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Rise of the novel


The novel of the 18th century was based on realism, with ordinary situations, ordinary experiences in which the reader could identify in. The language was simple and understandable without latinism or anything not related to everyday english. Plots represented typical and familiar lives of middle-class tradesmen and they wanted to show that men are able to build up their living and improve their conditions relying only on his skills and ability.

Reasons


The German King didn’t partonised poetry, that was related to the upper class, so the court was not interested in english literature.
Writers found new readers in the middle and lower class, ready to support the improvement of prose production.
Bourgeois public wanted to improve its cultural condition because now they had money to do that.
They thought reason, which could analyse world and people, could be better represented by prose.
Middle-class had the opportunity to improve its conditions thanks to circulating libraries, Sunday schools, coffee houses and the diffusion of dictionaries, that helped to create a standard english that everybody could understand.

Aim


Its aim was to write in a simple way in order to be understood by middle and even lower classes, so speed and copiousness became the most important economic virtues.

Message


The moralising message was strong in novelists’ stories: the sense of reward and punishment was related to the Puritan ethics of the middle classes, for which a reward was given for virtue and punishment for sins.

Characters


The subject of the novels was always a middle-class and Puritan man, who was self-made and self-reliant because he had to represent the typical men of the period, in order to create a more realistic story for readers that wanted to identify theirself in it.

Narrator


The writer was omnipresent, and he always used the third-person or the first-person.

Setting


Great attention was given to the setting: the descriptions had a lot of details and specific references to names of streets or towns gave more realism to the narration.
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