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The novel of manners

The novel of manners descibes the codes of conduct of those people who wanted to affirm their role in society. The master of novel of manners is Jane Austen, whose novel are based on the premise that there is a vital relationship between characters, manners and social behaviour. They are usually set in the upper or middle levels of society. Usual is the description of balls, tea party, and relationship influenced by money. Their main themes are marriage, the complicationsof love and friendship. A third person narrator is employed and dialogue plays a central role.

The historical novel

It appeared at the beginning of the 19th century when Napoleonic Wars brought together men from different nations. This awakened national feelings and the search for national identity. The founder of this genre was sir Walter Scott. His task was to get people to realize that history was not just a list of political and religious events, but the product of human decisions. He used dialect to portray real and living characters who belonged to all classes. Manzoni was greatly influenced by Scott but he removed any regional inflections from the language because he aimed at creating a national consciousness.

Flat and round characters

Flat characters, which can also be called “types” or “caricature”are easy to recognize because they don’t develop through the story. However it doesn’t means they’re always less important than the round ones because the author use them to create a particular atmosphere.
Round characters are more complex and they ave more than one facet like human being:
° their personality is modified by experience
° they bring the variety of real life within the pages of a book, performing both comic and tragic roles.
An effective example is Elizabeth of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice: she is not the same girl the reader met in the first chapter, she is a new woman.
Another important device to consider s the point of view which the story is told. It is different from the narrative voice:
° the narrative voice belongs to the person who is speaking that can be internal or external
° the point of view regards the person who inside the story sees the facts thinks and judges
°the point of view can vary more often than the narrative voice.

The short story

Short stories rarely have complex plots; the focus is upon a particular episode or situation.
*In the introduction the author usually presents the setting and the characters
*The key note, usually an incident, a crisis or an animal or an object, arouses the reader interest
*The climax come unexpected

The end of the story can vary:
*character’s failure or death
*the reestabilisation of the initial situation
*it can be open, leaving the conflict unresolved.

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