NCERT Solutions for Class 10 Social Science India and the Contemporary World Unit 8

Novels, Society and History Class 10

Unit 8 Novels, Society and History Exercise Solutions

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Write in briefdiscuss : Solutions of Questions on Page Number : 200

Q1 :  

Explain the following:

(a) Social changes in Britain which led to an increase in women readers

(b) What actions of Robinson Crusoe make us see him as a typical coloniser.

(c) After 1740, the readership of novels began to include poorer people.

(d) Novelists in colonial India wrote for a political cause.


Answer :

(a) As the middle classes became more affluent, women got more leisure time to read and write novels. Also, novels began to explore the world of women, their emotions, identities, experiences and problems. Domestic life became an essential subject of novels—a field women had an authority to speak about.

(b) Robinson Crusoe's actions that make us see him as a typical coloniser are many. Shipwrecked on an island inhabited by coloured people, Crusoe treats them as inferior beings. He is portrayed as "rescuing" a native and then making him a slave. He gives him the name Friday, without even caring to ask for his name. Colonised people were seen as barbaric and primitive, and colonialism became their self-professed civiliser. Crusoe was a direct representation of this ideology of colonisers.

(c) After 1740, the readership of novels began to include poorer people because of the introduction of circulating libraries, low-priced books, and also because of the system of hiring out of books by the hour. This made books easily available to the poor people, who could not afford books earlier due to high costs and absence of lending libraries.

(d) Novelists in colonial India wrote for a political cause because the novel was a powerful medium for expressing social defects and suggesting remedies for the same. It also helped establish a relationship with the past. Since people from all walks of life could read novels, it was an easy way to popularise anti-colonial ideas. It also helped bring about a sense of national unity among the people.

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Q2 :  

Discuss some of the social changes in nineteenth-century Britain which Thomas Hardy and Charles Dickens wrote about.


Answer :

Thomas Hardy and Charles Dickens wrote mostly about the effects of industrialisation. Dickens wrote about industrial towns and the plight of the poor in them—smoking chimneys, grim factories, pollution, and identity-less and exploited workers. In his novel "Hard Times", he criticises the greed for profits and the reduction of human beings into tools of production. In other works, he dwells on the sad conditions of urban life under industrial capitalism.

Thomas Hardy, on the other hand, wrote about traditional rural communities of England which were vanishing in the face of rapid industrial growth. The change from old agricultural practice of independent farming to employment of labourers and machines on large farms can be seen in Hardy's famed work "The Mayor of Casterbridge". In this novel, through the character of Michael Henchard, Hardy demonstrates how he mourns the loss of the personalised world, even though he knows its problems and understands the advantages of the new order.

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Q3 :  

Outline the changes in technology and society which led to an increase in readers of the novel in eighteenth-century Europe.


Answer :

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Q4 :  

Summarise the concern in both nineteenth-century Europe and India about women reading novels. What does this suggest about how women were viewed?


Answer :

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Q5 :  

Write a note on:

(a) The Oriya novel

(b) Jane Austen's portrayal of women

(c) The picture of the new middle class which the novel Pariksha-Guru portrays.


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Q6 :  

In what ways was the novel in colonial India useful for both the colonisers as well as the nationalists?


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Q7 :  

Describe how the issue of caste was included in novels in India. By referring to any two novels, discuss the ways in which they tried to make readers think about existing social issues.


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Q8 :  

Describe the ways in which the novel in India attempted to create a sense of pan-Indian belonging.


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