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Canon and Its Changes

canon and its changes in literature
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    Miriuță Ariana -Kimberly 3rd year, EN-NO  Canon and its changes   In the past few centuries literature changed dramatically, from the informal narration, a variety of descriptions, to novels becoming more focused on the first person and on characters. When we talk about canon, we talk about specific characteristics that include a novel, or any other piece of literature, in a specific period. Considering the way the world around us changes every day, it is perfectly normal for all the literature to change as well during a period of time and depending a lot on the preferences of the readers. Over the time, literature became influenced by historical events, politics, technology, and so the message that novels transmitted, their roles, changed along with the world around them. When the novel became popular, around 16 th -17 th  century, the form was more formal than the one nowadays. The main focus was put on the description, rather than on characters. It is noticeable that the narrator did not include himself or herself in the story, everything is viewed from the perspective of the third person. The texts back then only tell us what happens in an objective way, the reader is not included in the story, he or she cannot really imagine why the characters do this or that, they are just given a story, an action, a time and a space, and the reader cannot go beyond what he is told. This way of narrating goes on for almost a century and a half or so, then slowly starting to focus a bit more on the characters, but still, there is no “act of communication” between the narrator and the reader.   Even though the third person is still predominant, around the year 1900, it becomes noticeable that the narrator starts to include himself in the story, the first person, singular and  plural, appears, though not that frequent. The narration now is more informal, unlike the previous text, and descriptions are not that predominant anymore. The authors are trying to center more on the characters. After a really short period of time we can observe that the novels changed quite much: the second person is the predominant one, the style is informal, descriptions are barely present. The narrator now tries to have a conversation, or rather a monologue, with the reader and the narration becomes more realistic, the accent falls on man in general and on life. With the rise of technology, the subjects became more different, the authors started writing about the future, the hectic lives of people. The opinion of the reader is more important now, considering the fact that the narrator has a conversation with him or she, the reader starts to feel obliged to express his or her point of view. The first person is slowly introduced in literature, with the late 1990s we can notice how the narrator wants to communicate, he does not have only a simple monologue, he wants to have a proper dialogue with the reader. We begin to feel more and more included in the novel, we get an honest view of the world, and we can agree or disagree with it. But with the end of the 1990s the first person becomes more predominant in novels. If in the past we get even a hint of formality, now it is almost gone. The narrator becomes the main protagonist of the story, we get only a point of view, making the new novel a subjective one. The “act of communication” is more visible now, like Bloom says “the function of  you  is presumed to be symmetrical with that of  I  , each pronoun necessarily implying the other, and each, on its own or in combination with the other, implying a communicative act”.     We can easily notice all the changes that took place in literature, to be more precise, in novels. After wars, social conflicts, new technology being introduced, the subject of novels changed, or it stayed the same, but the form, the way in which the author chose to express that subject changed according to what the readers wanted. The novels became more “communicative”, they do not just tell you a story, leaving you no choice in e xpressing your  point of view, they are making you part of the action now.


Jul 23, 2017
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