English Literature personal statement
In the words of William Makepeace Thackeray: "There are a thousand thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up a pen to write." For me, this quote epitomises the inspirational value of literature. I believe that English literature possesses an overwhelming power: it has the ability not only to entertain but to challenge its readers to ascertain a deeper understanding of the world. The most recent novel to stimulate my senses in this manner has been Emily Bronte's 'Wuthering Heights'. The complex web of themes and motifs inspired me to question the nature of human relations and to truly exercise my analytical techniques.
The language element of the course I have been studying has allowed me to develop an appreciation of the technical side of writing, which has consequently encouraged my enthusiasm towards literature to blossom. The subject touches me on a personal level; often there are no right or wrong answers or firm boundaries of 'black and white' and this leaves me with a burning desire to fully submerge myself into an author's work.
In the past year, I have had the pleasure of participating in a French exchange, which allowed me to stay with a host family in Angers for a week. To stay with a foreign family and to be dependant upon my linguistic skills was nerve-wracking, however I embraced the challenge and became good friends with not only my host student but also with the rest of her family. Shortly after this exchange, I visited Berlin with my fellow German students, which was an equally wonderful and fulfilling experience. Studying two languages has benefitted both my English language and literature work immensely. Currently I am studying 'The Pardoner's Tale' by Geoffrey Chaucer and I am able to identify words which are derived from the French and German languages. This has aided my understanding of the text.
Japanese language has been an integral part of my life for the last year. Through being taught extra-curricular lessons I have learnt both 'Hiragana' (the syllabic form of Japanese) and 'Kanji' (Japanese symbols). Learning about Japanese culture has been absolutely fascinating: not only has it broadened my horizons, but it has also fuelled my yearning to travel and to meet new people.
I am a keen pianist and recently I passed the grade 7 exam. I adore playing both solo and as an accompaniment to fellow musicians. I am currently studying hard for the grade 8 exam. Although it is extremely challenging, it is at the same time incredibly rewarding because I like to push myself and to explore my abilities. I also play the clarinet and I have taken part in a number of concerts in the past as part of a concert band. One major event was when I played at the Royal Norfolk Show; to play in front of a large audience was an exhilarating experience.
Through working in a retail outlet every weekend I have come across a wide range of people, which has articulated my customer service skills: something I am relieved to have on the odd occasion when a customer is slightly difficult to please! Often my co-workers and I are working under immense pressure, which enables me to fully appreciate the importance of teamwork and to experience a sense of solidarity which is vital under certain circumstances.
In today's society, I strongly believe that is of the utmost importance that we, as a global community, can imbibe the opinions and ideas of each other; regardless of whatever walk of life we may be from. I consider English literature to be a valuable tool in acquiring this skill and I would love to take my adoration of the subject to the next level.
This personal statement was written by Alice for application in 2006.
I really wanted to express how passionate I was about English Literature and my personal statement was structured in the sort of style that would represent this.