Mikhail Bakhtin

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In "Discourse in the Novel," what aspect is Mikhail Bakhtin highlighting? Explain with the help of the examples from the text only. 

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As in other works, in "Discourse in the Novel," Bakhtin distinguishes the novel from other genres, such as poetry, through its multiplicity of voices. Novels are not univocal but dialogic: different peoples of different classes, genders, and outlooks engage in dialogue and debate. The novel, therefore, contains conflicting points of view for the reader to consider and explore. With various voices in debate, the novel inevitably becomes political.

Bakhtin called these different, competing voices in a novel heteroglossia, and he said we derive meaning from novels by considering and evaluating these divergent voices or utterances. Heteroglossia includes the concept that characters' speech acts includes point-of-view and ideology: therefore each character can use the same words, but they can mean different things to each. "Each character's speech possesses its own belief system," he wrote. He also said that we can't simply isolate one voice in a novel and base our interpretation on its...

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