What does "bildungsroman" mean?

1 Answer
Mar 4, 2018

A bildungsroman is a type of novel that focuses on the psychological and moral growth of the protagonist from youth to adulthood.


"Bildungsroman" is the combination of two German words: "bildung," which means education, and "Roman," meaning novel.

Thus, a bildungsroman is a novel that focuses on the most formative years of the main character, namely the character's psychological, moral, and spiritual growth. The plot of a bildungsroman may feature a sensitive or innocent protagonist who searches for answers to life's many questions and the novel ends with the protagonist attaining maturity after many enduring many difficulties.