Get here Class 10 Social Science NCERT Textbook Answers to Chapter 8. NCERT Solutions Class X Chapter 8 includes answers to all the questions of Novels, Society and History provided in NCERT Text Book which is prescribed for class 10 in schools.

National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) Book for Class X
Subject: Social Science
Chapter: Chapter 8 – Novels, Society and History

 NCERT Solutions for Class 10th Social Science:Chapter 8 – Novels, Society and History

Class X NCERT Social Science Text Book Chapter 8 – Novels, Society and History is given below.

Question 1:
Explain the following:
(a) Social changes in Britain which led to an increase in women readers.
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) What actions of Robinson Crusoe make us see him as a typical coloniser?
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.
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.
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

Question 2:
Outline the changes in technology and society which led to an increase in readers of the novel
in eighteenth-century Europe.
The changes in technology and society which led to an increase in readers of the novel in
eighteenth century Europe were manifold. The creation of libraries, cost-cutting printing
techniques and hiring out of books on an hourly basis allowed readership to expand beyond the
aristocratic class. Socially, as the market for books grew, novelists were freed of aristocratic
patronage, and could now explore different dimensions of the society in their novels, for
example, the lives of women and the working class. All this led to an obvious increase in the
number of people who read books in eighteenth-century Europe.

Question 3:
Write a note on:
(a) The Oriya novel
In 1877-78, Ramashankar Ray started to serialise the first Oriya novel, “Saudamini”; but it
remained incomplete. Orissa’s first major novelist was Fakir Mohon Senapati. He wrote “Chaa
Mana Atha Guntha” that deals with land and its possession. This novel illustrated that rural
issues could be an important part of urban concerns.

(b) Jane Austen’s portrayal of women
Austen portrayed the lives of women of genteel rural society in early nineteenth-century
Britain. Her novels explore the social norms that women had to follow—predominantly, their
duty was to marry wealthy husbands who could offer them financial and social security. The
women in Jane Austen’s novels are not always shown to conform to social convention.
Although her works do typify the society she lived in, the protagonist in her novels is always
an independent-minded woman.

(c) The picture of the new middle class which the novel Pariksha – Guru portrays.
The novel “Pariksha – Guru” portrays the difficulties of the new middle class in adapting to
colonised society while preserving its cultural identity. It emphasises that Western ideals must
be inculcated, but without sacrificing the traditional values of middle-class households. The
characters in this Hindi novel by Srinivas Das are seen endeavouring to bridge the two different
worlds of modern education and traditional ethics.


Question 1:
Discuss some of the social changes in nineteenth-century Britain which Thomas Hardy and
Charles Dickens wrote about.
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.

Question 2:
Summarise the concern in both nineteenth-century Europe and India about women reading
novels. What does this suggest about how women were viewed?
The concern in both nineteenth-century Europe and India about women reading novels bore
more or less similar fears. Women were seen as easily corruptible and an imaginary world that
the novel provided was seen as a dangerous opening for the imaginations of its readers. In
certain Indian communities, it was felt that women who read novels would leave their domestic
environments and aspire to be part of the outside world—the male domain.
This suggests that women were viewed as delicate and incapable of being independent. They
were merely expected to marry a man who could take care of their financial needs while they
maintained his household and remained subservient to him.

Question 3:
In what ways was the novel in colonial India useful for both the colonisers as well as the
The novel in colonial India was useful for both the colonisers as well as the nationalists on
account of a variety of reasons. Colonial rulers found “vernacular” novels illuminating for the
information they provided on native customs and life. It was useful in the governance of this
diverse country. Indian nationalists used the form of the novel to criticise colonial rule and
instill a sense of national pride and unity amongst the people.

Question 4:
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.
Indians used the novel as a powerful medium to criticise what they considered defects in their
society and to suggest remedies. The issue of caste was included in Indian novels for this same
purpose. O Chandu Menon’s “Indulekha”, a love story based on the lines of Benjamin Disraeli’s
novel “Henrietta Temple”, is a comment upon the marriage practices of upper-caste Hindus in
Kerala. Through the characterisations of his main characters, the author (himself a member of
an “upper caste”) pits the ignorant and immoral Nambuthiri Brahmins against the educated and
modern Nayars.
While writers like Chandu Menon wished to bring about reforms within their castes, there were
others who sought to reform the entire caste-based society. In his novel “Saraswativijayam”,
Potheri Kunjambu (a “lower-caste” writer from Kerala) attacks caste oppression. The novel
shows a young “untouchable” man flee his village to escape caste-based tyranny. After
converting to Christianity and receiving modern education, he returns to his village as a judge
in the local court where the villagers had filed a case against the local Brahmin bully for
murdering this young man. In the end, the judge reveals his identity and the Nambuthiri repents
and reforms his ways. Apart from being critical of the upper castes, this novel also stresses the
importance of education for the upliftment of the lower castes.

Question 5:
Describe the ways in which the novel in India attempted to create a sense of pan-Indian
The novel in India attempted to create a sense of pan-Indian belonging by imagining the
country to be full of adventure, heroism, romance and sacrifice—characteristics that could not
be found in the offices and streets of the nineteenth century world. It also gave the colonised
people a chance to give shape to their desires. For example, the Bengali historical novels of
this time, dealing with Marathas and Rajputs, served this purpose.
Another way in which the sense of belonging to a common nation was popularised was by
including various classes in the novel so that they could be seen to belong to a shared world.
The novels of Premchand, populated by powerful characters belonging to almost all levels of
society, exemplify this.

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