NCERT Solutions For Class 12 English Kaleidoscope Chapter 4: Why the Novel Matters

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Chapter4. Why the Novel Matters
TextbookKaleidoscope, Non Fiction
AuthorD.H. Lawrence
CategoryNCERT Solutions for Class 12

The NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English are an excellent choice for students preparing for their board or any competitive exams. These solutions are made by expert teachers and faculties of English. Class 12 English Solutions, made by NCERTian, will help students understand the central theme of each chapter. They will strengthen your foundation in English and help you score good marks in the board examination. On this page, we have provided you with the Solutions of Kaleidoscope Non Fiction Chapter 4 – Why the Novel Matters.

NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English Kaleidoscope Chapter 4

Why the Novel Matters Solutions

Stop And Think

Q1) What are the things that mark animate things from the inanimate?

Answer) The animate things have life in them, they move, feel the touch of things, breath, reproduce and continue to grow. Whereas inanimate things can do none of these. They are stagnant in a particular state like a corpse.

Q2) What is the simple truth that eludes the philosopher or the scientist?

Answer) The simple truth that paradise is not anywhere beyond life. It is here, right in the middle of living. It is the experiences one has and the values one gains. That is all a part of Paradise. It is nowhere beyond life. And ‘man-live’ being just a tin can or a jug is a blurred concept. Everything is actually concentrated in Man-alive i.e., in living man.

Stop And Think

Q1) How does Lawrence reconcile inconsistency of behaviour with integrity?

Answer) Lawrence says that there is no absolute and nothing is absolutely right. All things flow and change, and even change is not absolute. What he means to say is that man is man-alive is made up of constantly occurring changes. These changes occur either deliberately, like changing a bad habit or over the course of time like changing hobbies. Lawrence also says that even a minute reply like ‘yea’ doesn’t remain the same every day. It is mainly because of these changes that new things seem to happen in life and we seem to live. It is also only because of our constantly changing habits/actions that we have people around, who love us and that is integrity. Had we been stuck with being just one self from beginning till end, we’d become similar to a dead pen.

Understanding the Text

Q1) How does the novel reflect the wholeness of a human being?

Answer) The novel reflects the wholeness of a human being by changing the vitality of the whole person, not just simple instincts. Like most literary genres, novels are composed of characters. These characters are the protagonists of the soul, just like humans. Hence, the liveliness of the novel depends entirely upon its characters where characters have different personalities. A novel displays different attributes of a human being, showing off all the good deeds of every individual, leaving it to the reader to interpret. Thus, this is how the novel reflects the wholeness of the human being.

Q2) Why does the author consider the novel superior to philosophy, science or even poetry?

Answer) According to the author, D.H. Lawrence considers the novel a superior genre among books. He believes that novels are the only good books in life, and not all books are life. He also believes that the novel teaches the lives of readers who are trembling to survive. Novels can bring life to readers more than philosophy, poetry or science. Therefore, the author believes that novels are superior to philosophy, science, and even poetry.

Q3) What does the author mean by ‘tremulations on ether’ and ‘the novel as a tremulation’?

Answer) The author says the novel is a ‘tremulations on the ether’. He means that novels induce liveliness in the readers where the other books are not proficient enough. Reading regular books indicate reading messages or gathering news that is being read over the radio. One can never identify the actual information; instead, one can feel happy or sad about the specific news for some time. But the novel portrays a multi-dimensional view of the characters, and the readers can relate with them personally. A novel teaches valuable life lessons which any reader can inculcate in their own lives and make their decisions. Thus, the novel is a life inducing factor in the writer’s thought processes, which significantly affects the readers.

Q4) What are the arguments presented in the essay against the denial of the body by spiritual thinkers?

Answer) The author, D.H. Lawrence, compares a human body to that of a vessel containing the soul and that the soul is the only thing alive. Life is most meaningful, and being active is the most fantastic thing. Humans are just limited to the body, which overlooks the importance of the body and restricts them to the body. The author uses an example of the hand and denies the hand to be a lifeless object used only as a medium of writing is entirely incorrect, says the author. Similarly, a person talks about the importance of souls in heaven. However, the author Lawrence, being a novelist, says that ‘paradise is in the palm of your hand’. A philosopher talks about infinity and the pure spirit who knows everything. But these are just pieces of life that act as messages or news being read over the radio. Hence, the body is alive, man is more alive than any other entity and denying it is a wrong decision by spiritual thinkers.

Talking about the Text

Discuss in pairs

Q1) The interest in a novel springs from the reactions of characters to circumstances.

It is more important for characters to be true to themselves (integrity) than to what is expected of them (consistency). (A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds—Emerson.)

Answer) The basis of every novel is its character—plots, plots, twists and turns-all about the characters depicted in the novel. Therefore, the characters must be faithful to their integrity, which is the essence of the characters. If not, they lose their charm and become boring, flat characters.

