Coming-of-age story

In genre studies, a coming-of-age story is a genre of literature, film, and video that focuses on the growth of a protagonist from childhood to adulthood ("coming of age"). Coming-of-age stories tend to emphasize dialogue or internal monologue over action, and are often set in the past. The subjects of coming-of-age stories are typically teenagers.[1] The Bildungsroman is a specific subgenre of coming-of-age story.

The plot points of coming of age stories are usually emotional changes within the character(s) in question.[2]

In literatureEdit

In film and televisionEdit

In film, coming-of-age is a genre of teen films. Coming-of-age films focus on the psychological and moral growth or transition of a protagonist from youth to adulthood. Personal growth and change is an important characteristic of this genre, which relies on dialogue and emotional responses, rather than action. The story is sometimes told in the form of a flashback.[1] Historically, coming-of-age films usually centred on young boys, although coming-of-age films focusing on girls have become more common in the early 21st century, such as Lady Bird, Sweet 20 and It (2017).[7]

Films in this subgenre include:

Films featuring protagonists in particular age groups, such as pre-teens, are:

or post-high school and college students, in films such as

or people aged around 20 years old who do not go to college, such as

or in the case of unique coming-of-age stories centered on post-college aged individuals, such as

Coming-of-age television series include

In video gamesEdit

While not represented as often as in other mediums, coming-of-age stories can also be found in video games such as Life Is Strange.[9]


  1. ^ a b Benyahia, Sarah Casey; Gaffney, Freddie; White, John (2006). As Film Studies: The Essential Introduction. Essentials Series. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0-415-39311-6. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
  2. ^ Romero, Travis (2020). "Coming Of Age". Ginglu. Retrieved December 7, 2020.
  3. ^ Joy Palmer, Liora Bresler, David Edward Cooper (2001). Fifty major thinkers on education: from Confucius to Dewey. Routledge. p. 34. ISBN 0-415-23126-4.
  4. ^ a b McWilliams, Ellen (2009). Margaret Atwood and the Female Bildungsroman. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-7546-6027-9. The two early English Bildungsromane already mentioned, Tom Jones and The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, are examples of coming-of-age narratives that predate the generic expectations of the German tradition.
  5. ^ Knausgård, Karl. "On Reading Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  6. ^ Melanie Kinchen; et al. (13 July 2006). "Bildungsroman Novels for Young Adults". Archived from the original on 28 April 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
  7. ^ Kate Erbland, "7 Female-Centric Coming-of-Age Movies to Watch If You Loved ‘Lady Bird’". IndieWire, December 5, 2017.
  8. ^ a b Fox, Levi (2002). "The Historical Coming of Age Genre". Were Those the Days? Historical Coming of Age Films in American Culture. American Studies, University of Virginia. Archived from the original on 15 October 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
  9. ^ Riaz, Adnan (26 October 2015). "Review: Life Is Strange Episode 5: Polarized". Hardcore Gamer. Archived from the original on 28 October 2015. Retrieved 31 October 2015.