The Bildungsroman Genre Essay

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The Bildungsroman Genre

INTRODUCTION.................................................................................................................

1- BILDUNGSROMAN NOVELS.........................................................................................

2- TWO BILDUNGSROMAN NOVELS.............................................................................

3.1- Great Expectations.....................................................................................................
3.2- Emma...........................................................................................................................
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Some definitions of the bildungsroman novel and its characteristics will be presented in the first section of this paper. Then, in the second section, the two novels cited above will be analyzed separately. The elements which make them be considered bildungsromane will be pointed out. Finally, to conclude, the differences and similarities between them will be dealt with so that it will be clear in what ways the bildungsroman differ in the two novels.

1- THE BILDUNGSROMAN NOVEL

This German term began to be used in the second half of the 18th century by the critic and philosopher Wilhelm Dilthey. He stressed five main points about the bildungsroman novels:
“(1) the idea of Bildung, or formation, cultivation, education, shaping of a single main character, normally of a young man; (2) individualism, especially the emphasis on the uniqueness of the protagonist and the primacy of his private life and thoughts, although these are at the same time representative of an age and culture; (3) the biographical element, usually supplied from the author’s own life in what Dilthey calls the “ conscious and artistic presentation of what is typically human through the depiction of a particular individual life”; (4) the
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