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The novel is the most popular literary form. An interesting novel is never missed by anyone who feels any interest in reading. All sorts and condition of men are interested in fiction because it appeals to universal sentiments. The novel is also the easiest kind of reading, which is another reason for its popularity. A novel may be defined as a prose narrative about imaginary characters, but the former has generally a greater appeal for the average man. A novel with an exciting, stirring plot but poor characterization, has far more chances of attaining popularity than one with brilliant character-portrayal but little plot-interest. Of course a popular novel may not necessarily be a great novel from the critical point of view.

                        Novel reading has obvious advantages. It is an excellent recreation for one’s leisure hour. To dip into the pages of a novel after the tiring and dull routine of the day is a pleasant occupation. It is the great relief from the boredom and gloom of a cheerless life because a novel inspires, excite, thrills, pleases, stirs un in short, completely holds our attention. We feel lost in the march of gripping plot with its variety of dramatic situation. We turn over page after page, forgetful of the circumstances of our life, and pass from sympathy to apprehension, from anxiety to fear, from the joy of fulfilment to pangs of disappointment, waiting breathlessly fir what is to come next. In their sheer power to catch and holds the reader attention, the novels of the Alexander Dumas are unsurpassed.

                        Apart from the purely recreational there are several other uses of fiction. The reader may gain an intimate and accurate knowledge of human nature and its working from a good novel. For the true novelist possesses a deep understanding of the human mind and its motives. His character has much in common with real living beings. The study of novel help us, therefore, to acquire ourselves with human psychology. Indeed the modern novel is often purely psychological with little plot interest and may therefore not appeal to the average leader. Such are the novels of James Joyce, Virginia Woolfe, and Dorothy Richardson who represent what is known as the “stream of consciousness” novel.

                       Again, some novels have a historical background and take us back to bygone ages by drawing vivid pictures of those time and depicting their life and manners. Such novels are often more valuable even than books of history for understanding the spirit and atmosphere of the past. For example a novel who is much more valuable for historical background of view “ A Tale of Two Cities”. The Cloister and the Hearth.

                         To some up, novel-reading is a source of amusement, information and moral instructions. But the path of moderation and discrimination must be followed in the study of novels. Fiction may prove to be of great value to us, but it may also become an abuse unless we take certain necessary precautions.                                                                                                                                        

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