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Novels, Society and History Class 10 Extra Questions History Chapter 8
QUESTIONS OF 1 MARK
Answers should not exceed 30 words.
What is a novel ?
The novel is a modern form of literature. It is born from print, a mechanical invention.
Which novel was serialised in a magazine in 1836 ? [CBSE 2016-17]
Charles Dickens’s Pickwick Papers.
Why the novels were widely read and became popular very quickly ?
The novels were being printed and therefore these were widely read and became popular very quickly.
‘Novels produced a number of common interests among their scattered and varied readers.’ State any one common interest.
By identifying with the lives of the fictitious characters, the readers could think about issues such as relationship between love and marriage, the proper conduct for men and women.
What do you understand by gentlemanly classes in the 18th century Europe ?
Gentlemanly classes were people who claimed noble birth and high social position. They were supposed to set the standard for proper behaviour.
Who was author of Tom Jones (1749) and how was it published and what was its price ?
‘Tom Jones was written by Henry Fielding. It was published in six volumes priced at three shilling each.
Which novel was written by Samuel Richardson that told much of its story through an exchange of letters between two lovers ?
What did Henry Fielding, a novelist of early eighteenth century claim ?
He claimed that he was ‘the founder of a new province of writing’ where he could make his own laws.
What is Epistolary ?
It is written in the form of series of letters.
Describe any one result of increase in the readership of novels and expansion of market for books. 4
With the increase in the earning of authors, their financial dependence on the patronage of aristocrats came to an end.
State any one change that took place in the eighteenth century making people’s access easier to books.
- Introduction of circulating libraries.
- Hiring out novels by the hour.
What do you mean by serialised ?
Serialised is a format in which the story is published in instalments, each part in a new issue of a journal.
Which novel was serialised in 1836 ?
Charles Dickens’s Pickwick Papers.
State one advantage of serialisation of novel.
Serialisation allowed readers to relish the suspense, discuss the characters of a novel and live for weeks with their stories – like viewers of television soaps today.
What was subject matter of Charles Dickens’s novel ‘Hard Times’ ?
The subject matter related to the terrible effects of industrialisation on people’s lives and characters.
Who wrote Germinal (1855) ? What was its subject ?
Emile Zola wrote Germinal on grim conditions on the life of a young miner in France.
Mention any one novel written by Thomas Hardy.
Mayor of Casterbridge.
What is Vernacular language ?
The normal spoken form of a language rather than the formal literary form.
Who wrote Jane Eyre and when was it published ?
Jane Eyre was written by Charlotte Bronte. It was published in 1847.
Who is the author of the ‘ Jungle Book’ ?
Describe one advantage of novels.
Novels produce the sense of a shared world between diverse people in a nation.
Why women in the eighteenth century had more involvement in the novels ?
In the eighteenth century, the middle classes had become more prosperous. Thus women got more leisure to read as well as write novels.
What was the subject matter of novels of Jane Austen ?
The novels of Jane Austen give us a glimpse of the world of women in general rural society in early nineteenth century Britain.
Who was George Eliot ? What was her main idea about novels ?
George Eliot (1819-1880) was the pen-name of Mary Ann Evans. She believed that novels gave women a special opportunity to express themselves freely.
Which side of colonialism was shown by Joseph Conrad in his novels ?
Joseph Conrad showed the darker side of colonialism in his novels.
Mention one novel written by Jane Austen.
Pride and Prejudice.
What type of man was idealised in the novels for the young ?
Novels for young boys idealised a new type of man. Some one who was powerful, assertive, independent and daring.
Which was the earliest novel in lilarathi ?
The earliest novel in Marathi was Baba Padmanji’s Yamuna Paryatan (1857), which used a simple style of story telling to speak about the plight of widows.
When was Kadambari written and by whom ?
Kadambari was written by Banabhatta in Sanskrit in the seventh century.
What was the object of novels written by the Indian novelists in the 19th century ?
