Novels were a new literary form in the eighteenth century, and in many ways, they were a reaction against earlier tales called romances that featured grand adventures, noble characters, and supernatural elements.
The English novel of the eighteenth century, on the other hand, developed out of the Enlightenment's devotion to reason and the rise of the middle class. Therefore, it gears its style and subject matter toward those considerations. The novel's characters, then, are no longer noble aristocrats like kings, queens, and knights; rather, they are normal people of many different social ranks. Readers could identify with these realistically drawn characters who had normal human strengths and weaknesses.
The setting and plot of novels also reflect this new focus of realism . The setting is usually the contemporary real world rather than an idealized kingdom or a supernatural realm. Readers could recognize their own times and places in novels as well as situations in which they might...
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