How is the concept of thermal maturation of hydrocarbons in shales similar / not similar to a Bildungsroman?
What kind of maturation? It's thermal. In other words, the temperatures must ascend to the point that the shale breaks down, physically and chemically -- it starts to become more fissile, have fractures (which function as conduits for the newly formed gas). The shale starts to change chemically -- the kerogen transforms, and starts to break down.
Application to literary narratives: