CBSE Class 10 Social Sciences Novels, Society and History HOTS  

Q.1. How was the involvement of women, the most important event of the novel in the 18th century ? [CBSE Comp. (O) 2008]
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How did novels explore and depict the world of women ? Explain it by giving examples. [CBSE Sept. 2010]
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How was the ‘New Women’ portrayed in the novels of the 18th century? Explain [CBSE 2013]
Ans. (i) World of women : Women got more leisure to read as well as write novels. And novels began exploring the world of  women-their emotions and identities, their experiences and problems.
(ii) Domestic life : Many novels were about domestic life – a theme about which women were allowed to speak with authority. They drew upon their experience, wrote about their family life and earned public recognition.
(iii) Women Authors: Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot etc were some of the best known novelists of that era. They wrote about a society which encouraged women to look for good marriages and find wealthy or propertied husbands.
(iv) Independent and assertive : But women novelists did not simply popularise the domestic role of women. Often their novels dealt with women who broke established norms of society before adjusting to them. Such stories allowed women readers to sympathise with rebellious actions. In Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, published in 1847, young Jane is shown as independent and assertive. While girls of her time were expected to be quiet and well behaved, jane at the age of ten protests against the hypocrisy of her elders with startling bluntness.

Q.2. How were the stories and prose not new to India ? Give three examples. [CBSE Comp. (O) 2008]
Ans. Stories in prose were not new to India. Banabhatta’s Kadambari, written in Sanskrit in the seventh century, is an early example. The Panchatantra is another. There was also a long tradition of prose tales of adventure and heroism in Persian and Urdu, known as dastan.

Q.3. In what ways did the character of the novel ‘Indulekha’ show that India and foreign ‘lifestyles’ could be brought together in an ideal combination ? [CBSE Sept. 2010]
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How did the characters like Indulekha and Madhavan inspire the contemporary generations to strike a balance between the western ideas and Indian traditional culture? [CBSE 2012]
Ans. (i) At the time when the novel was written Indian girls were not allowed to choose their partners. The intelligent Indulekha refused to accept this practice and decided to marry to an educated and handsome boy of Nayar community.
(ii) The novel highlights how the women struggled to get out of unfair social norms of that time.
(iii) Indulekha is a graceful Nair girl with good intelligence, artistic talent. She is a young and educated, knowledgeable young woman with education in English Sanskrit, who is in love with another young man, Madhavan, the hero of the novel, who was also presented in ideal colours, a member of newly educated class from University of Madras. The story details how the matrilineal society of those times, encourages Namboothiris to start a relationship with Indulekha. Indulekha promptly snubs the old Nambudiri man, but Madhavan in haste runs away from the household, to Bengal. There he makes a lot of good friends. In the end, he arrives back and is united with Indulekha.

Q.4. Differentiate between the novels written by Charlotte Bronte and the novels written by Jane Austen ? [CBSE 2013]
Ans. (i) The novels of Jane Austen give us a glimpse of women in genteel rural society in their domestic role. Bronte talks about the women who broke established norms of the society.
(ii) Austen’s characters are preoccupied with marriage and money while Bronte’s characters are daring and assertive.
(iii) Austen’s characters are opting for wealth and facilities. They wish to live a luxurious life while Bronte’s character protests the hypocrisy of elders and wants to live a more dignified life at equal footage.

Q.5. How did serialisation of novels increase the popularity of novels and magazines ? [CBSE 2012]
Ans. (i) Magazines were attractive and cheap since they were illustrated.
(ii) Serialisation of novels allowed the readers to enjoy suspense and discuss the characters for weeks.
(iii) Serialisation of novels not only increased the circulation of magazines but also made novels more popular and readers kept waiting for the next episode eagerly.

Q.6. Explain the meaning of Jatra’, Kabirlarai and Bhadralok. [CBSE 2013]
Ans. (i) Kabirlarai : It was a type of contest held among the poets. It was a public form of entertainment. The merchants of Calcutta used to patronise such contests.
(ii) Jatra : It is the tenth day after navaratra and is celebrated as the day of departure of Goddess Durga.
(iii) Bhadralok : It means those people who are well read and belong to rich families from upper class.

