B is for Bildungsroman

A bildungsroman is a novel that focuses on the personal growth of its main character.
This popular form of storytelling bases the plot on the psychological development of the central character throughout the timeline of the story. As the story progresses, the subject undergoes noticeable mental, physical, social, emotional, moral, and often spiritual advancement. Often, the protagonist begins with views, aims, and dreams that contrast with those of other characters and then fights to achieve them
“Bildung” has a couple of meanings in German; it can mean “education” or “the process of building.” “Roman” means “novel.” It becomes a story/novel based on the “Charakterbildung” ([progressive] development of the novel’s protagonist).
Some books defined as bildungsroman include “The Catcher in the Rye,” “Jane Eyre,” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The best part of these stories is they explore and round the main characters more deeply than most plot-driven novels. The author (and thereby the reader) explore the characters’ journeys to self-actualization. The relationship with the main character becomes fleshed out; they become known in intimate ways, friends or foils.

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