With relevant examples, discuss what the structural elements of the novel are.Please give a detailed answer.

Expert Answers
Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Structural elements are what every novel has to contain.  A pretty generic listing of the five key elements of any novel will include the following:

Plot: what happens in the story


Protagonist - the primary character in the story

Antagonist - anyone or anything which opposes the protagonist

Round, flat, static, dynamic, stock (types of characters)

Setting: time, place, mood of the work

Theme: the author's meaning


Internal - man vs. self, man vs. God, man vs. conscience

External - man vs. man, man vs. nature, man vs. society

Without these elements, the story becomes more of an essay. Without setting, there is no action. Without characters there is no plot or conflict.  Without conflict, the work is just narrative or description.  Without meaning, which is quite subjective, I admit, there is no purpose to the work.

There are various genres of novels which elevate one or more of these elements, but all of them are present in most novels, and certainly in the best literature.

I've included several enotes tools which I'm sure you'll find helpful, as well.