CBSE Short Answer Questions
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Novels, Society, and History
Q.1. What Is a novel ? Mention any two features of novel.
Ans. A novel is a modern type of writing that tells the story of fictional characters and events in sequential order.
(i) Novels were first written in the 17th century, but they truly took off in the 18th century.
(ii) The majority of the novels dealt with societal concerns like marriage relationships, good male and female conduct, and so on.
Q.2. Explain the themes and issues of the novels of Thomas Hardy. [CBSE 2011]
Ans. (i) Thomas Hardy was a 19th-century British novelist. He wrote on England’s traditional rural communities.
(ii) This was a period when large farmers fenced in land, purchased machinery, and hired laborers to produce for the market. The traditional rural culture, with its self-sufficient farmers, was vanishing.
(iii) Thomas Hardy wrote solely about industry and rural life in his novel Mayor of Casterbridge (1886). Michael Henchard, a successful grain dealer, becomes mayor of the farming town of Casterbridge in the novel. He is a self-reliant individual who conducts business in his own manner. With his staff, he can be both generous and ruthless at times. As a result, he is no match for his manager and competition Donald Farfrae, who runs his company efficiently and is well-liked for being smooth and even-tempered with everyone.
(iv) We can see that Hardy laments the passing of the more personalized world, even as he recognizes its flaws and the benefits of the new order.
Q.3. What do you mean by epistolary novel ? Give one example.
State the meaning of epistolary novel. Give one example for this type of novel. [CBSE 2013]
Ans. Epistolary fiction is a type of novel that uses the private and personal form of letters to convey a story. Much of the story in Samuel Richardson’s Pamela, written in the 18th century, is told through a series of letters between two lovers.
Q.4. Mention any three features of Pickwick Papers.
Ans. (i) Charles Dickens wrote The Pickwick Papers.
(ii) In 1836, these writings were serialized in a magazine.
(iii) Serialisation allows readers to enjoy the tension, discuss the people in a novel, and live for weeks with their stories, similar to how soap opera fans do now.
Q.5- “The novels bring together many cultures”. Explain. [CBSE 2010, 11]
How did the novels bring together different cultures ?
Ans. (i) Language: The novel is written in vernacular, which is a language spoken by ordinary people. The novel creates a sense of a shared reality between diverse individuals in a nation by getting closer to their many spoken languages. Novels also use a variety of linguistic styles. A novel may combine classical language with street slang, making them all part of the vernacular it employs.
(ii) Bridging the divide between rural and urban culture: Many novelists, such as Thomas Hardy, focus solely on disappearing rural communities.
(iii) New culture: During colonial control, many English-educated people were drawn to new Western modes of life and thinking. So many Indian novelists started writing about this new culture developing in India.
Q.6. Who is the writer of the novel Germinal ? What was the theme of the novel ?
Ans. Germinal was written by Emile Zola, a French novelist (1885). The tale is about a teenage coal miner’s life. The author did his utmost in the novel to describe the difficult working circumstances of the miners. It concludes on a depressing note: the hero’s strike fails, his coworkers turn against him, and his dreams are dashed.
Q.7. How most of the novels of the 19th century represented the true picture of the community and the society ?
Ans. (i) Europe entered the industrial age in the nineteenth century. Novelists like Charles Dickens and Emile Zola wrote about the devastating consequences of industrialization on people’s lives and personalities.
(ii) Thomas Hardy, a British novelist, wrote about England’s old rural communities, which were rapidly disappearing.
(iii) Jane Austen wrote about women’s social status in her work “Pride and Prejudice.”
Q-8. What did G.A. Henty write about in his novel ? [CBSE Sept. 2010]
How did the novels for the young boys idealise a new type of man ? Explain. [CBSE Sept. 2010, 2011]
Ans. (i) He wrote of the youthful Englishmen conquering exotic lands.
(ii) He published books for young boys that portrayed a new type of man: one who was strong, forceful, self-reliant, and courageous.
