NCERT Solutions for Class 10 History Novels, Society and History

NCERT Solutions for Class 10 History Novels, Society and History

You will find Novels, Society and History Class 10 History NCERT Solutions here which are very beneficial in completing the homework. It will be helpful in understanding the key concepts of the chapter properly. These NCERT Solutions for Class 10 History will definitely useful in improving marks in the board examinations. Whenever you have any doubts in any question, you can take help from the given NCERT Solutions.

NCERT Solutions for Class 10 History Novels, Society and History

Write in Brief

1. Explain the following:
(a) Social changes in Britain which led to an increase in women readers
(b) What actions of Robinson Crusoe make us see him as a typical coloniser.
(c) After 1740, the readership of novels began to include poorer people.
(d) Novelists in colonial India wrote for a political cause.


(a) In eighteenth-century Britain, the middle classes became prosperous. As a result, women had more leisure time to read as well as write novels. Besides, novels were increasingly written about the emotions and experiences of women. Domestic life became an essential subject of novels—a field women had an authority to speak about.

(b) Robinson Crusoe is a slave trader and a voyager. After being shipwrecked on an unknown island, Crusoe treats coloured people as inferior.  He is portrayed as “rescuing” a native and then making him a slave. He gives him the name Friday, without even caring to ask for his name. Colonised people were seen as barbaric and primitive, and colonialism became their self-professed civiliser. Crusoe was a direct representation of this ideology of colonisers.

(c) After 1740, the readership of novels began to include poorer people because of the introduction of circulating libraries, low-priced books, and also because of the system of hiring out of books by the hour. This made books easily available to the poor people, who could not afford books earlier due to high costs and absence of lending libraries.

(d) Indian novelists did not like the portrayal of colonial rulers and representation by the colonisers. The Indian writers sought to change these stereotypical ideas. Therefore, they began composing a modern literature of the country that could infuse a sense of belonging to the nation and bring about a sense of national unity among the people.

2. Outline the changes in technology and society which led to an increase in readers of the novel in eighteenth-century Europe.


• Due to print culture, novels to be read widely and become popular quickly.
• Due to industrialisation, a new groups emerged that join the readership for novels.
• The creation of libraries, cost-cutting printing techniques and hiring out of books on an hourly basis allowed readership to expand beyond the aristocratic class.
• As the market for books grew, rise in the earnings of authors freed them from aristocratic patronage, and could now explore different dimensions of the society in their novels, for example, the lives of women and the working class.

3. Write a note on:
(a) The Oriya novel
(b) Jane Austen’s portrayal of women
(c) The picture of the new middle class which the novel Pariksha-Guru portrays.


(a) In 1877-78, Ramashankar Ray started to serialise the first Oriya novel, “Saudamini”; but it remained incomplete. After thirty years, Fakir Mohan Senapati emerged as a major novelist of Oriya. He wrote “Chaa Mana Atha Guntha” that deals with land and its possession. This novel illustrated that rural issues could be an important part of urban concerns. Fakir Mohon inspired a host of writers in Bengal and other areas through his writing.

(b) Jane Austen gave an insight into the lives of the women in the rural society in early nineteenth-century Britain. Her novels portray a society where women constantly seek for able grooms for themselves. In her novel, Pride and Prejudice, she clearly shows that people were preoccupied with marriage and money in their lives. Although her works do typify the society she lived in, the protagonist in her novels is always an independent-minded woman.

(c) The novel “Pariksha-Guru” was the first proper modern Hindi novel written by Srinivas Das. portrays the difficulties of the new middle class in adapting to colonised society while preserving its cultural identity. It emphasises that Western ideals must be inculcated, but without sacrificing the traditional values of middle-class households. The characters seen in this Hindi novel are endeavouring to bridge the two different worlds of modern education and traditional ethics.


