Bildungsroman | Literature Criticism Critical Essay by John H. Smith

This literature criticism consists of approximately 30 pages of analysis & critique of Bildungsroman.
This section contains 8,837 words
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Critical Essay by John H. Smith

SOURCE: Smith, John H. “Cultivating Gender: Sexual Difference, Bildung, and the Bildungsroman.Michigan Germanic Studies 13, no. 2 (fall 1987): 206-25.

In the following essay, Smith suggests that Bildungsromane rarely end happily because they are characterized to some extent by the protagonist's unfulfilled desire in relation to a female other. The critic also maintains that Bildungsromane necessarily have a male protagonist because the genre requires that the hero have full access to (patriarchal) societal structures.

I. Analysis Beyond Genre

An MLA special session (New York, 1986)—“Generic Fiction or Fictional Genre?”—addressed the dilemmas confronting numerous recent studies of the Bildungsroman.1 The dilemmas arise from a fundamental, conscious or unconscious ambivalence at the heart of any study of genre, an ambivalence that redefines the “hermeneutic circle” or...

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This section contains 8,837 words
(approx. 30 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by John H. Smith