John Irving Writing Styles in The World According to Garp

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Bildungsroman

Bildungsroman is a German word meaning "novel of development." A bildungsroman is the study of the growth of a youthful character and thus it applies to Irving's novel. The novel concerns Garp's coming of age, and his maturation as a person and artist. The main character in a bildungsroman learns about life through all of its ups and downs and through his interactions with the variety of people he meets and relationships he forms. Garp learns about women through his relationships with his mother, Cushie Percy, Helen Holm, Charlotte the Austrian prostitute, Alice Fletcher, Mrs. Ralph, and Ellen James. His experiences as a husband and father teach him invaluable lessons about love, discipline, responsibility, pain, and hope. He encounters friendship with John Wolf and Roberta Muldoon, and he endures hatred from the Ellen Jamesians and Pooh Percy. Garp lives a full life in a mere thirty-three years.

Black Humor

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This section contains 763 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The World According to Garp Study Guide
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The World According to Garp from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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