What are the elements of the psychological novel?

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ltag | College Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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Psychological novels are works of fiction that treat the internal life of the protagonist (or several or all characters) as much as (if not more than) the external forces that make up the plot. The internal action also both results from and develops the plot.

In psychological novels, the characterization and development thereof is of primary importance, sometimes creating a plot that is more of a backdrop than the main point of interest. The interiority may be expressed in internal monologues or stream of conscious writing or in soliloquies orby the narrator as is Dostoyevsky's works.

Hamlet is a famous example of an early psychological drama, but psychological works date back to The Tale of Genji, an 11th-century Japanese novel. Psychological novels are an important genre of modern literature and occur frequently in both English and French writing.

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