Studying a novel is not an easy task to complete. While you can read a novel and enjoy doing the same, studying a novel takes some effort and this is a process that you might not like or enjoy as much as you enjoy reading a novel. Reading a novel yields you entertainment and fun and helps you spend your leisure in a fun way. However, studying a novel might be a rigorous task as you have to make notes, make charts, remember certain aspects and perspectives, the names of the major characters and the most important chapters and so on… after all this is done and settled, you have to prepare a list of probable questions that might be asked of you in an examination which consists of questions based on whatever you had to study in a year, in six or four months. Will you still enjoy studying a novel? Or will you wonder how to study a novel? Let’s break it down for you.
Making notes as you continue reading a novel will help you in memorising important characters, their characteristics, important chapters and episodes in any work. So, always remember making notes as you read, or, in fact, study novels for your examinations. Keep this important task in mind. It will help you in many ways.
Try framing questions on your own as you study novels. For example, when you study a work by R K Narayan, such as The Guide or The Bachelor of Arts, you should frame questions that will suit the nature of the novel. Framing questions on your own should be a quality that you must have if you are a serious student of literature.
Try making charts to identify, relate and qualify characters – major, minor, twist-makers or something like that. AT times, there are, in many novels, a few characters who play very minor roles in the entire novel but their part is very important. For example, if you remember the name of the beloved who was betrayed by Troy in Thomas Hardy’s novel Far from the Madding Crowd.
Try to create a simple plan that uncovers the entire plot of the novel in a sequence. This happens first, then it comes and then abc after xyz. This will help you remember the novel as a whole. And you should do it with every important novel that you have to study for your examinations.
Always try to find counterparts, subordinates or likely the same titles for the novels that you are studying. This will help you answer the questions that are based on the skills of a novelist. You can compare a certain novel with other novels by other novelists and also the novelists in terms of their skills and writing prowess. The teachers responsible for evaluating your copies always love reading well-informed answers. And well-informed answers must have awareness about other novels and novelists that show the same or almost same characteristics. It is important. In the same tip, I would also like to add reading other novels, or at least their summaries, by the same novelist. For example, if you are studying a novel by Mulk Raj Anand, try reading other novels by him or at least make yourself aware of the same.
All the best!
By Manish for Intellectual Reader