Thesis novel is a kind of novel that treats a social, political, or religious problem with a didactic and, perhaps, radical purpose. It certainly sets out to call people’s attention to the shortcomings of society.
Some outstanding examples of the genre are:
- Charles Kingsley’s Alton Locke (1850)
- Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852)
- Charles Dickens’s Hard Times (1854)
- Charles Reade’s Hard Cash (1863)
- Samuel Butler’s The Way of All Flesh (1903)
- Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle (1906)
- Robert Tressell’s The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (1914)
- Walter Greenwood’s Love on the Dole (1933)
- Winifred Holtby’s South Riding (1936)
- John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath (1939)
- Alan Paton’s Cry, the Beloved Country (1948)
- William Golding’s Lord of the Flies (1954)
Utopian and dystopian visions in fictional form might also be included.
Also read: Newgate novel and its famous examples