Fictions of Growing Up
One kind of novel that has retained great appeal is the so-called ‘novel of education’ (German bildungsroman ) which traces the individual’s growth from adolescence into adulthood. We will read some of the best known “novels of education” written in English (by Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, James Joyce, Edith Wharton, J.D. Salinger, and Jeffrey Eugenides). We will consider whether the novels confirm the findings of important psychologists (Freud, Erikson, Maslow) about adolescence and maturity. Through extensive reading, writing, and discussion we will learn to express ourselves with greater clarity, accuracy, and power. 3 hrs. sem.