Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 246
The Bildungsroman is popularly used in Science Fiction, especially perhaps in Young Adult Science Fiction. For example, Orson Scott Card, famous author of juvenile books, wrote the Bildungsroman Ender’s Game, which is also classified as military Bildungsroman. The book demonstrates the application of a long-standing genre to futuristic stories.
Just as there is a category for black Bildungsroman, there are books such as Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street that are classified as Chicano bildungsromane. Also qualifying as a female Bildungsroman, selections from this book can often be found in high school literature texts. The House on Mango Street is worthy of study as another use of the Bildungsroman in a culture other than German or British.
The picaresque novel is one of the oldest forms of the novel. Don Quixote, written by Miguel de Cervantes in 1605, and Huckleberry Finn can be classified in both categories, picaresque and Bildungsroman. Study the picaresque to learn about this other quest genre.
Geta LeSeur’s book Ten Is the Age of Darkness compares the Bildungsroman as used by African- American authors to that of African West Indian authors. LeSeur finds that African-American bildungsromane concentrate on protest while the West Indies Bildungsromane depict the simplicity and innocence of childhood even under the difficult circumstances of poverty. This book and the novels it describes give insight into the unique experience of children of color even as they establish the commonality of the comingof- age experience for all people.
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