Comparison between Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit and Purple Hibiscus Essay example

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The Bildungsroman is a genre of prose fiction that focuses on the psychological and moral growth of the main character(s) from adolescence to adulthood. The traditional Bildungsroman originated in Germany and in his book Season of Youth: The Bildungsroman from Dickens to Golding, critic Jerome H. Buckley outlines the features of the genre and traces its development. Buckley states that the Bildungsroman is usually a novel about a sensitive boy, who grows up with certain constraints placed upon him by his continuously hostile parents, especially his father. His parents oppose his ambitions and his first schooling is frustrating for him. As he tries to make sense of his surroundings he goes through complicated confrontations with the outer world. He eventually moves away from home, usually to a city, and seeks a real education. During this time he goes through two love affairs: one debasing and the other exalting. He also experiences painful soul searching which transforms him into a mature young man. It is only after this that he may visit his parents to display his success and the good judgment of his choice.
In a traditional Bildungsroman the protagonist is almost always male but between the late 18th and 19th century, the number of Bildungsroman novels with female protagonists increased. An example of a novel that contains some characteristics of the classical Bildungsroman is Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, which Jeanette Winterson references in her novel Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (Oranges). The presence of a female protagonist is a feature that both Winterson’s novel and Chimamanda Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus share with Jane Eyre. Despite the fact that these novels deviate from and challenge Buckley’s male centred definitio...

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...e Only Fruit p.94
Gamallo, Subversive Storytelling p.123
Winterson, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit - Introduction p.xiii
Winterson, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit - Introduction p.xiv
Susan Z. Andrade, ‘Adichie’s Genealogies: National and Feminine Novels’ in Research in African Literatures. p.94
Jerome Hamilton Buckley, Season of Youth: The Bildungsroman from Dickens to Golding Harvard University Press, 1974.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Purple Hibiscus. Fourth Estate, 2013.
Jeanette Winterson, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. Vintage, 2001.
Research in African Literatures. Volume 42, Number 2 (Summer 2011).
Ruth O. Saxton, The Girl: Constructions of the Girl in Contemporary Fiction by Women. New York: St. Martin's, 1998.

[Date accessed 14 December 2013]

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