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Great Expectations

by Charles Dickens
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What are the examples of Entwicklungsroman that I could include in my MA paper? Could I also juxtapose it with Bildungsroman? Is there a big difference?

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There is very little difference between an Entwicklungsroman and a Bildungsroman. Critics are divided on whether the former is a sub-genre of the latter, or whether they are two similar types of novel with a slight difference in focus. It is uncontroversial to say, however, that a Bildungsroman is a "coming of age novel," in which a sensitive protagonist grows and learns throughout the course of the narrative. An Entwicklungsroman has less of a focus on growing up or coming of age. It is a novel of psychological development. In the vast majority of cases, the two terms will both apply to the same book, but a novel about the development of a middle-aged or elderly protagonist might be classified as an Entwicklungsroman without being a Bildungsroman. The section of Proust's novel, In Search of Lost Time, which is often excerpted as Swann in Love, would be an instance of this, with Swann himself, rather than the narrator, as protagonist.

The obvious examples of an Entwicklungsroman (and also Bildungsroman) in the works of Dickens are Great Expectations and David Copperfield. One might call A Christmas Carol an Entwicklungsroman, though Scrooge is such a flat character that it is debatable whether you can call his sudden change a development. There are many twentieth-century examples of the genre, from Rudyard Kipling's Kim in 1901, through J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books almost 100 years later.

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