Bildungsroman Genre: The term of Bildungsroman was coined in Germany and refers to the ‘coming of age’ of a sensible one, searching the answers of the questions of life to gain all the experience related to the world.
Later, it scored a great influenced firstly in Europe and then throughout the world. It also can be inferred as “novel of education” or “novel of formation”.
The Course of the Novel
Bildungsroman refers to an apprenticeship to life, a general growth of self-culture. The novel indicates an individual’s growth and all around self-development. The story focuses on formal education and training in the context of social order.
The root of self-development and growth is to search significant existence of individuals in the society.
The values and spirit of social order become clear to the leading character in course of time. He or she can make both an assessment and a new place in the society at the end of the novel.
The maturity process of the hero or heroine is gradual. Their journey is long and arduous. They travel with repeated clashes to meet their desires and needs at the early stage of life while away from Family and home.
So they must jar some kind of discontent and loss. Some rigid social orders greatly influence their views and judgments. The novel of Waterland in Victorian society is narrative, not descriptive in nature. It narrates personal growth and maturation in a postmodern context.
Psychological and Social Impacts of Bildungsroman Genre
Bildungsroman defines the moral and psychological growth of the protagonist, the main character. The novel is based on the growing up of a sensible person. The story refers to the conflicts of the values between the society and the protagonist.
He or she is looking for his or her answers to the questions. He gains his maturity through a different experience. Many difficulties, tragedy, and losses depict the main character with emotionally disturbed at the beginning of the tale.
The protagonist starts his journey to satisfy this discontentment. Finally, he or she employs his or her experiences to accept the value of society.
Classic Examples of Bildungsroman Genre
There are numbers of personification of this protagonist of Bildungsroman in English literature. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens is one of the foremost examples of Bildungsroman.
His stepfather sends him to a wine merchant in London to work. He runs away and reaches Aunt Betsey Trotwood. Finally, he changes himself after some searching in his soul and chooses Agnes, who loves him a lot from the beginning.
Another great example is The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding. A wealthy landowner found him. He grows up as an honest one and falls in love with Sophia Western which is opposed by her father as Tom is a bastard.
Undergoes this great loss and lots of experience, He comes to know that he is the child of Mr. Summer, a friend of Allworthy and Mrs. Waters, sister of Allworthy. And finally, he is accepted by society.
Ultimately, the moral and psychological changes take place in the course of the protagonist’s life. These feelings give deep insight into his character for the good.