This course will consider the growth and potential of the form classically called a "bildungsroman," the novel of developement and education. Because much of the moste significant fiction in the past two centuries has taken this form, the course will also constitute a partial history of the novel. The texts will include *Persuasion*, *Jane Eyre*, *Great Expectations*, *The Awakening*, *House of Mirth*, *Little Women*, *Sons and Lovers*, *Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man*, *Catcher in the Rye*, and several contemporary works. We will analyze the various historical definitions of the "bildungsroman," especially the ways in which social opportunities and constraints shape the lives of the protagonists. Course requirements include regular attendance and participation in discussion, brief weekly papers and a longer final paper.