Originally a course of Clark Lectures at Trinity College, Cambridge University in 1927, Aspects of the Novel is E.M. Forster's look at the the driving forces of the novel.

Painfully conscious of "the gulf between the critical and the creative state" and wary of addressing a primarily academic audience, he took the audacious step of stepping away from the traditional approach to examining literature as a stately progression of style through different periods.

Discarding the historical view, Forster examines the main themes and structures in the novel: the story, people, the plot, fantasy, prophecy, pattern and and rhythm. He talks as though all the novelists through history are at work together, sitting in a circular room, commenting on each other's approach.

Surprisingly, for the time, he aimed to annoy, even to madden people with his comments, and even covered himself with an attack against "pseudo-scholarship" in the opening lecture. He delighted in causing an uproar, and starting a lively debate about what the novel is and was.

The source of that rather bitter comment, "Yes - oh dear yes - the novel tells a story', this book is the source of a thousand different A Level essay questions, usually with the word 'discuss' tacked on after every quote.

He was paid 200 pounds for his series of lectures.

Plot and Structure – is the arrangement of the events that make up the story and analysis of those events.

Structure itself is merely the order of events

Plot is the ordering of events to a specific end

In other words plot needs structure, by structure doesn’t have plot


Setting is defined by the constructs the characters are placed in, be they historical, social, geographic, emotional, ect.

Point of view is how the story is told, both in the tense and in what the authors precieved stance is on the issues that are raised

Theme is the meaning, or basic undestanding that is gained through the novel.

Conflict is necessiary to all stories – otherwise the story doesn’t have any currency.Typical types of conflict include:

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