The Rise of the Novel in the Eighteenth Century Essay


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The new form, i.e the novel is about certain realistic people living in a certain society and not about fanciful characters, supermen or monsters. On the contrary, the characters are ‘individualized’: which means that every individual, person or character ( ordinary or extraordinary) is independent from other individuals. In the past, individuals or characters in the prose works never stood for themselves: they stood for certain abstracts or qualities :Mr. Greedy, Mr. Angry, Mrs. Domineering, ..etc. With the rise of this literary form, individuals are drawn realistically as independent, regardless of their social status or personal capacity. The characters are analyzed in detail, and shown as complex individuals, affected by social pressures. b) The rise of the middle class: The new middle class in England ( consisting of merchants, lawyers, businessmen, doctors,..etc.) were very educated, but they were unlike the upper classes who were taught in Greek and Latin.


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3- When his ship was first overtaken by a strong storm, Crusoe prayed to God that if He spared his life, he would directly go home. However, when the sea became calm again, he forgot his vows. 4- The ship was overtaken once again by another storm, and the captain told him that it was “the hand of Providence” punishing Crusoe for his disobedience and breaking his vows to God. 5- The captain warned him that henceforth he would meet with “disasters and disappointments” if he did not go back to his father. What the captain said proved to be true. 6- On his next voyage to The Canary Islands, Crusoe was kidnapped by pirates and became a miserable slave for two years. 7- On his next voyage to Africa, “the Hand of God” punished him again. A strong storm struck the ship, and all the other seamen were drowned except Crusoe who found himself in a deserted island. 8- It was not until several horrible incidents took place in the island ( the earthquake, the hurricane, his illness, and the terrible dream), that Crusoe realized for the first time his ‘wrongdoings’, that he lived in wickedness “without desire of good or consciousness of evil.” 9- From now on, Crusoe starts to re-evaluate his life, to pray to God sincerely, and to reappraise his duty to God.


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At the same time, however, he has many moral reflections which show his mental stress. c) The final stage of this process of gradual moral and spiritual re-awakening culminates in the episode his illness and dream after the earthquake. For the first time, Crusoe recognizes that he is the doer of all his misfortunes, and realizes that he is responsible of all his wrongdoings for has neither asked God for help when he is in danger, nor thanked Him when he is rescued. With this admission of guilt, Crusoe moves quickly in the road of moral and spiritual recovery. Thus he sincerely prays to God for help for the first time. After that, he feels not only physical but also spiritual ease and comfort. As he triumphs over the cannibals, saves Friday and the captain of the ship and his crew, and finally saves himself, he reaches complete satisfaction 5. Thus Crusoe is portrayed as a complex round character who reaches his moral and spiritual growth, after many experiences, .


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