English Literature and French Personal Statement
My love of literature stems from the freedom it gives my imagination. Between the author’s words and myself there are no external influences except for my own reasoning, previous experiences and preconceptions, allowing me to constantly evolve my own images and views.
Although I enjoy film, it is these processes and the liberty involved in reading that draws me to study literature; a director’s understanding can only ever be one possible interpretation of a text. For me, literature is the most intimate way of exploring the intricate experiences of other human beings, thereby gaining an insight into their lives and times.
Through an extensive study of a wide range of literature I hope to gain a deeper appreciation of language and a finer analytical approach to texts. I think literature is able to capture the essence of a particular time; whether it is a portrayal of Jane Austen’s England, the witty world of PG Wodehouse’s London, or Tony Harrison’s bleak depiction of Northern England.
At school, my imagination was fired by the captivating stories of early civilisations, fables and fairy tales. Recently we looked closely at the medieval romance Parsifal, and an introduction to Goethe and Dante opened the door to European literature for me, making me look at the influence of these stories on the modern novel.
Having been fortunate enough to learn French and German from the age of 6, I decided to further my knowledge of French, and in 2003 I spent 3 months in Paris. Knowledge of another language and country has given me an insight into the French culture; I am grateful to have had the experience living with a French family, and creating a very personal connection with the country. I also spent two weeks there over the summer, once again with a family, having lessons, and finally performing a fairy tale in French.
I look forward to deepening my knowledge of the French language in order to gain greater access to French literature. I also anticipate the healthy combination of literary analysis alongside the work on French.
Having played the harp since the age of 9, I was fortunate enough to gain a place in the junior department of Trinity College of Music in 2005, receiving both instrumental and vocal tuition.
I am currently working hard on grade 7 harp and grade 6 singing. Although initially a terrifyingly large commitment, I am grateful for the chance I have had to work in such an environment. Apart from developing my musical skills, it is also an opportunity to meet people and work as part of a team. I have enjoyed performing for my school, my local community, and playing music for festivals throughout the year.
I have also participated in orchestra camps during holidays – a muddy but enjoyable experience! My love of singing led me to the Hertfordshire County Youth Choir, where I have learned to look at singing not only as an enjoyment but also as a discipline; combining a passion with structure and focus.
I think that learning a musical instrument has helped me greatly in bringing discipline and structure to all my studies. I have been an active participant in several school productions, playing Hamlet, Eliza in My Fair Lady, Hester in A Woman of No Importance.
I enjoy communicating my own interpretation of characters to an audience, and appreciate the different perspective it has given me in addition to textual analysis.
I look forward to the challenges the degree will give me and the responsibility and independence of university life. I also anticipate the opportunity I may have to study abroad with great excitement!
By continuing my study of literature and language I hope to be able to discover more about the way in which people communicate and further my knowledge of the historical elements of literature and language, enhancing my ability to better understand the views and feelings of others – and ultimately myself.
This personal statement was written by Rosy for application in 2007.