The Myth of the Heroine: The Female Bildungsroman in the Twentieth Century: Dorothy Richardson, Simone de Beauvoir, Doris Lessing, Christa Wolf

By Esther Kleinbord Labovitz | Go to book overview

Appendix

Overview: Dorothy Richardson. Pilgrimage

Each of the thirteen 'chapter volumes' of Dorothy Richardson's Pilgrimage, running in length from under two hundred pages to over four hundred, integrates and assimilates a significant phase of the heroine, Miriam Henderson's, development. From the opening lines of the first book, Pointed Roofs, to the closing volume, in March Moonlight, the reader never leaves the consciousness of the heroine.

Volume I, beginning with Pointed Roofs introduces the nature of the journey, predominantly spiritual. Following the traditional pattern of a Bildungsroman (outwardly, at least) the young heroine of seventeen leaves her family home and provincial fife to seek her fortune in Germany as a pupil-teacher. She faces hardships and makes errors which contribute to her loss of self-esteem. The 'chapter volume' closes with Miriam's return from Hanover to England, saddened at leaving, enriched immeasurably by her experience, fearful of her future, and depressed by her lack of achievement.

Backwater, the second 'chapter-volume' takes up where the first ended, with Miriam's return, and eventual let-down, to teach in a North London school, run by three maiden sisters. Speculations about her future vocation as a teacher and her further development in the outside world, her turmoil about religion continue from an earlier stage. In an epiphany-like moment, occurring while vacationing with her sisters, Miriam seeks "illumination" perceived while in Hanover, and decides to strike out for freedom, leaving her long aching hours of teaching in the little school.

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The Myth of the Heroine: The Female Bildungsroman in the Twentieth Century: Dorothy Richardson, Simone de Beauvoir, Doris Lessing, Christa Wolf
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents iii
  • PREFACE TO SECOND EDITION v
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes 8
  • 1 - Dorothy Richardson: Pilgrimage: Four Volumes1 11
  • Notes 66
  • 2 - Simone De Beauvoir: Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter1 73
  • Notes 142
  • 3 - Doris Lessing: Children of Violence1, Five Volumes 145
  • Notes 198
  • 4 - Christa Wolf: 201
  • Notes 240
  • Conclusion 245
  • Notes 258
  • Appendix 259
  • Bibliography 265
  • Index 271
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