Picaresque Novel

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  • Topic: Character, Don Quixote, Daniel Defoe
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  • Published : April 23, 2013
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Callie Dahlhauser Lora Devereaux Composition II

April 3, 2013

A Picaresque Novel

The picaresque novel is an early type of novel originating from the Spanish word picaro. Picaro means a rogue or an adventurer. This type of novel describes the journeys that the main character or “picaro” take part in. The main character is usually of low social class and manipulates their way through life instead of working for what they want. The main point of the picaresque novel is to present the main character and reveal his/her adventures (Murfin). There are seven key qualities that determine if a novel is picaresque or not. First, the novel will tell of the rogue’s life usually in first person. Second, the rogue comes from low social class and is very basic. Third, the novel is made up of “episodes” that are put together to create the whole. Forth, the main character will not change personality throughout this story. Fifth, the novel is going to portray realism. Sixth, the picaro does not engage in criminal activities. Seventh, there is a variety of social classes thrown in throughout the novel (Harmon). Picaresque novels are told in first-person point of view and discuss thoroughly the social class of the characters. The picaresque novel is very much discontinuous and structureless. The point of this type of novel is to address the life story of the mischievous main character. This character relies on his intellects to get him far in life rather than hard labor. This adventurous character participates in escapades where he barely succeeds to escape ( Harmon).

In a picaresque novel, the central character does not develop into someone else. They start of being a picaro in the beginning and end the same way. They describe the life of the rogue or even just...
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