In the novel I am writing, the story is told present tense and first person. The themes of the story present some unique points to the style, but something I have noticed as a write the first few chapters, it seems to lack the word THE. Which made me wonder, is it even possible to write a novel the completely lacks the most common word?
You're talking about what is called constrained writing. Here is a Wikipedia Link. Constrained writing is where you purposefully constrain yourselves by not allowing yourself to do certain things. For example, Lauren Ipsum's example in her answer of writing a book without using E is what is called a lipogram. This is where a certain letter of the alphabet (or couple!) are not used during a piece of writing.
These techniques of constrained writing are often used in poetry, though they can slip everywhere. Lauren's answer features a book which I was going to include in my answer, but I wasn't here first. That book is proof that a lipogram can be achieved in a very long piece of work. In fact, I remember that a year ago in my England class we were tasked to rewrite the entire first page of nineteen-eighty-four by George Orwell without using the letter E.
I think it's certainly possible. Omitting 'the' would be a form of constrained writing. If you're trying to do this... well, good luck!
Well, someone wrote a book without using the letter E, so by default the wasn't used. (according to Wiki, it does slip in three times. Very hard to avoid. Plus technically it's on the cover.) Whether the book is any good is an exercise left to the reader.
I suppose it would be fun to do as a challenge, but then the challenge is "avoiding the letter" and not "telling the best story possible using the best words for the job." So it depends on what you want to accomplish.
There is an entire school of writing that that thrives on creating works based on such constraints. It's called Oulipo: Ouvroir de littérature potentielle, and comprises writers and mathematicians who operate under constraints such as the one you propose.
Some Oulipian constraints:
S+7, sometimes called N+7 - Replace every noun in a text with the seventh noun after it in a dictionary. For example, "Call me Ishmael. Some years ago..." becomes "Call me islander. Some yeggs ago...". Results will vary depending upon the dictionary used. This technique can also be performed on other lexical classes, such as verbs.
Snowball, or a Rhopalism - A poem in which each line is a single word, and each successive word is one letter longer.
Stile - A method wherein each “new” sentence in a paragraph stems from the last word or phrase in the previous sentence (e.g. “I descend the long ladder brings me to the ground floor is spacious…”). In this technique the sentences in a narrative continually overlap, often turning the grammatical object in a previous sentence into the grammatical subject of the next. The author may also pivot on an adverb, prepositional phrase, or other transitory moment.
Lipogram - Writing that excludes one or more letters. The previous sentence is a lipogram in B, F, J, K, Q, V, Y, and Z (it does not contain any of those letters).
Prisoner's constraint, also called Macao constraint - A type of lipogram that omits letters with ascenders and descenders (b, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, p, q, t, and y).
Palindromes - Sonnets and other poems constructed using palindromic techniques.
Univocalism - A poem using only one vowel letter. In English and some other languages the same vowel letter can represent different sounds, which means that, for example, "born" and "cot" could both be used in a univocalism. (Words with the same American English vowel sound but represented by different 'vowel' letters could not be used – e.g. "blue" and "stew".)
Pilish - A method of writing wherein one matches the length of words (or amount of words in a sentence) to the digits of pi.
Mathews' Algorithm - Elements in a text are moved around by a set of predetermined rules
For Oulipo, a theless novel would be a walk in a park.
No. It is entirely impossible to write a novel without using the word 'the'. I cannot even write that previous sentence without using that word, so I can say unequivocally that it is completely 100% impossible.
I'm attempting to balance the answers here since so many (incorrectly) believe it is possible.
Ernest Hemingway attempted to do this very thing when he wrote, The Old Man & The Sea -- amazon link (originally titled : Old Man & Sea) and he failed. He used the word 'the' only 17 times in the entire book. Read it and see. Astonishing!
Very Difficult, But I Just Completed It
Also, I recently finished an entire novel without using the word discombobulated and I'm quite proud. 98.3% of all novels include the word discombobulated, just as this very post does. It was difficult to write this post without using the word so I went ahead and did so.