Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Read our blog! Follow MGHS Library on Instagram Follow MGHS Library on Pinterest Follow MGHS Library on Facebook Follow MGHS Library on Twitter MGHS Library for Teachers MGHS Library Resources MGHS Library Guides MGHS Online Library Catalog MGHS Answers

Defining Genre

undefined OR

 

This sub-genre features the "swashbuckling" hero--a character whose use of swords, acrobatics, and guile support his chivalric ideals. He rescues other.  The word, itself, was first used in the 16th century to indicate a "blustering, swaggering fighting man."  Characteristics of this genre include:

  • a known and "dastardly" villain
  • a victim in need (the "damsel in distress")
  • outstanding courage
  • unique fighting skill
  • a sense of honor/justice

The word picaresque comes from the Spanish word picaro, which was first used in the early 17th century to identify a rogue, bohemian, adventurer, or rapscallion.  A picaroon is listed as a synonym for the word pirate in many English dictionaries. In these books, the protagonist doesn't generally fit the typical model of a hero.  Characteristically, these novels include:

  • protagonist of low-class or crimnal and carefree
  • episodic adventure and a pointless quest
  • satire (comedic)
  • social criticism
  • theatrical storytelling/first person narration

Classics include:

  • Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • Candide by Voltaire
  • Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas
  • The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
  • Moll Flanders by Daniel DeFoe
  • Cyrano de Bergerac
  • The Three Musketeers
  • The Scaarlet Pimpernetl
  • Ivanhoe by Walter Scott
  • Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Modern Literary Examples:

  • A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  • The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding
  • Slaugherhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • One Hundred Years of Solitutde by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • Catcher in the Rye by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
  • Dodger by Terry Pratchett
  • The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
  • Forrest Grump by Winston Groom
  • Zorro by Isabel Allende

Library Information and Media Center - Monona Grove High School - Monona, Wisconsin

Answers| Catalog | Guides | Resources | Teachers