A Complicated Kindness is roughly structured along the lines of the bildungsroman. In an essay of at least 5 paragraphs, compare the novel’s approach to this genre. 

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As your instructor wants your work organized into a five paragraph essay, your major focus in completing this assignment should be clarity of structure, in which each paragraph has a strong single focus.

Introduction: In your first, introductory paragraph you should define the Bildungsroman, or apprenticeship novel. This is a genre focused on the coming of age of a protagonist, usually focusing on the protagonist's psychological development. Although it usually has some sort of plot structure, its emphasis is more on the protagonist's thoughts and feelings than on action.

Paragraph 2: The protagonist Nomi Nickel, a sensitive and rebellious young teenage girl, is a typical protagonist of the Bildungsroman in both her age and her rebellion against her environment. Thus your first body paragraph should focus on how the character fits the genre.

Paragraph 3: The second body paragraph should focus on the second crucial issue for whether a novel fits this genre: the degree to which the character evolves. Since she moves from stages of acceptance of her community, through rebellion to qualified acceptance, she fits the criteria for a protagonist in the genre.

Paragraph 4: Explore the novel's use of the psychological, another aspect of the genre. We encounter many instances of self-reflection by the character such as her speculation that:

It’s hard to grieve in a town where everything that happens is God’s will. It’s hard to know what to do with your emptiness when you’re not supposed to have emptiness.

Paragraph 5: This should summarize how your evidence points to the novel fitting within the genre.