Home Department of English "Creative writing has been a happy part of my life since I first learned to hold a pencil, so once I chose Gustavus, I considered my career as an English major a given.
Perhaps I am a rare bird for that, being so sure of myself so soon. But I could not have anticipated how much I learned about the value of reading, in every area of life, through the English major; nor did I see its potential to shape me as a writer.
No matter how straight-forward a story may seem, the search for something deeper within it leads to all kinds of insights that, while perhaps not in line with the author's original intent who knows? The theory taught alongside literature, in combination with this analysis, gives you the power of perspective that is so essential to finding contentment and peace in communication with people who are different from you, in a way that is unique to the study of literature.
To write you have to read, and to really read, you have to think, criticize, doubt, wonder, and stand amazed by words on the page. The English major showed me how to do that, and not only has it increased my skills as a writer, it has made me a more compassionate and honest person.
Literature is both intensely personal as well as a communal experience. I love examining how words, sentences, characters, plot-lines and tropes reveal who we are as humans. Humanity is a complicated thing, and requires an infinite amount of words to describe and analyze.
That's the joy of studying literature, there is always a new reality to discover. Some make-believe stuff that people invented to make English seem scientific.
As I understand it, those feelings are not uncommon. The difference for me, though as compared to some other people I knowis that I grew out of them. I started really looking at rhetorical devices, and the use of language. I started to see that, although it still was not science, it was art, and art is the greatest expression of that which is human.
And it is a good feeling to know a lot about it. However, that is not my greatest concern. Most of all, my goal is to learn as much as I can about the human condition, and what it really means to be human, in all aspects.
I am confident that my choice to be an English major is one that I will be satisfied with.
Thus far, in my opinion, to be an English major entails more than just being able to read and write well. An English major must also strive to understand and interpret the importance that various forms of literature have had on the society of the past and the present.
Being able to express opinions is another important aspect, as is starting a piece of literature with an open mind.
These habits are also important when facing everyday life, not just literature. The chance to read and write is something that everyone should be able to experience.
Whether it is studied in the classroom, read for pleasure or purpose, literature is a central part of many lives. In my case, having the opportunity to study literature in two different languages has helped me to find similarities in two different cultures, and to also find that although literature varies in form and content, it is important and it is a central part of many lives.
After mastering these elementary skills, comprehension, analysis, and interpretation are learned and used to better educate ones self.
Studying literature and observing personal reactions to the literature can make one more aware of his or her own values. English skills are helpful in every area of life. Reading, writing, comprehension, analysis, and interpretation increase efficiency in multiple ways including communication, documentation in other areas of study, and reflection of personal values.
I believe there is no area of study that English and communication skills do not influence. However, there exists a purpose for reading and writing outside of these immediate practical purposes; the written word can be used to enlighten, to persuade, to express emotion, or simply for enjoyment.
In these forms the written word becomes an art form, and a way of reaching out to others through a personal experience between the writer and the reader.
Reading is an excellent way to associate oneself with the great minds of history and peer into their own thoughts.
Reading is surely one of the most effective ways one can expand oneself. An entire culture exists in the written word, documenting the collective thoughts of everyone who cared to share them with the world.
Therefore, I believe that for one to truly be a part of human society, it is critical that one take part in the evolution and self-realization that is literature, even if only in the reading aspect. Writing, however, carries a grave importance, as literature simply would not exist in the accessible form it does without written word, and for that reason I believe all who can write should.
One should take advantage of the great opportunity to be part of and contribute to the world and society in which he or she lives through writing.
I see literature in the societal sense a collective struggle to understand and make the best of the lives that we have all been given. Literature serves as a way to enrich our minds, and presents a way to improve the world not only through the beauty of its presence but through the ideas and tangible possibilities it possesses.
I was taught to both see a work of literature as a way to understand the time it was written, and the people who produced it, and to find the parts of that work that spoke to me in my time and place. While I am skeptical about whether or not anyone can ever really understand a culture or a time prior to their own, I do know that many times literature and art provide insights that cold hard facts do not.Why is college important?
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|Why Go To College | 8 Reasons Why College is Important||Home Department of English "Creative writing has been a happy part of my life since I first learned to hold a pencil, so once I chose Gustavus, I considered my career as an English major a given. Perhaps I am a rare bird for that, being so sure of myself so soon.|
|Why Our Students Study Literature | Department of English||What things should you think about when considering college?|
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