Q.7. “Novels were useful to different sectors of the society.”Support your answer with suitable examples.
Or
Highlight any three contributions of novel to modern society. [CBSE 2014]
Ans. (i) Novel and industrialisation: Charles Dickens was the foremost English novelist of the Victorian era. He wrote about the terrible effects of industrialisation on people’s lives and characters. His novels Hard Times and Oliver Twist became world famous.
(ii) New for the young: Novels for young boys idealised a new type of man : Someone, who was powerful, assertive, independent and daring. Most of these novels were full of adventure set in places remote from Europe. G.A. Henty a English novelist wrote exclusively for young boys.
(iii) Source of information for colonial administration: Colonial administrators found the ‘vernacular’ novels a valuable source of information on native life and customs. Such information was useful for them in governing Indian society, with its large and a variety of communities and castes. As outsiders, the British knew little about life inside Indian households. The novels in Indian languages often had descriptions of domestic life.
(Iv) Novels and struggle for freedom: The imagined nation of the novel was so powerful that it could inspire actual political movements. Bankim’s Anandamath (1882) is a novel about a secret Hindu militia that fights Muslims to establish a Hindu Kingdom. It was a novel that inspired many kinds of freedom fighters.
(v) Novels for Women: Many women novelists wrote exclusively on life of women, their emotions, their experiences and problems.

Q.8. Describe the earliest novels written in Bengali and Marathi. [CBSE 2013]
Ans. (i) The earliest novel in Marathi was Baba Padmanji’s Yamuna Paryatan (1857), which used a simple style of storytelling to speak about the plight of widows.
(ii) This was followed by Lakshman Moreshwar Halbe’s Muktamala (1861). This was not a realistic novel; it presented an imaginary ‘romance’ narrative with a moral purpose.
(iii) Durgeshnandini written by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay was one of the earliest novel written in Bengali.

Q.9. Name the first novel written by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay. Describe his contribution to the Bengali novel.  [CBSE 2010]
Ans. Durgeshnandini – 1885
(i) His novels were relished for its language.
(ii) The prose style became a new object of enjoyment.
(iii) Initially the Bengali novel used a colloquial style associated with urban life. It also used meyeli, the language associated with women’s speech. This style was quickly replaced by Bankim’s prose which was Sanskritised but also contained a more vernacular style.
(iv) By the twentieth century, the power of telling stories in simple language made Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay (1876-1938) the most popular novelist in Bengal and probably in the rest of India.
(v) Bankim’s Anandamath (1882) is a novel about a secret Hindu militia that fights Muslims to establish a Hindu kingdom. It was a novel that inspired many kinds of freedom fighters.

Q.10. How were the modem Indian novels useful for the Indians in day to day life. [CBSE 2013]
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“Indian novelists used the novel as a powerful medium to criticize the defects of the society.”Justify the statement with the suitable examples. [CBSE 2013]
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Explain any three reasons for making the novel popular in India. [CBSE 2014]
Ans. (i) Indians used the novel as a powerful medium to criticise what they considered defects in their society and to suggest remedies. Writers like Viresalingam used the novel mainly to propagate their ideas about society among a wider readership.
(ii) Novels also helped in establishing a relationship with the past. Many of them told thrilling stories of adventures and intrigues set in the past. Through glorified accounts of the past, these novels helped in creating a sense of national pride among their readers. At the same time, people from all walks of life could read novels so long as they shared a common language. This helped in creating a sense of collective belonging on the basis of one’s language.
(iii) Novels made their readers familiar with the ways in which people in other parts of their land spoke their language.
(iv) As elsewhere in the world, in India too, the novel became a popular medium of entertainment among the middle class. The circulation of printed books allowed people to amuse themselves in new ways.
(v) A reason for the popularity of novels among women was that it allowed for a new conception of womanhood. Stories of love
which was a staple theme of many novels showed women who could choose or . refuse their partners and relationships.
(vi) From the 1920s, in Bengal too a new kind of novel emerged that depicted the lives of peasants and ‘low’ castes. Advaita Malla
Burman’s (1914-51) Titash Ekti Nadir Naam (1956) is an epic about the Mallas, a community of fisherfolk who live off fishing in the river Titash.
(vii) Basheer’s short novels and stories were written in the ordinary language of conversation. With wonderful humour, Basheer’s novels spoke about details from the everyday life of Muslim households.
(viii) Premchand’s novels, for instance, are filled with all kinds of powerful characters drawn from all levels of society. In his novels you meet aristocrats and landlords, middlelevel peasants and landless labourers, middle-class professionals and people from the margins of society.

