English and History Personal Statement
Perhaps the influence of the chronicles of time in literature ignited my appreciation of
English and History as one. With these disciplines open to unique perceptions from one reader
to another, it could be argued that Williams' portrayal of Blanche in "A Streetcar Named
Desire" precisely defines society's inability to face reality. Blanche wished to hide her
failure to accept her past, by flourishing within a realm of illusion. Similarly, some today
fail to learn from history; many in denial of the past. Focusing on Gatsby and Daisy's
hindered love affair, we become oblivious to the prejudice hierarchy and the decaying American
dream ideology in 1920s society. I find the latent elements of a text which make you feel like
you are dreaming in a fantasy yet still in touch with reality particularly interesting,
especially in developing our emotional ties with the characters we grow to love.
The depiction of women in the Classics sparked my interest in the origin of sexism. Feminist
literature charts the progression of women's appreciation over time and highlights how they
are perceived in comparison today. Literature's historical significance has allowed me to
empathise with those subject to history's violation and society's momentous breakthroughs.
Living vicariously through Bronte's Eyre, refined my understanding of the patriarchal society
in 19th century Britain. I then read Austen's 'Emma,' a daring homage to feminist freedom in
1815. Her response made me feel empowered to be a resilient woman in the 21st century.
My fascination for mid-20th century American culture stems from researching the Harlem
Renaissance. Discovering Jean Toomer's poems allowed me to appreciate the plea for racial
unity from the African American community. In agreement with historian C. Carson, I too
believe individual resistance shaped American civilisation of the past and present.
I enjoy that Germany's role within history raises an opportunity for extensive research;
especially the Nazi antisemitic ideology. An understanding of this proves beneficial when
appreciating Duffy's "Shooting Stars" - 'Turn thee unto me with mercy', allows one to feel
'desolate and lost,' similar to the persona, as we too fail to understand why faith had placed
them in that position. A poignant visit to Auschwitz allowed me to see past the statistics and
history in literature by seeing the reality of the suffering. In a world still filled with
discrimination, it is striking to me that society has learnt nothing from their sacrifice.
As chief editor of my school's magazine and in writing an article for The Big Issue, I have
developed my ability to critically analyse texts and have honed my time management skills,
ensuring deadlines are met in my busy schedule. Volunteering for my Saltire Award in a History
class enabled me to develop excellent communication skills, enhancing my capability to work
with others. This will serve me well in discussing texts and historical arguments in
tutorials. As Operations Director for my Young Enterprise team, I used my initiative to help
create an escape room. This enhanced my organisational skills and trade fairs developed my
self-confidence in public speaking. My current Open University course in Law, allows me to
expand intellectual and learning independence, as well as my critical thinking capability.
I am the product of the empathetic elements which these subjects have taught contemporary
society. University is my opportunity to delve further into literature's imagination and the
intriguing questions raised by historians. Literature remains our fantasy, History our
reality. I hope that university will allow me to distinguish why these subjects skilfully link
and how they are more than a contrast of fantasy and reality, they are revolutionary.
There is no profile associated with this personal statement, as the writer has requested to remain anonymous.
Unconditional offers received from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Strathclyde and St. Andrews. Conditional offer from Glasgow.
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