Indian novelists wrote to develop a modern literature of the country that could produce a sense of national belonging and cultural equality with their colonial masters.
Which Indian novelist tried to translate English novel Henrietta Temple written by Benjamin Disraeli ?
O. Chandu Menon.
Which was the first modern novel in Malayalam ?
What is the place of Bharatendu Harishchandra in Hindi literature in north India ?
Bharatendu Harishchandra is considered the pioneer of modern Hindi literature.
Who wrote the first proper modern novel ?
Srinivas Das of Delhi worte Pariksha-Guru (The Master Examiner) that was published in 1882. It was the first proper modem novel.
Why the novel Pariksha-Guru could not win many readers ?
It was perhaps too moralising in style.
Whose writings did create a novel-reading public in Hindi ?
Devki Nanadan Khatri’s best seller, Chandrakanta — a romance with dazzling ele-ments of fantasy – is believed to have contributed immensely in popularising the novel reading public in Hindi.
What is the place of Premchand in Hindi novel ?
It was with the writing of Premchand that the Hindi novel achieved excellence.
What is the subject matter of Premchand’s novel Sewasadan and what is its ‘ place in Hindi novels ?
- Sewasadan deals mainly with the poor condition of women in society. Issues like child marriage and dowry are discussed in the novel.
- Many critics think that Sewasadan lifted the Hindi novel from the realm of fantasy, moralising and simple entertainment to a serious reflection on the lives of ordinary people and social issues.
Which was the first novel of Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay ? What is its place in Bengali novel ?
Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay’s first novel was Durgeshnandini (1865) and people realised that with this the Bengali novel had achieved excellence so quickly.
Describe two uses of novels.
- Novels had descriptions of domestic life.
- Novels were a powerful medium to criticise tile defects in the society.
How Indulekha was portrayed by Chandu Menon in his novel ?
Chandu Menon portrayed Indulekha as a women of breathtaking beauty, high intellec¬tual abilities, artistic talent and with an education in English and Sanskrit.
What is satire ?
Satire is a form of representation through writing, drawing, painting etc. that provides a criticism of society in a manner that is witty and clever.
Name a satiric fantasy written by Rokeya Hossain.
Sultana’s Dream (1905).
Who was Potheri Kunjambu and which novel was written by him ? [CBSE 2016-17]
Potheri Kunjambu, a ‘lower-caste’ writer from north Kerala wrote a novel called Saraswativijayam in 1892, mounting a strong attack on caste oppression.
What are the features of Basheer’s novels ? Write any one feature.
His novels had details from the everyday life of Muslim households.
Who wrote Titash Ekti Nadir Naarn (1956) ? What was its subject matter ? [CBSE 2016-17]
Titash Ekti Nadir Naam (1956) was written by Advaita Malla Burman. It is an epic about the Mallas, a community of fisherfolk who live off fishing in the river Titash.
Which was the first historical novel written in Bengal and what was its theme ?
Bhudeb Mukhopadhyay’s Anguriya Binimoy (1857) was the first historical novel written in Bengal dealing with the battles of Shivaji against Aurangzeb.
What was the subject of Bankim’s Anandamath (1882) ?
It is a novel about a secret Hindu militia that fights Muslims to establish a Hindu kingdom.
Mention any two novels of Premchand.
Which is Premchand’s best known work and what is it about ?
Godan (The Gift of Cow) published in 1936, is Premchand’s best known work. It is an epic of the Indian peasantry and tells us the moving story of Hori and his wife Dhania.
QUESTIONS OF 3/4 MARKS
Answers should be in about 80/100 words.
What do you understand by novel ? Why were the novels widely read and become popular very quickly ?
Outline the changes in technology and society which led to increase in readers of the novels in 18th century ?
What were the reasons for the popularity of novels ?
(1) The novel is a modern form of literature that is born from print, a mechanical invention.
(2) The reasons for the popularity of novels and increase in readers were as mentioned below :
- It was one of the first mass produced printed item to be sold.
