English Literature Personal Statement
I have always been fascinated most by the way a writer is able to sway and manipulate a reader’s emotions through their expression of language. Literature has an ambiguity which leaves it exposed to all manner of interpretations and it is because of this freedom of analysis that I have developed a great passion for the subject.
My reading has always focused around poetry, the romantic era in particular. I find “The Lucy Poems” by William Wordsworth especially moving. It was not until I read Othello that I gained a true admiration for classics such as the works of Shakespeare. I was amazed at how relevant and timeless I found his work to be considering its age. The realisation that early modern literature could stir my sentiment to such a degree prompted me to look back even further and delve into medieval literature. New discoveries such as “Beowulf” not only exposed me to an array of literary styles but also ignited in me a penchant for history. I have learnt the value of considering literature in the context of its times, and I believe that it is important to establish and understand the historical context of a writing when studying literature, not least because medieval literature provides a gateway to our past.
My subjects have not only taught me how to improve and expand my skills in writing and analysis, but have opened up the opportunity for me to pursue a course of study which incorporates literature, history and language simultaneously. My appreciation for literature in particular is fuelled by my intrigue in language and its workings, which stems from the opportunities I have had to live in various cities in the UK and abroad. Although this has brought much upheaval to my life, I have taken delight in learning new languages. Living abroad, I was quick to seize the opportunity to feed my curiosity and immerse myself as much as possible in local culture. I am competent in both Spanish and Arabic and enjoy studying French from scratch at A-level. These language skills will not only prepare me for work with the medieval texts I hope to encounter at university, but have also made me aware of language construction more generally. This awareness has helped me to understand the nuances of language and develop a more critical eye, which in turn has enabled me to draw sophisticated conclusions regarding historical sources and literary texts.
I take pleasure in playing active roles within school and decided to volunteer at a primary school in Barcelona, where I helped teach children with learning difficulties to read and write. As a classroom assistant I took on other roles of responsibility such as ensuring the safety of young children. I enjoyed sharing my enthusiasm for the written word and I gained a huge sense of fulfilment from this assignment. This led me to take on a similar role where I privately mentored a younger student in which I found a further sense of reward as I was able to watch her confidence grow. I also relished the opportunity to instil an appreciation for older texts in a younger generation.
I am assiduous, responsive and dedicated in every task I undertake and I am confident I have the abilities to not only meet the challenge of a demanding degree course, but to also make a positive contribution to university life.
This personal statement was written by Randa for application in 2011.
I've been predicted 3 A's in English, Fench and History. I've been accepted into Leeds and Brighton so far.
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