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In literary criticism, a Bildungsroman (German pronunciation: [ˈbɪldʊŋs.ʁoˌmaːn]; German: "novel of formation, education, culture"),[a] novel of formation, novel of education,[2] or coming-of-age story (though it may also be known as a subset of the coming-of-age story) is a literary genre that focuses on the psychological and moral growth of the protagonist from youth to adulthood (coming of age),[3] in which character change is extremely important.[4][5]

Contents [hide]
1 Origin
2 Plot outline
3 Examples 3.1 Precursors
3.2 17th century
3.3 18th century
3.4 19th century
3.5 20th century
3.6 21st century

4 See also
5 Notes
6 References
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The genre evolved from folklore tales of a dunce or youngest son going out in the world to seek his fortune. Usually in the beginning of the story there is an emotional loss which makes the protagonist leave on his journey. In a Bildungsroman, the goal is maturity, and the protagonist achieves it gradually and with difficulty. The genre often features a main conflict between the main character and society. Typically, the values of society are gradually accepted by the protagonist and he/she is ultimately accepted into society — the protagonist 's mistakes and disappointments are over. In some works, the protagonist is able to reach out and help others after having achieved maturity.

There are many variations and subgenres of Bildungsroman that focus on the growth of an individual. An Entwicklungsroman ("development novel") is a story of general growth rather than self-cultivation. An Erziehungsroman ("education novel") focuses on training and formal schooling,[citation needed] while a Künstlerroman ("artist novel") is about the development of an artist and shows a growth of the self.[16] Furthermore, some memoirs and published journals can be regarded as Bildungsroman although being predominantly factual (an example being The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto "Che" Guevara).[17] The term is also more loosely used to describe coming-of-age films and related works in other genres.

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