- he big cities like London were girting rapidly and becoming connected to small towns and rural areas through print and improved communications.
- Novels produced a number of common interests among their scattered and varied readers.
- Technological improvements such as power-driven cylindrical press in printing brought down the prices of books.
- In France, publishers hired out novel by the hour.
- The worlds created by novels were absorbing and believable and real.
- While reading novels, the reader was transported to another person’s world and began looking at life as it was experienced by the characters of the novel.
- Novels could be read in private as well as in public. Its stories could be discussed with friends and relatives. For example, in rural areas people would collect to hear one of them reading a novel aloud. People were generally deeply involved in the lives of the characters. For example, a group at Slough in England were very pleased to hear that the heroine of Richardson’s popular novel Pamela had got married in their village. They went to the parish church and began to ring the church bells!
- Serialisation of novels : In 1836, Charles Dickens’s Pickwick Papers was serialised in a magazine. As the magazines were attractive and cheap, it helped in the popularity of the novels. At the same time serialisation allowed readers to relish the suspense, discuss the characters of a novel and live for weeks with their stories – like viewers of television soaps today.
What were the effects of growth in readership and expansion of the market for books in 18th century ?
The effects of growth in readership and expansion in the market for books were as mentioned below :
- With the expansion of market, the earnings of authors increased.
- This freed the authors from financial dependence on the patronage of aristocrats, and gave them independence to experiment with different literary styles.
- Henry Fielding, a novelist, claimed he was ‘the founder of a new province of writing’ where he could make his own laws.
- The novel allowed flexibility in the form of writing.
- Walter Scott remembered and collected popular Scottish ballads which he used in his historical novels about wars between Scottish clans.
- The epistolary novel used the private and personal form of letters to tell its story. For example Samuel Richardson’s Pamela told much of its story through an exchange of letters between two lovers. These letters tell the reader of the hidden conflicts in the heroine’s mind.
How did serialisation of novels increase the popularity of novels and maga¬zines ?
Serialisation of novels increased the popularity of novels and magazines in the following ways :
- Magazines were attractive since they were illustrated and cheap.
- Serialisation allowed readers to relish the suspense, discuss the characters of a novel and live for weeks with their stories like viewers of television soaps today.
- Serialisation increased the circulation of magazines as well.
What was the condition of Europe in the nineteenth century ?
Describe the main features of condition of Europe hi the nineteenth century.
Main features of condition of Europe in the nineteenth century were as mentioned below :
- 19th century was an age of industrialisation.
- Factories came up in the cities.
- Business profits had increased and the economy grew.
- Cities expanded in an unregulated way.
- Cities were full of overworked and underpaid workers.
- Unemployment had increased. Unemployed poor roamed the streets for jobs.
- The homeless were forced to seek shelter in workhouses.
- The growth of industry was accompanied by an economic philosophy which celebrated the pursuit of profit and undervalued the lives of workers. Deeply critical of these developments, novelists such as Charles Dickens wrote about terrible effects of industrialisation on people’s lives and characters.
Explain the contribution of Charles Dickens in the field of English literature.
Which problem of society was focused in the novel ‘Hard TYmes’written by Charles Dickens?
Novels of Charles Dickens deal with which changes of the 19th century Britain ? Mention any three such changes.
Discuss some of the changes in the 19th century Britain which Charles Dickens wrote about.
Charles Dickens dealt with the following changes :
- He wrote about the terrible effects of industrialisation on people’s lives and characters.
- His novels Hard Times describes Coketown, a fictitious industrial town, as a grim place full of machinery, smoking chimneys, rivers polluted purple and buildings that looked the same.
- Workers are known as ‘hands’ and had no identity other than as operators of machines.
- The main object of the industrialists was to earn profit.
- Human beings were reduced as simple instruments of production.
- In other novels too, Dickens focused on the terrible conditions of urban life under industrial capitalism. His Oliver Twist (1838) is the tale of a poor orphan who lived in a world of petty criminals and beggars. Brought up in a cruel workhouse, Oliver was finally adopted by a wealthy man and lived happily thereafter. But not all novels about the lives of the poor gave readers the comfort of a happy ending.
