I think that you will wind up with a great many responses to this particular question. I believe that you will receive more feedback with varying details and, all of them taken together, could render some composite answer. I would say that one of the most powerful features of the novel is the exploration into the individual self. the probing into the individual, what composes the individual, the experiences that helps to define or make the individual are all part of the novel experience. In my mind, this is why the novel can be considered "pocket theatre." The ability to explore different aspects of self, different notions of the individual, and the probing of how individuals fare in different contexts are elements that help to explore what an individual is and what the human predicament is. In the end, I think that this is what makes the novel so compelling an art form in that it explores much of what the human predicament consists of and by which definition is present. The dramatic exploring of the individual is one of the most salient features of the novel, in my mind, and something that contributes to its overall features.