Features of Bildungsroman Novel in Charles Dickens's David Copperfield and James Joyce's a Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: A Comparative Study

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Addis Ababa University


The main purposes of this paper (study) are to examine the intertextuality of some 'original' and 'distinct' canons of Bildungsroman novel features with particular reference to two selected English modern novels, specifically, Charles Dickens's David Copperfield: /i-om Victorian age (19'h centwy), and James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: from Modernism (20'h century), have been considered the corpuses of the study in which attempts are made to investigate whether there exists a continuityiconvergence and/or discontinuity/divergence of the features of Bildungsroman novel. To this effect, these features in the novels have been treated comparatively to the theoretical models of such form of writing embedded in the prototypes of the genre: the literary tradition of Bildungsroman novel (autographicalform). This thesis consists of five chapters. The introductOlY chapter includes: The statement of the problem, objectives of the study, method of the study, scope of the study, and significance of the study. The comparative approach, which is used in literature, intrinsic literaty elements textual analysis, is used as a method of the study. The second chapter, deals with a review of related literature. It provides a brief review of the historical and theoretical context in which the features of Bildungsroman novel writing IitercllY tradition has established itself Chapter three traces the authors' literaty biography in brief The fourth chapter is entirely devoted to the detailed analysis of the two novels. It is done by identifying five major Bildungsromanfeatures in the light of the prototypes used as theoretical models. Accordingly, among the many criteria of the Bildungsroman novel form of writings: features that typifY such form of writings; character development; structure; truthfulness and accountability; satire, parody and humor, and language as discourse are discussed thoroughly. As a result, most of the features of the Bildungsroman novel are, by and large, found to be inherited in the novels, regardless of the literary tenets that governed each literary movement, and the period (time) to which each novel belong. This in turn may strengthen the consideration of the respective novels under critical analysis as heirs of the sixteenth century and early seventeenth century Western European Bi/dungsroman novel writing tradition. Similarly, the study also reveals which Bildungsroman novel features do show the continuation of --intertextuality- links: in the novels under criticaLanaiysis, there exist both continuity and discontinuity of some of the basic tenets ofsuch(orm o(writings. Chapter five provides conclusions and suggestions in order to regain the hightoned literary merits that the features of Bildungsroman novel writing offers, and thereby, to enlighten the study of such novel-writing tradition 's evolution.



Features of Bildungsroman Novel in Charles