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Watershed in the history of the novel

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Matteo Merella

on 18 May 2014

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Transcript of Watershed in the history of the novel

Watershed in the history of the novel
Daniel Defoe
Father of modern novel
In his novels hero is a common man
Man in front of Nature and God
First person narrator
Defoe focus on the figure of characters and their destiny
Incipit of "Robinson Crusoe"
"I was born in the year 1632, in the city of York, of a good family, thought not of that country, my father being a foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull. He got a good estate by merchandise, and leaving off his trade, lived afterwards in York, from whence he had married my mother, whose relations were named Robinson, a very good family in that country, and from whom I was called Robinson Kreutznaer; but, by the usual corruption of words in England, we are now called, nay, we call ourselves and write our name, Crusoe, and so my companions always called me."
Charles Dickens
Founder of the social novel
Realistic author
He writes about the life of the poorer classes and the abuses against this social class
His descriptions are emphasized by figures of speech
'Now, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them. This is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle on which I bring up these children. Stick to Facts, sir!'

Incipit of "Hard times"
James Joyce
Interior monologues
Characterized by thoughts and not by facts
The novel takes place during one day
Return of epic poem
Introduction of " Ulysses"
Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.
A yellow dressinggown, ungirdled, was sustained gently behind him on the mild morning air. He held the bowl aloft and intoned: "Introibo ad altare Dei."
Halted, he peered down the dark winding stairs and called out coarsely:
"Come up, Kinch! Come up, you fearful jesuit!"
Solemnly he came forward and mounted the round gunrest. He faced about and blessed gravely thrice the tower, the surrounding land and the awaking mountains. Then, catching sight of Stephen Dedalus, he bent towards him and made rapid crosses in the air, gurgling in his throat and shaking his head. Stephen Dedalus, displeased and sleepy, leaned his arms on the top of the staircase and looked coldly at the shaking gurgling face that blessed him, equine in its length, and at the light untonsured hair, grained and hued like pale oak.
Buck Mulligan peeped an instant under the mirror and then covered the bowl smartly.
George Orwell
Political themes
Against the totalitarism
In favor of democratic socialism
Dystopian novels
Incipit of "1984"
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his breast in an effort to escape the vile wind, slipped quickly through the glass doors of Victory Mansions, though not quickly enough to prevent a swirl of gritty dust from entering along with him. The hallway smelt of boiled cabbage and old rag mats. At one end of it a coloured poster, too large for indoor display, had been tacked to the wall. It depicted simply an enormous face, more than a metre wide: the face of a man of about forty-five, with a heavy black moustache and ruggedly handsome features. Winston made for the stairs. It was no use trying the lift. Even at the best of times it was seldom working, and at present the electric current was cut off during daylight hours. It was part of the economy drive in preparation for Hate Week. The flat was seven flights up, and Winston, who was thirty-nine and had a varicose ulcer above his right ankle, went slowly, resting several times on the way. On each landing, opposite the lift-shaft, the poster with the enormous face gazed from the wall. It was one of those pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you move. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption beneath it ran.


Daniel Defoe
James Joyce
He describes actions
His novels are characterized by thoughts
Matteo Merella

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