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Written by: Angelia Greiner Additional Material by: Kelley McConathy. DEFINITIONS…. “A book length story in prose, whose author tries to create a sense that, while we read, we experience actual life.” By X. J. Kennedy. “An imaginary work in prose

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Written by: Angelia Greiner Additional Material by: Kelley McConathy

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Written by: Angelia Greiner

Additional Material by: Kelley McConathy


“A book length story in prose,

whose author tries to create a

sense that, while we read, we

experience actual life.”

By X. J. Kennedy

“An imaginary work in prose

of a considerable length, which

presents as real certain characters

living in a given environment and

describes their attitudes,

fate, and adventures.”

By Percy Lubbock

“An extended fictional narrative,

usually written in prose.”


“The novel is like a symphony

In that the closing movement

Echoes and resounds with all

that has gone before…”’By John Gardner

The Novel is a Unique Form of Prose


Quality 1

Length is generally 100 pages or more

Quality 2

Emphasis is on the character

Quality 3

Allows for more than one theme, conflict, point of view or plot.

Quality 4

Plot explores characters in conflict to understand our own humanity


50,000 words or more

Many characters

Complex story

Deeper understanding of life or individuals


5,000 words or less

Few or one character

Focuses on one event

Better understanding of an event or character

Novel Compared to the Short Story

History of the Novel

  • Oral telling of myths, history, and stories

  • Written storytelling in the form of the epic

  • Written prose fiction concerned with adventure known as the romance. (The French word for the novel is roman)

  • Written prose fiction concerned with reality or actual life. (The English word for new is novel) 1700s

The Industrial Revolution

  • Mid 18th Century England

  • Growth of cities due to industry

  • Ideas and goods are exchanged

  • New “middle class” is created from industry

Birth of the Novel

New market for

the novel by 1700s!

Spending money

available for


Increase in the

number of people

able to read

More leisure

time available



The Middle Class

The Middle Class

Concerned with real problems and real situations!



Early Beginnings–1700s

  • “The proper study of mankind is man.” —Alexander Pope

  • Samuel Richardson

  • Henry Fielding


The Founder of the Modern English Novel

  • Daniel Defoe

  • Wrote Robinson Crusoe (1719)

  • Moll Flanders (1722)

  • Born 1660

  • Died 1731

  • Established a “middle class” perspective

Basic Elements of the Novel

  • Plot

  • Character

  • Setting

  • Point of View

  • Theme


  • The plot is what happens in the story.




Conflict in the Early Novels

  • Person versus society

  • Person versus self

  • Person versus person

Person v. Society

  • Character trapped by circumstances of birth

  • Character falsely accused by society

  • Character feels apart from society and discovers own values

Person v. Society

  • Great Expectations

  • English Society during the Industrial Age

  • Trapped between two worlds

  • Middle class audience

“... my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. So, I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip. ...”

Great Expectations Video

Single click screen to view video

Person v. Society

  • Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

  • Separated from the cosmopolitan world

  • Rebels

“He hoped I would study law, but all I wanted was to go to sea.”

Person v. Society

  • The Scarlet Letterby Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • Individual’s triumph over cultural expectations of society

  • Hester Prynne

“Lastly, in lieu of these shifting scenes, came back the rude market-place of the Puritan settlement, with all the townspeople assembled and levelling their stern regards at Hester Prynne,—yes, at herself,—who stood on the scaffold of the pillory, an infant on her arm, and the letter A, in scarlet, fantastically embroidered with gold thread, upon her bosom!”

Single click speaker to hear audio clip >>>>

The Scarlet Letter Video

Single click screen to view video




Person v. Self

  • Character finds inner strength despite poor odds

  • Character must develop moral compass

  • Character must discover self-worth

Person v. Self

  • Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

  • Own sense of morality

  • Journeyed along Mississippi River

  • Defines who he is as a man

  • Returns home—”outgrown” society

    “But I reckon I got to light out for the Territory aheadof the rest, because Aunt Sally she's going to adoptme and sivilize me, and I can't stand it. I been therebefore.”

Single click speaker to hear audio clip >>>>

Person v. Self

  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville

  • High-seas adventure

  • Forsakes everything to hunt the great whale

  • “Enveloped in the whale-lines”

    “All men live enveloped in whale-lines.

    All are born with halters round their

    necks; but it is only when caught in the

    swift, sudden turn of death, that mortals

    realize the silent, subtle, ever present perils of life.”

Single click speaker to hear audio clip >>>>

Person v. Self

  • Lord of the Ringsby J.R.R. Tolkien

  • Good vs. evil

  • Frodo

“I will take the Ring,” he said,“though I do not know the way.” —Frodo

Elrond raised his eyes and looked at him...“This is the hour of the Shire-folk, when they arisefrom their quiet fields, to shake the towers and counsels of the Great. Who of all the Wise could have foreseen it?”

Person v. Person

  • One character must battle another character to gain power, true love, freedom, justice or acceptance

  • One group of characters must free themselves from another

  • One character must confront another to survive

Person v. Person

  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

  • Creature

  • Companionship

    “All men hate the wretched; how, then, must I be hated, who am

    miserable beyond all living things! Yet you, my creator, detest and

    spurn me, thy creature, to whom thou art bound by ties only

    dissoluble by the annihilation of one of us. You purpose to kill me.

    How dare you sport thus with life? Do your duty towards me, and I

    will do mine towards you and the rest of mankind.”