Q.11. How did the novels play a significant role in awareness about the India’s glorious past. [CBSE 2013]
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How did novels inspire the freedom fighters? Explain with two examples. [CBSE 2011]
Ans. (i) To create a sense of equality : Colonial rulers regarded the contemporary culture of India as inferior. On the other hand, Indian novelist wrote to develop a modem literature of the country that could produce a sense of national belonging and cultural equality with their colonial masters.
(ii) To protect values of India’s tradition and culture : Many novelist like that of Srinivas Das had expressed their fear and anger about the intermining of Indian and Western culture. The world of colonial modernity seems to be both frightening and irresistible to the characters. The novel tries to teach the reader the ‘right way’ to live and expects all ‘sensible men’ to be worldly- wise and practical, to remain rooted in the values of their own tradition and culture, and to live with dignity and honour.
(iii) The novel and nation making : Many novelists wrote about Marathas and Rajputs. These novels produced sense of a pan Indian belonging. The imagined nation of the novel was so powerful that it could inspire actual political movements. Bankim’s
Anandamath (1882) is a novel about a secret Hindu militia that fights Muslims to establish a Hindu kingdom. It was a novel that inspired many kinds of freedom fighters.
(iv) Historical novels about Marathas and Rajputs : In Bengal, many historical novels . were about Marathas and Rajputs. These novels produced a sense of a pan-Indian belonging. They imagined the nation to be full of adventure, heroism, romance and sacrifice – qualities that could not be found in the offices and streets of the nineteenth- century world. The novel allowed the colonized to give shape to their desires.
(v) Shivaji as a nationalist : Bengali novel Anguriya Binimoy has shown Shivaji as a nationalist fighting for the freedom of Hindus.

Q.12. How did novel become a popular medium of entertainment among the middle class in India? Explain. [CBSE 2012]
Ans. (i) Colonisation : The modem novel form developed in India in, the nineteenth century, as Indians became familiar with the Western novel. Novels began appearing in south Indian languages during the period of colonial rule.
(ii) Medium of entertainment : As elsewhere in the world, in India too, the novel became a popular medium of entertainment among the middle class. The circulation of printed books allowed people to amuse themselves in new ways. Picture books, translations from other languages, popular songs sometimes composed on contemporary events, stories in newspapers and magazines – all these offered new forms of entertainment. Within this new culture of print, novels soon became immensely popular. In Tamil, for example, there was a flood of popular novels in the early decades of the twentieth century.
(iii) Popularity of detective and mystery Novels : Detective and mystery novels often had to be printed again and again to meet the demand of readers: some of them were reprinted as many as twenty-two times.
(iv) Novels and silent reading : The novel also assisted in the spread of silent reading. As late as the nineteenth century and perhaps even in the early twentieth century, written texts were often read aloud for several people to hear. Sometimes novels were also read in this way, but in general novels encouraged reading alone and in silence. Individuals sitting at home or travelling in trains enjoyed them.
(iv) Novels and women : A reason for the popularity of novels among women was that it allowed for a new conception of womanhood. Stories of love – which was a staple theme of many novels – showed women who could choose or refuse their partners and relationships.

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