Everything you need to understand or teach Bildungsroman.
Coming of Age and Apprenticeship
Goethe's Bildungsroman appropriately uses the word "apprenticeship" in its title because one distinguishing factor of the genre is the learning process that brings the protagonist from childhood into adulthood. As a coming-of-age novel, the Bildungsroman focuses on the main character's apprenticeship. These experiences place the character near older practitioners whose roles as models the character either emulates or rejects.
The Bildungsroman is a novel of formation or development. These terms imply that the Bildungsroman is also a novel about education, yet not necessarily in the narrow sense of the Erziehungsroman (novel of educational development). Life is an education, and the process of growing up as chronicled in the Bildungsroman is a series of experiences that teach lessons. The protagonist's education may be academic; it may also be in other areas, such as learning social graces, conducting business affairs, and gaining integrity in relationships.
Identity and the Self
The protagonist of the Bildungsroman... View more of the Bildungsroman Summary