(iii) He was a gallant and honorable representative of the colonizers.
(iv) His stories revolved around young lads who see major historical events, participate in military action, and demonstrate what they referred to as “English courage.”
Q.9. Who was Charlotte Bronte ? How has she presented the picture of a woman in her novels ?
Describe the depiction of women in the novels of Charlotte Bronte. [CBSE 2013]
In which way was women depicted in Charlotte Bronte’s novel ‘Jane Eyre’? [CBSE 2011]
Ans. Charlotte Bronte was an author from England. Her works featured women who defied society’s established rules before conforming to them. Women readers could empathize with rebellious behavior in such books. Young Jane is shown as an independent and strong woman or girl in Charlotte Bronte’s novel Jane Eyre, published in 1874. Jane opposes the hypocrisy of her elders with striking bluntness at the age of ten when girls of her period were expected to be quiet and well-behaved. She tells her aunt, who is always unkind to Jane: “People think you a good woman, but you are bad You are
deceitful ! I will never call you aunt as long as I live.”
Q.10. How did the early novels contribute to colonialism ?
With the help of an example show how the early novels in Europe contributed to colonialism? [CBSE Sept. 2010, 2011]
Ans. (i) Early books aided colonization by making readers feel like they belonged to a superior group of fellow colonists.
(ii) In Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, the protagonist is an adventurer and a slave trader who treats people of color as second-class citizens.
(iii) At the period, most writers considered colonialism to be natural.
(iv) Colonized people were regarded as savage and barbarous, necessitating colonial administration to civilize them.
Q.11. How were the poor people, for a long time, excluded in the publishing market in eighteenth century Europe ? Explain any two reasons. [CBSE 2010 (D)]
Ans. (i) For a long time, the poor were shut out of the publishing market. Initially, novels were not inexpensive. Tom Jones (1749) by Henry Fielding was published in six volumes for three shillings each, which was more than a week’s wage for a laborer.
(ii) The poor’s literacy level was extremely low due to the lack of poor-only schools.
Q.12. Why did the readership of novel begin to include poorer people? Give any three reasons. [CBSE 2013]
“For a long time the publishing market excluded the poor.” Give reasons for such an exclusion. [CBSE 2015]
Ans. (i) Advent of libraries: With the introduction of circulating libraries in 1740, individuals had easier access to books.
(ii) Low-cost novels: Advances in printing technology reduced the cost of books, and marketing advances increased sales.
(iii) Hiring out novels: In France, publishers discovered that renting out novels by the hour allowed them to make a lot of money. One of the earliest mass-produced commodities to be sold was the novel.
Q.13. “Social changes in Britain led to an increase in women readers”. Explain.
Explain the factors that led to women writing novels in Europe. [CBSE 2012]
Ans. (i) Industrialization: Women were given the opportunity to work in factories as a result of industrialization. This gave them financial independence.
(ii) Urbanisation: As a result of industrialization, cities have grown. Urban households began to provide men and women with equal chances.
(iii) Increase in income: The middle classes prospered in the eighteenth century. Women now have more time to read and write novels. Women’s feelings and identities, as well as their experiences and difficulties, began to be explored in novels. Many novels dealt with family life, a subject on which women were allowed to speak authoritatively. They drew on their personal experience, wrote about family life, and became well-known.
Q.14. Mention some important characteristics of novels which increased their popularity among the readers.
Ans. (i)The novels’ most distinguishing features were that they were about regular people and that they were read by ordinary people. They were about the ordinary lives of ordinary people.
(ii) The majority of the novels were about ordinary people’s lives.
(iii) Europe entered the industrial age in the nineteenth century. The social and economic structure of the society was altered as a result of this. The majority of novelists depicted the devastating impact of industrialization on people’s lives.
(iv) The novel is written in the colloquial language of the common people.
