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Bildungsroman Essay | Critical Essay #2

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Critical Essay #2

In the following essay, Swales explores German bildungsromane to identify inherent problems in "character and selfhood" in the form.

At one point in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado the ruler of Japan shares with the audience his vision of a judicial system in which there would be perfect consonance between punishment and crime. The crimes which he chooses as test cases seem mercifully lightweight - which contrasts engagingly with the ghoulishness of the proposed remedies. One criminal who provokes the Mikado's ire is the bore, and it is decreed that he be condemned to listen to

A series of sermons
By mystical Germans
Who preach from ten till four.

As far as I am aware, W. S. Gilbert is not here pillorying any particular tradition within German theology; rather, he exploits the happy coincidence that Germans rhymes with sermons to draw upon English skepticism about German culture generally...

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This section contains 8,196 words
(approx. 28 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Bildungsroman Study Guide
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Bildungsroman from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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