1. Discuss some of the social changes in nineteenth-century Britain which Thomas Hardy and Charles Dickens wrote about.


Thomas Hardy: He largely wrote about traditional rural communities of England which were vanishing in the face of rapid industrial growth. His period saw large farmers fencing off their lands, buying machines and employing labourers to produce for the markets. This transformation is seen in Hardy's work titled The Mayor of Casterbridge. The novel is about Michael Henchard, a well-established grain merchant who becomes the Mayor of the agricultural town of Casterbridge. At times, he is capable of being both generous and cruel towards his employees.

Charles Dickens: He wrote about the harsh effects of growing industrialisation on the lives of people. Most of his works describe the awful effects of large machines and smoking chimneys. The dirty buildings and polluted rivers all looked the same. In his novel "Hard Times", he criticises the greed for profits and the reduction of human beings into tools of production.

2. Summarise the concern in both nineteenth-century Europe and India about women reading novels. What does this suggest about how women were viewed?


The concern in both nineteenth-century Europe and India about women reading novels bore more or less similar fears. Women were seen as easily corruptible and an imaginary world that the novel provided was seen as a dangerous opening for the imagination of its readers. For instance, Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre presented the central character as one who is independent, having her own free will. Jane is extremely assertive when she bluntly questions the hypocritical ideas of the elders. In certain Indian communities, it was felt that women who read novels would leave their domestic environments and aspire to be part of the outside world, the domain of the males. This suggests that women were viewed as delicate and incapable of being independent. They were merely expected to marry a man who could take care of their financial needs while they maintained his household and remained subservient to him.

3. In what ways was the novel in colonial India useful for both the colonisers as well as the nationalists?


The novel in colonial India was useful for colonisers as well as nationalists on account of a variety of reasons:
• Colonial administrators found the ‘vernacular’ novels a valuable source of information on native life and customs. These type of information was useful for them in governing Indian society, with its large and a variety of communities and castes. The 'vernacular' novels portrayed the customs, habits,
religious beliefs and dress codes of various communities.
• The history written by colonial historians showed Indians as weak, barbarians and inferiors. To counter this, the nationalist historians depicted the bleak state of the country as a result of British Raj. Moreover, they also portrayed the ill-treatment meted out to Indians by the colonial masters.

4. Describe how the issue of caste was included in novels in India. By referring to any two novels, discuss the ways in which they tried to make readers think about existing social issues.


Novels in India depicted caste discrimination as one of the major social evils in India. From time to time, efforts have been made by various social reformers to uproot this evil from the society. Many novelists in their writings have discussed the issue of caste and suggested measures to remove discrimination.

• Potheri Kunjambu, a writer from north Kerala, wrote a novel titled Saraswativijayam in 1892. It was a direct attack on caste oppression. The novel's hero is an ‘untouchable' who leaves his village to escape the cruelty of a Brahmin overlord. He converts to Christianity, receives modern education and returns to his village as the judge in the local court. In the meantime, the villagers accuse the landlord of killing the hero and drag him to the same court. The judge reveals himself after which the landlord repents and promises to change himself. The novel emphasises the vital role played by education in uplifting the lower classes.

• In 1920, a Bengali novel Titash Ekti Nadir Naam (1956) written by Advaita Malla Burman takes up the cause of ‘low castes’. The people described are the Mallas - community of fishermen. The story covers three generations and describes the oppression of the upper castes. The lives of the Mallas is tied with river Titash. As the river dries, the community dies too. This novel is special because the author himself a ‘low caste’ describing the anguish of low-caste people.

5. Describe the ways in which the novel in India attempted to create a sense of pan-Indian belonging.


The ways in which the novel in India attempted to create a sense of pan-Indian belonging were:
• It gave the colonised people a chance to give shape to their desires. For example, the Bengali historical novels of this time, dealing with Marathas and Rajputs, served this purpose.
• Premchand's novels discussed at length the poverty of the farmers and the oppression they had to face daily. His works created the impression that colonial rule was destructive. 
• Novelists like Viresalingam depicted the wide number of flaws in the society and informed about the ways to remove them.
• Another way in which the sense of belonging to a common nation was popularised was by including various classes in the novel so that they could be seen to belong to a shared world.

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