Who wrote Germinal and when ? What is the subject of the novel ?
- Germinal (1885) was written by Emile Zola.
- It is written on the life of a young minor in France. Here the author explores in harsh detail the grim conditions of miners’ lives. It ends on a note of despair because the strike the hero leads fails. His co-workers turn against him, and hopes are shattered.
“Thomas Hardy wrote about traditional rural communities of England.” Discuss.
In the nineteenth century England, the vast majority of readers of the novel lived in the city. However, the novel created in them a feeling of connection with the fate of rural communities. It was under these conditions that Thomas Hardy, the nineteenth century British novelist wrote about traditional rural communities of England.
These were vanishing due to the reasons as mentioned below :
- This was the time when large farmers fenced off land.
- Big farmers/landlords were enclosing a number of small landholdings to create one larger farm.
- Once enclosed, use of the land became restricted to the owner and it ceased to be common land for communal use.
- The wealthy farmers bought machines and employed labourers to produce for the market. The old rural culture was coming to an end.
Thomas Hardy wrote about the above changes in his novel Mayor of Casterbridge (1886). In it Hardy mourns the loss of the more personalised world, that is disappearing, even as he is aware of its problems and advantages of the new order.
“The Novels bring together many cultures.” Explain.
Highlight any three advantages of using vernacular languages in novels.
The vernacular is the language that is spoken by common people. Its use has the following advantages :
- By coming closer to the different spoken languages of the people, the novel produces the sense of a shared world between diverse people in a nation.
- Novels also draw from different styles of language.
- A novel may take a classical language and combine with the language of the streets and make them all a part of the vernacular that it uses. Thus like the nation, the novel brings together many cultures.
How did novels explore and depict the world of woman ? Explain it by giving examples.
See Textbook Question 1(a) and 3(b).
How do novels of Jane Austen give a glimpse of the world of women in the 18th century Britain ?
See Textbook Question 3(6).
Explain any three popular themes on which women in England wrote novels in the nineteenth century. [CBSE 2016-17]
In what ways was woman depicted in Charlotte Bronte’s novel Jane Eyre ?
Three popular themes on which women in England wrote novels in the nineteenth century were as mentioned below :
- Many novels were about domestic life.
- Jane Austen give us a glimpse of the world of women in genteel rural society in early nineteenth century.
- Some novels dealt with women who broke established norms of society before adjusting to them. Such stories allowed women readers to sympathise with rebellious actions.
In Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre published in 1874, young Jane is shown as independent and assertive. While girls other time were expected to be quiet and well behaved, Jane at the age of ten protests against the hypocrisy of her elders with startling bluntness. She tells her Aunt who is always unkind to her : “People think you a good woman but you are bad…. You are deceitful! I will never call you aunt as long as I live.’
See also Textbook Question 1(a) and 3(b).
What were the views of George Eliot on women novelists ?
- George Eliot (1819-1880) was the pen-name of Mary Ann Evans.
- She was a very popular novelist and believed that novels gave women a special opportunity to express themselves freely.
- She believed that every woman could see herself as capable of writing fiction. She said,
“Fiction is a department of literature in which women can, after their kind fully equal men
No educational restrictions can shut women from the materials of fiction, and there is no species of art that is so free from rigid requirements.”
How did the novels for the young boys idealise a new type of man ? Support your answer with suitable examples from the novels published in the nineteenth century. [CBSE 2016-17]
What kind of novels were written for young boys and girls in the 19th century ? Explain.
What did GA Henty write about in his novel ?
Describe the features of the novels which were written for the young boys and girls in the late nineteenth century in Europe.
The main features of the novels written for the young boys and girls in the late nineteenth century were as mentioned below :
- New type of man : Novels for young boys idealised a new type of man who was powerful, assertive, independent and daring.
- Most of these novels were adventurous.