There are two types of characters in the novel – Round and Flat characters. Flat characters are those that remain consistent in their behaviour throughout the plot. Not a single instance in the story changes them or has any effect on them. While round characters, on the other hand, keep developing throughout the story and create an impact in the storyline. They keep the readers glued to the novel, making it interesting for the reader.

Thus, if every character is flat by following what should be done rather than following their instincts, the novel will lose its charm and become dull. Hence, the author believes, “It is more important for characters to be true to themselves (integrity) than to what is expected of them (consistency).”

Q2) ‘The novel is the one bright book of life’. ‘Books are not life’.

Discuss the distinction between the two statements. Recall Ruskin’s definition of ‘What is a Good Book?’ in Woven Words Class XI.

Answer) Unlike the other books on philosophy, science, etc., the novel portrays the real aspects of life and depicts life in its natural form to its readers to gain knowledge from them. They acquire several life lessons. Hence, the novel is ‘the bright book of life’. But the author also points out that ‘Books are not life’. The novel portrays real-like issues and characters, he means to say that it is not reality itself. It is a fantasy of someone’s imagination which real-life issues and feelings might have inspired. Although the novel portrays reality, it isn’t reality itself. In his work, ‘What is a Good Book?’, Ruskin Bond says that it is vital for the readers to understand what the author has wanted to convey. This idea is similar to Lawrence, who asks the reader to take inspiration from the novel.


Q1) Certain catch phrases are recurrently used as pegs to hang the author’s thoughts throughout the essay.

List these and discuss how they serve to achieve the argumentative force of the essay.

Answer) Here are a few catch phrases:

  • Body – the author describes the importance of the body and discusses how the body is the ultimate phase of being in learner mode.
  • Spirit – the spirit according to the author is a misleading concept which makes a man get into confusion. It leads man to things that are unreal to the imagination.
  • Man alive – this is the realistic concept of the author in which he says that everything happens because man is alive.
  • Tremulations – Here tremulations are the talks that the philosophers and saints do because of which man-alive may be influenced to change his course of action.
  • Change – the only constant.

Q2) The language of argument is intense and succeeds in convincing the reader through rhetorical devices.

Identify the devices used by the author to achieve this force.

Answer) Given below are the list of rhetorical devices used to intensify the language of argument:

  • Allusion – The mention of the Bible.
  • Amplification – The repetitive use of words like man alive, spirit, tremulations etc.
  • Metonymy – By saying that books ‘The novel is the one bright book of life’.
Language Work

A. Vocabulary

Q1) There are a few non-English expressions in the essay. Identify them and mention the language they belong to.

Can you guess the meaning of the expressions from the context?


  • Mens sana in corpore sano is a Latin phrase, usually translated as “a healthy mind in a healthy body”.
  • C’est la vie! is a French word used to express acceptance or resignation in the face of a difficult or unpleasant situation.

Q2) Given below are a few roots from Latin. Make a list of the words that can be derived from them.

mens (mind)corpus(body) sanare (to heal)


Mind – remind mastermind, never mind.
Body – bodily, anybody, nobody.
to heal – to heal up.


Q1) Identify the intransitive verbs and the copulas in the examples below, from the text in this unit. Say what the category of the complement is.

You can work in pairs or groups and discuss the reasons for your analysis.

  • I am a thief and a murderer.
  • Right and wrong is an instinct.
  • The flower fades.
  • I am a very curious assembly of incongruous parts.
  • The bud opens.
  • The Word shall stand forever.
  • It is a funny sort of superstition.
  • You’re a philosopher.
  • Nothing is important.
  • The whole is greater than the part.
  • I am a man, and alive.
  • I am greater than anything that is merely a part of me.
  • The novel is the book of life.


  • I am a thief and a murderer: be+adjective phrase
  • Right and wrong is an instinct: be+adverb
  • The flower fades: be+adverb
  • I am a very curious assembly of incongruous parts: be+adjective phrase
  • The bud opens: be+adverb
  • The Word shall stand forever: be+adverb phrase
  • It is a funny sort of superstition: be+adjective phrase
  • You’re a philosopher: be+noun phrase
  • Nothing is important: be+adjective
  • The whole is greater than the part: be+adjective
  • I am a man, and alive: be+noun phrase
  • I am greater than anything that is merely a part of me: be+adverb phrase
  • The novel is the book of life: be+adverb

Q2) Identify other sentences from the text with intransitive verbs and copulas.

Answer) Other sentences from the text with intransitive verbs and copulas are:
a) My hand, as it writes.
b) Whatever is me alive is me.

That’s it. These were the solutions of NCERT Class 12 English Kaleidoscope Chapter 4 – Why the Novel Matters. Our team hopes that you have found these solutions helpful for you. If you have any doubt related to this chapter then feel free to comment your doubts below. Our team will try their best to help you with your doubts.

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