Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Examples of Bildunsroman

1.Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship (GermanWilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre) is the second novel by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, published in 1795–96.

The eponymous hero undergoes a journey of self-realization. The story centers upon Wilhelm's attempt to escape what he views as the empty life of a bourgeois businessman. After a failed romance with the theater, Wilhelm commits himself to the mysterious Tower Society.

First Book

Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship depicts the eighteenth-century German reception of William Shakespeare's dramas: the protagonist is introduced to these by the character Jarno, and extensive discussion of Shakespeare's work occurs within the novel's dialogues. Wilhelm and his theater group give a production of Hamlet, in which Wilhelm plays the lead role. Shakespeare's work had begun to be translated into German in the 1740s, and had attained tremendous popularity and influence in Germany by the end of the century.

2.Great Expectations is the thirteenth novel by Charles Dickens and his penultimate completed novel, which depicts the education of an orphan nicknamed Pip (the book is a bildungsroman, a coming-of-age story). It is Dickens's second novel, after David Copperfield, to be fully narrated in the first person. The novel was first published as a serial in Dickens's weekly periodical All the Year Round, from 1 December 1860 to August 1861. In October 1861, Chapman and Hall published the novel in three volumes

3.The Catcher in the Rye is a novel by J. D. Salinger, partially published in serial form in 1945–1946 and as a novel in 1951.It was originally intended for adults, but is often read by adolescents for its themes of angst and alienation, and as a critique on superficiality in society. It has been translated widely.Around one million copies are sold each year, with total sales of more than 65 million books.The novel's protagonist Holden Caulfield has become an icon for teenage rebellion. The novel also deals with complex issues of innocence, identity, belonging, loss, connection, sex, and depression.
4.To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel by Harper Lee published in 1960. Instantly successful, widely read in high schools and middle schools in the United States, it has become a classic of modern American literature, winning the Pulitzer Prize. The plot and characters are loosely based on Lee's observations of her family, her neighbors and an event that occurred near her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, in 1936, when she was ten.
5.Plot summaryThe Way of All Flesh (sometimes called Ernest Pontifex, or the Way of All Flesh) is a semi-autobiographical novel by Samuel Butler that attacks Victorian-era hypocrisy.Written between 1873 and 1884, it traces four generations of the Pontifex family. Butler dared not publish it during his lifetime, but when it was published (in 1903) it was accepted as part of the general reaction against Victorianism.

The story is narrated by Overton, godfather to the central character.

The novel takes its beginnings in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries to trace Ernest's emergence from previous generations of the Pontifex family. John Pontifex was a carpenter; his son George rises in the world to become a publisher; George's son Theobald, pressed by his father to become a minister, is manipulated into marrying Christina, the daughter of a clergyman; the main character Ernest Pontifex is the eldest son of Theobald and Christina.

The author depicts an antagonistic relationship between Ernest and his hypocritical and domineering parents. His aunt Alethea is aware of this relationship, but dies before she can fulfill her aim of counteracting the parents' malign influence on the boy. However, shortly before her death she secretly passes a small fortune into Overton's keeping, with the agreement that once Ernest is twenty-eight, he can receive it.

As Ernest develops into a young man, he travels a bumpy theological road, reflecting the divisions and controversies in the Church of England in the Victorian era. Easily influenced by others at university, he starts out as an Evangelical Christian, and soon becomes a clergyman. He then falls for the lures of the High Church (and is duped out of much of his own money by a fellow clergyman). He decides that the way to regenerate the Church of England is to live among the poor, but the results are, first, that his faith in the integrity of the Bible is severely damaged by a conversation with one of the poor he was hoping to redeem, and, second, that under the pressures of poverty and theological doubt, he attempts a sexual assault on a woman he has incorrectly believed to be of loose morals.

This assault leads to a prison term. His parents disown him. His health deteriorates.

As he recovers he learns how to tailor and decides to make this his profession once out of prison. He loses his Christian faith. He marries Ellen, a former housemaid of his parents; they have two children and set up shop together in the second-hand clothing industry. However, in due course he discovers that Ellen is both a bigamist and an alcoholic. Overton at this point intervenes and pays Ellen a stipend, and she happily leaves with another for America. He gives Ernest a job, and takes him on a trip to Continental Europe.

In due course Ernest becomes 28, and receives his aunt Alethea's gift. He returns to the family home until his mother's death; his father's influence over him wanes as Theobald's own position as a clergyman is reduced in relative stature, though to the end Theobald purposefully finds small ways to annoy him. Ernest becomes an author of controversial literature.

6.The Longest Journey is a bildungsroman by E. M. Forster, first published in 1907. It is the second of Forster's six published novels, following Where Angels Fear to Tread (1905) and preceding A Room with a View (1908) and Howards End (1910). It has a reputation for being the least known of Forster's novels but was also the author's personal favourite and one of his most autobiographical. It is the only one of Forster's novels not to have received a film or television adaptation.

