Life as We Knew It

Bildungsroman

How is life as we know it a coming of age story?

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Life As We Knew It is a bildungsroman because the events of the story cause the novel's characters to grow up very quickly. Jonny is a mere child at the start of the story, but he quickly becomes quiet and withdrawn, and though he does what he's told.... he is filled with questions. In many instances, he acts more maturely than his older sister.

Miranda is also forced to grow up fast. Unlike Jonny, she is not sheltered from the reality of their situation and is overcome with worry. Miranda is often frightened, and she resents the fact that her mother doesn't explain things to her. She also resents that her mother's protectiveness and comforting doesn't extend beyond her little brother. Over time, however, Miranda begins to understand the severity of their situation, and she responds bravely and maturely. She helps with housework and rationing, collects wood and makes sure Mrs. Nesbitt is alright. She cycles into town when needed, and when her mother is injured, she takes care of her. In the end, Miranda becomes a brave, level-headed, mature, sensible and determined, young woman. She starts the story as an average sixteen-year-old girl, but ends it as a young woman.

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Life As We Knew It