Literature

The Maturing Heroine

When we read different genres of nineteenth and twentieth-century novel—neoclassical, romantic, modernist, or postmodernist—we can notice intriguing similarities as well as differences, even though each genre has its own ideology and aesthetic. If we limit ourselves to the novel that focuses on the heroine’s journey into adulthood (bildungsroman) it becomes obvious authors represent aspects of the spirit of the age (zeitgeist) in which they live. Put another way—within the Anglosphere at least—the process through which a heroine matures, and how her maturity is defined and measured, changes. Before the mid-nineteenth century, the heroine was allowed to mature and still keep…

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