Chapter : 5. Novels, Society & History

Community and Society

(c) Community and Society :
The vast majority of readers of the novel lived in the city. The novel created in them a feeling of connection with the fate of rural communities.
(i) British Novelist Thomas Hardy, wrote about traditional rural communities of England that were fast vanishing. Hardy's Mayor of Casterbridge (1886) is about a successful grain merchant Michael Henchard who becomes the Mayor of Casterbridge. Though successful but he is no match for his manager and rival Donal Farfrae. Where Michael is both unpredictably generous and cruel with his employees. Farfrae is regarded for his smooth and even tempered with everyone. Hardy mourns the loss of the more personalized world that is disappearing, even as he is aware of its problems and the advantages of the new order.
(ii) The novel uses the vernacular, the language that is spoken by common people. By coming closer to the different spoken languages of the people, the novel produces the sense of a shared world between diverse people in a nation. Novels also draw from different styles of languages. Like the nation, the novel brings together many cultures.

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