Single click speaker to hear audio clip >>>>

Person v. Person

  • War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

  • Science Fiction masterpiece

  • War erupts: Martians and mankind

    “Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours

    are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and

    unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly

    and surely drew their plans against us.”

Person v. Person

  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding

  • Plane crash—boys left marooned on island

  • Psychologically fascinating yet horrifying

  • Mankind’s worst qualities exposed

“But Ralph soon regained his senses. Homesick and tired, he again

competed with Jack for the role of leader. Sensing Jack's unstable

nature, most of the boys again voted for Ralph, whereupon, Jack

gathered his loyal hunters and struck out into the jungle to become his own tribal chieftain.”

Single click speaker to hear audio clip >>>>


  • Character: person in a literary work

  • Main character: the protagonist

  • Character in direct conflict with the protagonist: the antagonist

From the Novel to the Movies!



Point of View

  • Author’s choice of narrator for a story

  • A story can be told in many different ways

First Person Point of View

  • Narrator is character in story

Captain Ahab and Huck Finn

“Call me Ishmael.”

––from Moby Dick

“It's lovely to live on a raft. We had the sky up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made or only just happened.”––Huckleberry Finn,

from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Second Person

  • Refers to the use of “you” in writings

Narration: “He hasn’t disappointed her yet. You have. She looks at you through a veneer of resignation. Her eyes glow, her lower lip barely trembling. And well she might fear you.”

from The Bride Wore Redby Robbie Sethi

Directions: Use the following diagram in assembling the bookcase.

Memo: You will receive the following checklist of supplies in the next week.

Explanation: This Power- Point® presentation is to help you understand the elements of a novel.

Second Person Examples

Third Person Point of View

  • Narrator is not a character in the story

  • Third person point of view written in variety of ways

  • Third Person (Limited)

  • Third Person (Multiple Viewpoints)

  • Third Person (Omniscient)

“The agony of my feelings allowed me no respite; no incident occurred from which my rage and misery could not extract its food ...”

The monster, from Frankenstein

“She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom!”

from The Scarlet Letter

"Bah!" said Scrooge. "Humbug!"

from A Christmas Carol

"Man," I cried, "how ignorant art thou in thy pride of wisdom!"

Victor Frankenstein,from Frankenstein

From what viewpoint is the narrator speaking?


  • Where and when a story takes place

  • Time of day or year

  • Geographical location

  • Climate or weather

  • Immediate surroundings of character

Purpose of Setting

  • Become the antagonist

  • Create atmosphere

  • Tell about a character

  • Reinforce an overall idea

Setting Examples

  • Puritan New England in The Scarlet Letter

  • The Mississippi River in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

  • The Atlantic Oceanin Moby Dick

  • A deserted island in Lord of the Flies

  • 1920s Jazz Age in The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby Video

Single click screen to view video


  • Central idea that serves to unify the story

  • Every element of the novel contributes

Theme Topics

  • Teamwork• Discrimination• Pride

  • Trust • Resourcefulness• Challenges

  • Ethical dilemmas• Nature• Leadership

  • Euthanasia • Commitment• Diversity

  • Freedom • Guilt• Love

  • Convictions • Heroes• Community

  • Social change• Loss• Patriotism

  • Communication• Evil • Family

  • Friendship• Loyalty• Power

  • Acceptance• Hope• Friendship

  • Customs• Loneliness• Values

  • Money• Death• War

  • Choices• Prejudice

  • Denial• Poverty


  • Subject or category of literature

  • Novels can fall into multiple genres

Genre Examples



Nathaniel Philbrick

The Notebook


Nicholas Sparks

The Dead Zone


Stephen King

Telegraph Days


Larry McMurtry

Love Walked In


Marisa de los Santos

Murder On The

Orient Express


Agatha Christie

The Novel’s Many Forms

Historical Novel

Nonfiction Novel

Bildungsroman Novel

Picaresque Novel

Trilogy Novel

Novelette or Novella

The Historical Novel

  • Fiction that has its basis in historical fact

    • The Scarlet Letter

    • The Red Badge of Courage

    • The Grapes of Wrath

    • All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front Video

Single click screen to view video

The Nonfiction Novel

  • Records or nearly records literal truth

    • In Cold Blood

    • Hiroshima

    • The Killer Angels

The Bildungsroman Novel

  • Main character struggles toward maturity

    • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

    • Huckleberry Finn matures

    • Finn experienced:

      • Enslavement

      • Hypocrisy in society

      • Greed

Huck Finn Video

Single click screen to view video

The Picaresque Novel

  • Main character is a likeable scoundrel

  • Spanish word “picaro” means rascal

  • Tom Jones

The Trilogy Novel

  • Three novels in a sequence which tell a story

  • The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

  • The Star Wars Trilogy

The Novelette or Novella

  • Length between a short story and novel

  • The Heart of Darkness

  • The Strange Case ofDr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Novels of Note:

  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

  • Degradation and cruelty of slavery in the South

  • American Civil War

Novels of Note:

  • Roots by Alex Haley

  • First historical novel made into a television miniseries

  • African American family

  • Bridge the cultural divide

Novels of Note

  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

  • Pulitzer prize

  • Oklahoma farm family during the Depression

  • Unemployed Americans & greed of corporate America

Novels of Note

  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

  • Classic story of redemption

  • Man can change

Novels of Note

  • The Jungle by Sinclair Lewis

  • Meat packing business

  • Government stepped in

In Conclusion

  • Novels serve many purposes:

    • Help us understand our own heritage

    • Illuminate the human experience

    • Can be a catalyst for social and political change

    • Document an event for better understanding

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