The study departs from the words of the French critic and novelist Michel Butor: “A novel that is an expression of a changing society becomes an expression of a society aware that it is changing.” Tarshouna here highlights the essential shift making the novel transcend the theory of reflection, a recurrent theme of the traditional novel in all its forms, including the romantic, realistic, and historical. Cultivated in this analysis is an awareness of the contemporary and knowledge of its elements and actors, going beyond simple description of the contemporary, beyond the mere observation of transformations within the narrative. This paves the way for rebellion against the decrepit present, its demolition, and the illumination of an alternative. The author tracks the frequency of words signifying “consciousness” in the speech of storytellers and characters regarding, for instance, globalization in its various cultural, economic, and social manifestations; he also explores the concept of foresight, a logical dialectic between objective manifestations of the present, and the possible circumstances that may follow. The study’s hypothesis is centered on an analysis of five Tunisian novels, some released before and some after the revolution, all of which vacillate between excessive optimism and pessimism. The novels featured include: Proceedings of the Strange City by Abdeljabbar Eleuch, The Sons of Clouds by Mohamed Eljabli, The Smells of the City by Hussein El Oued, The Prostate Years by Safi Saïd, and Hymns for Her Pain by Rachida El Charni.