‘make money' (we will discuss if he is an escapist, a coward, or an honourable man, or all of the above). When he's gone, the truth hits Edna with even more force and clarity. The summer has come to an end, as has the flirtation, and Edna and her family have returned to their opulent home on Esplanade Street in the city. However, Edna's life will never be the same because she has transformed as a result of her contact with Robert and her new personality.


Edna is a painter, according to the new Edna. She is unconcerned about her responsibilities as a wife or about keeping up appearances by following norms. This new Edna refuses to stay at home on Tuesdays to answer her phone calls, as her husband expects her to, and instead goes out because she prefers to. Her husband complains about her lack of servant supervision, and he departs in the middle of a poorly prepared meal to eat at the club. She becomes uncaring and uninterested in domestic matters, allowing everything at home to fall by the wayside because it no longer matters to her.


Her family has lost all value for her, and her desire to aggressively claim her identity and be her own person has become her sole focus. She wants to have a sense of financial independence, of not having to answer to anyone for her acts, of being entirely autonomous. She refuses to attend her sister's wedding and has no regard for decorum or what the rest of the world would think of her conduct. Mr Pontellier is concerned about his wife's health and unusual behaviour and has sought medical advice on both. Despite the fact that she appears to be in good condition, a disconnect has occurred, giving the impression that she isn't quite herself.


Q2. Write a detailed essay on the use of songs, in Paraja.

Ans) Songs and dance are an important aspect of tribal culture and oral history. Oral literature songs are narrative and reflective, since they widen our horizons on the tribe's and age's customs and folklore. The songs are also known as 'oral formulaic poetry,' which refers to poetry written and performed by singers or reciters. Its origins are prehistoric, and it continues to thrive among illiterate populations. Additions and deletions are made to the storey as it is passed down from generation to generation via word of mouth. Despite the fact that these oral compositions have no constant variation, they contain verbal formulas – set phrases, word patterns, and refrains – that aid in recollection, repetition, and adaptation to changing times. Traditional folk epic subjects such as tribal heroes, love, romance, and day-to-day ordinary activities are among the themes of the songs. Orality and literacy are inextricably linked and interact.


Songs are an inextricable aspect of tribal life and culture, and Mohanty includes them into his novel Paraja. The songs cover every aspect of tribal life. These songs emphasise the tribal's intimate connection to his or her surroundings, rituals, customs, Gods, and supernatural forces. Their intentions are represented in these orations, and their simplicity is reflected in these melodies. The songs are an integral component of the text, and it is necessary to comprehend the theoretical issues raised by them. These songs are based on the lives of the novel's various characters and express their emotions. They contribute to the novel's atmosphere. Love, ritual, festival, work, seasonal, and other songs are used throughout the storey. Love, fear, hope, hatred, anguish, pain, ecstasy – love, fear, hope, hatred, anguish, pain, ecstasy – love, fear, hope, hatred, anguish, pain, ecstasy – love, fear, hope, hatred, anguish, pain, ecstasy – love, fear, hope, hatred, anguish, pain, ecstasy – love, fear


Q3. Discuss Paraja as a translated novel.

Ans) Bikram Das has translated a novel set among the primitive PARAJA tribe into English, which was first published by Oxford University Press and then by Faber & Faber. Language: The use of many types of language is one of the most important elements to observe in Paraja. The preliterate language contrasts with the literate language, colloquial language coexists with polished literary language, and prose lends itself to poetry. Language plays a significant impact in the structure of the novel in general.


The language of the preliterate differs significantly from that of the literate characters, and Gopinath Mohanty incorporates a number of expressions from tribal languages into the text; he occasionally inserts a few sentences, a phrase, a few words, and expressions from tribal languages into the text. He has carefully clarified some of these expressions at numerous times, while at others, he leaves it to the reader's imagination, with the context providing the explanation. Imagine a statement in which half of it is written in a tribal dialect and the other half is written in standard Odia; placed against one another, both languages, by emphasising each other's importance and identity, go a great way toward boosting the situation's meaningful potential. These snippets of tribal language appear naturally in the text, but this effect will not be replicated in the translated version.


Colloquialism: Colloquial language refers to words and expressions that are used in everyday conversation rather than in formal or formalised discourse. There are numerous colloquial terms strongly established in the culture of the place in the exchanges between different characters in the work, and the translator can only approximate them due to the absence of analogues in the target language. There may be misrepresentation if some of the colloquial terms and idioms are translated literally, with the import and effect staying in the original. It is highly difficult to translate colloquial idioms that have deep roots in a people's tradition and culture into another language because another language implies a different people, culture, and tradition.


Q4. Comment on the development of the Nigerian novel.

Ans) The north of Nigeria is considerably different from the south and east, and this variance is related to more than just terrain and climate. The Hausa people, who lived in the northern areas of Nigeria, were primarily farmers. Around the eighth century ADE, they were subjugated by Berbers from the north. People from the Middle East and northern Africa began to arrive on the continent about this period, mostly to spread Islam. A later troop of Berbers arrived in the area and completed the process of conquering the other northern Nigerian territories. Around ADE 1000, these Berbers moved to the south, into Yoruba territory, and conquered a portion of it. They could not, however, impose their language or religion on the Yoruba people.


The Hausa people in the north were overrun by the Fulani in the early nineteenth century, who waged a holy war against them in the name of a purer and truer Islam, led by Usuman Dan Fodio, a Fulani religious teacher, revolutionary, military leader, writer, and promoter of Sunni Islam and the founder of the Sokoto Caliphate. The Fulani split the land into small states known as emirates, which were ruled by emirs. These emirs also seized Ilorin in the south, where they began to trade in slaves towards the end of the nineteenth century, giving the British on the west coast a pretext to intervene. By 1903, the northern section of Nigeria had been placed under British protectorate and was administered by emirs, with no intervention in the Hausa people's social, cultural, religious, or educational concerns.


Q5. Examine the use of folk material such as Proverbs, Sayings and Metaphors in Things Fall Apart.

Ans) One of Things Fall Apart's distinguishing features is Achebe's incorporation of folk material in his storytelling. Ibos were known for their wide use of proverbs, sayings, and metaphors in communication, as noted elsewhere in this block. In fact, communication had been refined to the point where it had become an art form, with competitions held to choose excellent communicators. The following adage describes the art of communication in its entirety: Words are consumed with the palm-oil of proverbs.


Achebe incorporates this into his own storey by weaving folk themes into the tapestry of his storey. Proverbs are used by the Ibo to explain a person's interactions and relationships with others, with a particular focus on his or her rank or place in society. For example, among them there was a proverb that "if a youngster cleaned his hands, he could eat with kings," implying that one could enhance one's social position through one's actions. Okonkwo is shown to be one of these people. Another adage that applies to Okonkwo is: "A man who respects the great prepares the way for his own greatness." Because you can distinguish ripe corn by its appearance, Okonkwo's potential is recognised by his other villagers.


While his father struggled to get a loan because it was like pouring maize into a bag with holes, Okonkwo had no such problems when he went to borrow yams for planting. When Okonkwo loses his cool in front of an untitled person, an Elder reminds him that "those whose palm-kernels have been cracked for them by a beneficent spirit should not forget to be humble." When Okonkwo is being persuaded not to participate in the killing of Ikemefuna, especially because the latter referred to him as "father," Okonwo tries to assuage the fears of those who were afraid of retributive Wrath by saying, "A child's fingers are not scalded by a piece of hot yam that its mother places in its palm."

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