- These novels were set in places remote from Europe.
- The colonisers appear heroic and honourable – confronting native peoples and strange unknown surroundings.
- They adapted to native life as well as changed it, colonised and developed nations there. Thus books like R L Stevenson’s Treasure Island (1883) or Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book became very popular.
- Historical : Some novels were historical adventure about conquering new lands in Mexico, Alexandria, Siberia and other countries. It threw light on historical events, military action and courage of the English people. For example, G.A. Henty’s novel Under Drake’s Flag (1883) two young Elizabethan adventurers faced death, but still remembered to assert their Englishness. His novels were wildly popular during the height of the British Empire. They aroused the excitement and adventure of conquering strange lands.
- Love stories : Love stories were written for adolescent girls and became popular
especially in the US. Examples are Ramona (1884) by Helen Hunt Jackson and a series entitled What Katy Did (1872) by Sarah Chauncey Woolsey, who wrote under the pen-name Susan Coolidge.
When did the novels develop in India and why ?
(1) The novels developed in India in the 19th century.
(2) Causes for development of novels :
- India became familiar with the Western novel.
- Development of the vernaculars, print and a reading public helped in the development of novel. One of the earliest Indian novels in Marathi was Baba Padmanji’s Yamuna Paryatan (1857) which used a simple style of storytelling to speak about the plight of widows.
- Translation of novels into different languages too helped in the development.
Who tried to translate the novel Henrietta Temple written by Benjamin Disraeli ? Why did the translator gave up the idea of translating English novel ? What was written by him thereafter ?
- O. Chandu Menon, a subjudge from Malabar tried to translate the English novel Henrietta Temple written by Benjamin Disraeli into Malayalam.
- He gave up the idea due to reasons as mentioned below
- He realised that his readers in Kerala w’ere not familiar with the way in which the characters in English novels lived : their clothes, way of speaking and manners were unknown to them.
- They would find a direct translation of an English novel dreadfully boring.
- So he gave up this idea and wrote instead a story in Malayalam in the ‘manner of English book novels’. His novel Indulekha published in 1889, was the first modern novel in Malayalam.
Who wrote novel Pariksha-Guru ? Explain two features of it.
Describe the picture of the new middle class as portrayed in the novel Pariksha- Guru.
(1) The first proper modern novel in Hindi was Pariksha-Guru’ published in 1882.
(2) It was written by Srinivas Das of Delhi.
(3) The characteristics of the novel are as mentioned below :
- It reflects the inner and outer world of the newly emerging middle classes.
- The characters are caught in the difficulty of adopting to colonised society and at the same time preserving their own cultural identity.
- The world of colonial modernity seems to be both frightening and irresistible to the characters.
- The novel tries to teach the reader the ‘right way’ to live and expects all ‘sensible men’ to be worldly-wise and practical.
- It expects them to remain rooted in the values of their own tradition and culture and to
live with dignity and honour.
How did novel Pariksha-Guru bridge the two different worlds of modern education and traditional
ethics ? [CBSE 2016-17]
“In the novel iPariksha-Guru’ the characters attempt to connect two different worlds through their actions.” Justify the statement.
See Textbook Question 3(c).
Mention the main features of the first Hindi modern novel.
Describe the importance of writings of Devaki Nanclan Khatri in Hindi.
The importance of writings of Devaki Nand-an Khatri is as mentioned below :
- His writings created a novel reading public in Hindi.
- Chandrakanta is a romance with dazzling
elements of fantasy, contributed immensely in popularising the Hindi language and the Nagari script among the educated classes of those times.
- It was written purely for ‘pleasure of reading but it also gives some interesting insights into the fears and desires of its reading public.
What is referred to as Kissa-goi ?
Examine the main features of the novel Sewasadan written by Munshi Premchand. [CBSE 2016-17]
“It was with the writing of Premchand that the Hindi novel achieved excellence.” Explain.
