Bildungsroman Research Papers
Bildungsroman research papers study coming of age stories and explicate their application to life or the life of the characters within the story. Paper Masters writes bildungsroman projects for college students to use as a perfect guide in writing their own projects.
The literary term “bildungsroman” refers to any coming of age story, focusing on the moral and psychological growth of the protagonist from childhood. There are often specific literary features that characterize a bildungsroman, as opposed to a straightforward coming of age tale. Karl Morgenstern first coined the term in 1819 during university lectures, later popularized by Wilhelm Dithey.
The First Bildungsroman Story
The first Bildungsroman story is held as Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship, which was written by the German author Johann Wolfgang Goethe in 1796. When Thomas Carlyle translated the novel into English in 1824, numerous British authors began imitating the genre. Many of Charles Dickens’ famous works are examples of a bildungsroman, including David Copperfield and Great Expectations.
Other famous literary examples of the bildungsroman include:
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain,
- The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
- Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.
In a bildungsroman, the main character is a sensitive individual who seeks out some of the answers to life’s bigger questions. It often starts with some emotional loss that propels the protagonist on a journey. Throughout the course of the journey, the protagonist encounters various difficulties that allow him or her to come to a better understanding of him or herself and society in general.