Bildungsroman

Definition:
This is a very popular form of storytelling whereby the author bases the plot on the overall growth of the central character throughout the timeline of the story. As the story progresses, the subject undergoes noticeable mental, physical, social, emotional, moral, and often spiritual advancement and strengthening before the readers’ eyes. It has often been seen that the protagonist begins with views, aims and dreams that are in contrast to the other character’s in the story and then fights his or her way through to achieve them.

Example:
Scarlet O’Hara in Gone With the Wind experiences immense personal growth as she learns the value of friends and hard work under duress, without compromising her own dreams.

9 thoughts on “Bildungsroman”

  1. I learned the term “ dynamic” to describe a character who changes over the course of the story, by learning from situations, overcoming obstacles and developing as a result. The opposite is a “static” character who stays the same throughout the action of the story.
    How is Bildungsroman any different that a dynamic character, and why use such an unwieldy term when dynamic is intuitive and easier to remember?

    1. Excellent Question.
      In my opinion, a Bildungsroman seems to be a type of story, that is based off of a dynamic character’s change, while a dynamic character can exist in a bildungsroman, and other stories too, that will not be bildungsromans, as the character’s change is not central to the plot.
      In simplicity, all bildungsromans have dynamic characters, while not all dynamic characters are in bildungsromans.

    2. Because dynamic is a term that can be applied in many different situations, while Bildungsroman is a term that can specifically be identified in the context of literary devices. Also, dynamic is an adjective used to describe the character’s changes throughout the story, and dynamic changes can just mean dying hair blue, while Bildungsroman is the emotional journey of the characters’ development.

    1. This is the best example I have ever seen about anything in my life! You are a god of literary device interpretations!

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