Q.15. Explain the contribution of Devaki Nandan Khatri in Hindi novels. [CBSE 2014]
Name the first Hindi modem novel which became a best seller. Who was its writer ? Why was it so popular ? [CBSE Sept. 2010]
Ans. In India, Devaki Nandan Khatri was the first mystery novelist. In Hindi, his writings spawned a novel-reading public. His best-seller, Chandrakanta — a romance with dazzling aspects of make-believe fantasy – is widely credited with helping to popularise Hindi. The Nagari script was also promoted among the educated classes of the time. Despite the fact that it appears to have been created just for the ‘fun of reading,’ this novel provides some fascinating insights into the concerns and desires of its audience.
Q.16. Trace the history of novels of South India.
Ans. (i) During colonial India, novels began to appear in South Indian languages.
(ii) In 1889, O. Chandu Menon attempted to translate an English novel, but because his readers were unfamiliar with the manner in which the characters in the English novel lived, he composed Indulekha in Malayalam.
(ii) Kandukuri Viresalingam began translating Oliver Goldsmith’s Vicar of Wakefield but ended up authoring Rajasekhara Caritamu, a Telugu novel, in 1878.
Q.17. Explain any three features of early Bengali novels . [CBSE 2010 (D)]
Describe two kinds of novels that came to be written in Bengali in the 19th century. Name any two famous novelists of Bengal. [CBSE Sept. 2010]
Ans. (i) Early Bengali novels existed in two realms in the eighteenth century. Many of these books were set in the past, and the people, events, and love tales were all inspired by historical occurrences. Another collection of works showed the inner workings of modern-day domestic life. Domestic novels usually dealt with social issues and male-female romantic interactions.
(ii) In addition to the plot’s clever twists and turns and tension, the novel’s language was praised. The literary style was discovered to be a fresh source of pleasure.
(iii) At first, the Bengali novel was written in a vernacular manner that was linked with city life. It also made use of meyeli, a dialect associated with women’s discourse. Bankim’s prose, which was Sanskritized but also had a more vernacular style, quickly superseded this style.
(iv) Bengal’s most popular novelists were Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay and Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay.
Q.18. What were the issues raised by the novel Indulekha written in Malayalam ? [CBSE Sept. 2010]
What led Chandu Menon to write Indulekha ? [CBSE Sept. 2011,2014]
Ans. (i) The author has written about higher caste Hindu marriage practices in Kerala.
(ii) The writer has brought up the topic of the landlord-tenant wedge.
(iii) The writer has brought up the subject of marriage and property ownership.
(i) Chandu Menon plainly wants his audience to admire his hero and heroine’s new morals while criticizing Suri Nambuthire’s ignorance and immorality.
Q.19. How did novels depict the lives of peasants and low castes ? Explain with examples from India.
[CBSE Sept. 2010, 2011]
Ans. (i) Titash Ekti Nadir Naam (1956) by Advaita Malla Burman (1914-51) is an epic about Mallas, a group of fishermen who live along the Titash River.
(ii) The story goes into considerable depth into the Mallas’ community life, including their Holi and Kali Puja festivities, boat races, bhatiali songs, friendship and animosity with peasants, and tyranny by the upper classes.
(iii) Premchand’s best-known work is Godan (The Gift of Cow), published in 1936. It’s a peasant epic set in India. Hori and his wife Dhania, a peasant couple, are the central characters in the narrative. Landlords, moneylenders, priests, and colonial bureaucrats – all those in positions of power – establish an oppressive network that robs their land and turns them into landless laborers.
Q.20. Explain the role of novelists in the field of social reforms in India with the help of any three examples. [CBSE Sept. 2010]
Ans. (i) Saraswativijayam, a book, emphasizes the value of education in the upliftment of the lower classes.
(ii) The author of the novel Indulekha wished for his audience to appreciate new educational principles while criticizing ignorance.
(iii) Novelists such as Munshi Premchand wrote about peasants’ deplorable living conditions and how landowners exploited them.