Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Genre of Literature – Social Novel

June 25, 2018
mandyevebarnett


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The social novel, is also known as the social problem (or social protest) novel, the sociological novel and is a work of fiction, which dramatizes a prevailing social problem through the effect they have on the novel’s characters. Topics covered can be as diverse as gender, race, or class prejudice although the narrative can also address poverty, conditions in factories or mines, violence against women, rising criminality and epidemics caused by poor sanitation or overcrowding in urban areas.

 

Other terms used to define this genre are thesis novel, propaganda novel, industrial novel, working-class novel and problem novel. A more recent development in this genre is the young adult problem novel.

Early examples can be found in 18th century England, as well as throughout Europe and the United States. Henry Fielding’s Amelia (1751) and William Godwin’s Things as The Are OR The Adventures of Caleb Williams (1794) are thought precursors of the genre. During the social and political upheavals following the Reform Act of 1833 in England social novels began, such as Charles Dickens’ novels highlighting poverty and unhealthy living conditions. Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables (1862) was a significant protest novel. Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) dealt with anti-slavery and The Grapes of Wrath is probably the best known social protest novel.

How many social novels have you read?

Have you written one?

 

 

What the Wrath..?

September 9, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Wrath – definition: strong, stern, or fierce anger

A word that epitomizes  the struggle or fight against injustice in numerous movies and novels. The modern fantasy genre uses it in generous helpings. The Wrath of Khan and Wrath of the Titans come to mind almost immediately after the great novel, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Although written in 1939 it is still read in educational institutions due to its historical context and enduring legacy.

TheGrapesOfWrath

The story is set in the Great Depression (is that an oxymoron?) and follows the Joads family, who leave their farm in Oklahoma for California. Driven from the Dust Bowl by drought, economic hardship and changes in the agriculture industry.

Steinbeck was honored with the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize for novels and Grapes was prominently cited when he won the Nobel Prize. He was a prolific writer and his bibliography includes 29 novels, some of which were published after his death in 1968.

As authors we endeavor to create such long lasting stories.

Who is your literary hero? Have you read The Grapes of Wrath?

JOHN STEINBECK

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