With the writings of Premchand, the Hindi novel achieved excellence as mentioned below :
- He began writing in Urdu and then shifted to Hindi.
- He drew on the traditional art of kissa-goi i.e., storytelling.
- His novel Sewasadan (The Abode of Service) was published in 1916, lifted the Hindi novel from the realm of fantasy, moralising and simple entertainment to a serious reflection on the lives of ordinary people and social issues.
- Sewasadan deals with the poor condition of women in society, child marriage and dowry. It also shows how upper classes tried to govern themselves under the colonial government.
Write a short note on novel in Assam.
- The first novels in Assam were written by missionaries.
- Two of them were translations of Bengali including Phulmoni and Karuna.
- In 1888, Assamese students in Kolkata formed the ‘Asamya Bhasar Unnatisadhan’ that brought out a journal called Jonaki.
- The journal Jonaki opened up the opportunities for new authors to develop the novel.
- Rajanikanta Bardoloi wrote the first major historical novel in Assam called Manomati (1900).
- It is set in the Burmese invasion, stories of which the author had probably heard from old soldiers who had faught in the 1819 campaign.
- It is a tale of two lovers belonging to two hostile families who are separated by the war and finally reunited.
Describe two kinds of novels that came to be written in Bengali in the 19th century. Name any two famous novelists of Bengal.
Describe the development of novels in Bengal.
- Two types of novels : In the nineteenth century, early Bengali novels were categorised into two types – one based on historical events and second dealt with domestic life, social problems and romantic relationships between men and women.
- Two famous novelists are Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay and Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay.
- Two types of people in society : There were two types of people in Calcutta. The old merchant elite patronised public forms of entertainment e.g., kabirlarai, musical soirees and dance performances. On the other hand, new bhadralok read novels at home individually. They could also be read in select groups.
- Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay’s contribution : Bankim would host a jatra in his courtyard where members of the family would be gathered. In Bankim’s room, his literary friends would collect to read, discuss and judge literary works. Bankim read out Durgeshnandini (1865) to such a group of friends. They were surprised to realise that the Bengali novel had achieved excellence so quickly. Thus, the contribution of Bankim was significant in the
development of novels in Bengal.
(a) Style : (a) The prose style was enjoyed by the readers.
(b) Initially the Bengali novel used a colloquial style associated with urban life. It also used meyeli. It was replaced by Bankim’s prose which was Sanskritised but also contained a more vernacular style.Thus, novel became popular in Bengal. It was enjoyed due to ingenious twists, and turns of the plot and the suspense and its language. In the twentieth century, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay told stories in simple language and became most popular novelist in Bengal and probably in the rest of India.
In what ways were the novels in colonial India useful for both coloniser as well as the Indians ?
“Colonial administrators found vernacular novels a valuable source of information on native life and customs.” Support the statement with suitable examples.
(1) Colonial administrators :
- It helped the colonial administrators to get information ‘ on native life and customs which was very useful for them in governing Indian society with its
large variety of communities and castes.
- The British knew little about life inside Indian households. The new novels in Indian languages often had descriptions of domestic life.
- They showed how people dressed, their forms of religious worship, their beliefs and practices, and so on.
(2) Indians :
- Indians used the novel as a powerful medium to criticise what they considered defects in their society and to suggest remedies.
- Writers like Viresalingam used the novel mainly to propagate their ideas about society among a wider readership.
- Novels glorified the past and helped in creating a sense of national pride among their readers.
- Different types of people read novels in the same language. This created a sense of collective belonging on the basis of one’s language.
- Generally, people living in different regions speak the same language in different ways. With the coming of novels, such variations were used in the print and novels. This made readers familiar with the ways in which people in other parts of the land spoke their language.
Thus, the novels brought different peoples from different regions closer to each other.
“Many novels carried a clear message df social reform.” Explain with an example from Kannada novels in Karnataka.