Plot summary

Rickie Elliot is a student at early 20th century Cambridge, a university that seems like paradise to him, amongst bright if cynical companions, when he receives a visit from two friends, an engaged young woman, Agnes Pembroke, and her elder brother, Herbert. The Pembrokes are Rickie's only friends from home. An orphan who grew up living with cousins, he was sent to a public (boarding) school where he was shunned and bullied because of his lame foot, an inherited weakness, and frail body. Agnes, as it happens, is engaged to Gerald, now in the army, who was one of the sturdy youths who bullied Rickie at school. Rickie is not brilliant at argument, but he is intensely responsive to poetry and art, and is accepted within a circle of philosophical and intellectual fellow-students led by a brilliant but especially cynical aspiring philosopher, Stewart Ansell, who refuses, when he is introduced to her, even to acknowledge that Agnes exists.

When visiting the Pembrokes during his vacation, Rickie has an epiphanic vision of the sexual bond between Gerald, who is coarse but handsome and athletic, and Agnes, a bond he cannot imagine for himself. He takes these lovers' side in trying to speed their marriage, offering part of his own inheritance, an offer that insults Gerald. When Gerald is suddenly killed in a football match, Rickie finds a role consoling Agnes—he tells her she should "mind" what has happened, that is, that she should grieve—since her passion for Gerald has been the main event of her life. Rickie becomes Agnes' chief consolation and support, though he is in every way Gerald's opposite, and after a year or two, despite the failure of Rickie's stories to find a publisher, he and Agnes become engaged to marry.

The young couple pay a visit to Rickie's Aunt Emily Failing, a wealthy eccentric, the widow of a well-known essayist. On this visit they meet Aunt Emily's ward, Stephen, a quarrelsome and handsome semi-educated 19-year-old. For some reason—perhaps just to make malicious mischief—Aunt Emily wants Rickie and Stephen to get to know each other. The two young men do not take to each other at all, and quarrel. Yet it turns out that they are in fact half-brothers, a long-kept secret that Aunt Emily reveals to Rickie, mostly to shock him. Rickie assumes that Stephen is the illegitimate son of his father—a father he hated—who lived apart from Rickie's mother during Rickie's childhood. Illegitimacy in this period is considered to be a blight on the child, as well as the family, and Agnes, who is essentially conventional, considers Stephen's existence something to be deeply ashamed of and to be kept secret, and Stephen a person who deserves to be shunned.

Her brother, Herbert, has received an offer to be the head of a dormitory at Sawston School, and can fill this post only if Agnes and Rickie marry quickly and join him, Agnes to be house mother, and Rickie to be a teacher of classics. Rickie's ambition to be a writer, and his freedom of thought, are suppressed by the dreary regimen of teaching, and his moral sense is suffocated by the influence of his wife and brother-in-law. He becomes a petty tyrant in the classroom, and an insensitive enforcer of school rules, though a part of him still sees and understands what he has lost, both as a writer and a man of refinement and sensitivity, since Cambridge. He is "dead" to his former friend, Stewart Ansell, who refuses to answer Rickie's letters. Ansell finally does pay a visit to Rickie, stopping at the house of another acquaintance, and by coincidence he meets Stephen, who (partly due to Agnes's scheming to get Aunt Emily's inheritance for Rickie and herself) has been expelled from Mrs. Failing's house. Stephen has discovered his identity at last, and now knows that Rickie is his half-brother. He wants to meet him again and see whether they might get on better. Ansell falls under the spell of Stephen's rustic honesty, physical vitality, and impulsiveness. Rickie, Agnes and Herbert assume Stephen has come to blackmail them and Agnes offers him money, but Stephen, who is in fact penniless, now wants nothing to do with them. In a horrifying blowout, in front of all the pupils, Ansell accuses Rickie and Agnes of wanting to deny Stephen's existence. Ansell reveals to Rickie that Stephen is, in fact, his mother's illegitimate child, not his father’s. Rickie faints at this revelation.

Rickie’s marriage has become loveless, as Ansell assumed it would, and with his brother's reappearance he realises that he has fallen under his wife's spell and denied his better nature. He leaves to find Stephen, dear to him now because he is the child of the same beloved mother, and he attempts unsuccessfully to assume the role of a brother, for example, to get him to stop drinking. The two of them go to Wiltshire to see his aunt. This brief period when they travel together restores to Rickie the sense of himself that has been lost ever since he fell under his wife's influence, and, as well, restores his sense of joy and playful love of life. Rickie is unable, however, to control his mercurial half-brother, who gets drunk despite his promise not to. Like his mother, and like Gerald, Rickie dies suddenly: his legs are severed when he tries to pull a drunken Stephen off some railway tracks.

Stephen survives, marries, and in a brief epilogue stands up to Herbert Pembroke for his right to money that is due him with the publication of his half-brother’s book of stories, now valuable since, after his death, Frederick Elliot has become a noted author. The "longest journey" which is the span of one’s life, or, in another sense, the development into one’s true self, has concluded successfully for Rickie, who has regained his sense of integrity. Though his life is cut short, he receives his vindication by coming to moral clarity at last, rejecting conventional hypocrisy, and acknowledging his bond to his brother. His uniqueness and worth are confirmed as well by his posthumous success as an artist.

The phrase "the longest journey" appears in Percy Bysshe Shelley's Epipsychidion:

I never was attached to that great sect
Whose doctrine is, that each one should select
Out of the crowd a mistress or a friend,
And all the rest, though fair and wise, commend
To cold oblivion, though it is in the code
Of modern morals, and the beaten road
Which those poor souls with weary footsteps tread,
Who travel to their home among the dead
By the broad highway of the world, and so
With one chained friend, perhaps a jealous foe,
The dreariest and longest journey go.



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