It is a fact that many early novels carried a clear message of social reform. For example, in Indirabai, a Kannada novel written by Gulavadi Venkata Rao in 1899, the heroine is given away in marriage at a very young age to an elderly man. Her husband dies soon after. She is forced to lead a life of a widow. In spite of opposition from her family and society, Indirabai succeeds in continuing her education. Eventually she marries again, this time a progressive, English-educated man. Thus women’s education, the plight of widow, and problems created by the early marriage of girls were the important issues for social reformers in Karnataka.
Explain any three issues raised by the Malayalam novel Indulekha. [CBSE 2016-17]
‘Indian novels successfully showed how to be modern without rejecting traditions.’ Explain with the help of example.
How was the problem of being modern addressed by the Indian novelists ? Support your answer with two examples.
In what ways did the characters of the novel ‘Indulekha’ show that Indian and foreign life style could be brought together in an ideal combination ? Explain.
Under colonial rule, many of the English educated class found new Western ways of living and thinking attractive. However, at the same time they did not want to loose their own identity and traditions. To such people, novels like Indulekha showed the way. The hero of Indulekha was Madhavan, an English educated class of Nayars. He was also a first class Sanskrit scholar. He dressed in Western clothes. But he kept a long tuft of hair, according to the Nayar custom. Indulekha was a woman of breathtaking beauty, high intellectual abilities, artistic talent and with education in English and Sanskrit. The heroes and heroines in most of the novels were people who lived in the modern world. Thus they were different from the ideal or mythological characters of the earlier poetic literature of India. The characters like Indulekha and Madhavan showed how Indian and foreign lifestyles could be brought together in an ideal combination.
Why did novel reading become popular in India ? [CBSE 2016-17]
Reading novels became popular due to the reasons as mentioned below :
- The novels offered a popular medium of entertainment. The circulation of printed books allowed people to amuse themselves in new ways. Among new forms of entertainment, such as picture books, translations from other languages, stories in newspapers, etc. novels became very popular. For example in Tamil, detective and mystery novels became very popular. They were printed again and again to meet the demand of readers.
- The novel spread the way of silent reading because novels are generally read alone and in silence. Individuals sitting at home or travelling in trains enjoy them. A reader can even read a novel in a crowded room and be all alone. It was like day dreaming.
- Some times the written texts were read aloud for several people to hear for their entertainment.
Summarise the concern in both nineteenth century Europe and India about women reading novels. What does this suggest about how women were viewed ? What were its effects ?
Analyse the reasons for women being prevented from reading or writing novels. Explain.
Why were women prevented from reading navels in the beginning of twentieth century in India ? Explain any three reasons.
(1) In Europe, images of women reading novel silently, in the privacy of the room became common in European painting. In India, when women began reading or writing novels many people feared that they would now neglect their traditional role as wives and mothers and homes would be in disorder. Thus some people were worried about the ill-effects of novels.
Thus women were prevented from reading novels due to the following reasons :
- The concerns about women suggest that they should stay away from novels because
they were easily corruptible or could be influenced.
- Their divine purpose was to become mothers and lead a happy life.
- They should not ruin their life by going crazy after despicable novels.
- By reading novels, women would dwell in imaginary world and forget their duties.
(2) Effects :
- Some parents kept novels in the lofts in their houses, out of their children’s
- Young people often read them in secret.
- Older women – some of whom could not read – listened with fascinated attention to popular Tamil novels read out to them by their grandchildren – a nice reversal of the familiar grandma’s tales.
“In spite of restrictions on reading novels by women, novels not only became popular but women began to write novels.” Explain with examples.
In spite of restrictions on reading novels by women, novels became popular. The women started to write novels as mentioned below :
- In some languages, the early creations of women were poems, essays or auto-biographical pieces.
- In the early decades of the twentieth century, women in south India also began writing novels and short stories because novels allowed for a new conception of womanhood.
- Stories of love – which was a staple theme of many novels – showed women who could choose or refuse their partners and relationships.
- It showed women who could to some extent control their lives. Some women authors also wrote about women who changed the world of both men and women.
- Hannah Mullens, a Christian missionary and author of Karuna O Phulmonir Bibaran (1852), reputedly the first novel in Bengali, tells her readers that she wrote in secret.
- In the 20th century, Sailabala Ghosh Jaya, a popular novelist, could only write because her husband protected her.
Give a brief description of Rokeya Hossein and her novels.
Rokeya Hossein (1880-1932) was a reformer who wrote a satiric fantasy in English called Sultana’s Dream (1905) which shows a topsy-turvy world in which women take the place of men. Her novel Padmarag also showed the need for women to reform their condition by their own actions.
Describe the social issues raised by the novel ‘Indulekha’ written in Malayalam.
What were the issues raised by the novel Indulekha written in Malayalam ?
Indulekha is a love story. It is concerned with the marriage practices of upper-caste Hindus in Kerala, especially the Nambuthiri Brahmins and the Nayars. Nambuthiris were also major landlords in Kerala at that time and a large section of Nayars were their tenants. Younger generation of English-educated Nayar wanted new laws regarding marriage and property. In the novel, Indulekha refuses to marry the foolish landlord and marries an educated Nayar.
Who wrote the novel Sarasivativijayam ? Highlight any two messages given to the people through the novel.
Potheri Kunjambu, a ‘lower-caste’ writer wrote a novel Saraswativijayam in 1892 against caste oppression. It is about an untouchable who leaves his village and ultimately returns as a judge in his own village. On revealing his identity the upper-caste —the Nambuthiris repent and reform their ways. Thus, the novel shows the importance of education for the upliftment of the lower castes. It stresses that the upper caste people should mend their ways.
Who was the author of novel ‘Titash Ekti Nadir Naam’ ? Describe the theme of the novel. [CBSE 2016-17]
(1) The author of novel ‘Titash Ekti Nadir Naam’ was Advaita Malla Burman.
(2) Theme :
- The novel is about three generations of the Mallas, about their recurring tragedies and the story of Ananta.
- The novel describes the community life of the Mallas in great detail, their Holi and Kali Puja festivals, boat races, bhatiali songs, their relationships of friendship and animosity with the peasants and the oppression of the upper castes.
- In the end as the river dries up, the community dies too.
- Titash is special because the author is himself from a ‘low caste’, fisher folk community.
Describe any three features of novels written by the Malayalam writer Vaikkom Muhammad Basheer.
In his early years as a writer, Basheer had great difficulty earning a living from his books. He often sold them himself, carrying copies personally to houses and shops. In some of his stories Basheer wrote about his days as a vendor of his own books.
Three features of novels written by the Malayalam writer Basheer are as mentioned below :
- Most of his works based on his own experience rather than on books from the past.
- His short novels and stories were written in the ordinary language of conversation.
- His novels give details from the everyday life of Muslim households.
- He wrote about poverty, insanity and life in prisons.
“Premchand’s novels are filled with all kinds of powerful characters from all levels of society.” Support the statement by giving suitable examples.
The above statement is true.
- His characters are drawn from all levels of society.
- His characters include aristocrats and landlords, middle level peasants, landless labourers, middle class professionals and people from margins of society.
- The women characters are strong individuals, especially those who come from the lower classes and- are not modernised.
- His characters create a community based on democratic values. In his Rangbhoomi, Surdas, an ‘untouchable’ is hero who struggles against the forcible take over of his land for establishing a tobacco factory. This reflects the impact of industrialisation on society and people.
- The story of Surdas was inspired by Gandhi’s personality and ideas. Thus, novel played significant role in the nation making.
- His novel Sewasadan deals with the poor condition of women in society as well as tells us how the upper classes used the opportunities they got to govern themselves.
- Godan (the Gift of Cow), published in 1936 is Premchand’s best known work. It is an epic of the Indian peasantry. It is about the story of Hori and his wife Dhania, a peasant couple and landlords, moneylenders, priests and colonial bureaucrats.’These people rob their land and make them into landless labourers but they retain their dignity to the end.
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