English Literature Personal Statement Example 31

In my first year as a Literature student I was introduced to the Romantic era, studying works of Coleridge and Wordsworth as integral pillars of the Romantic movement. Coleridge writes in The Nightingale, ‘his (the poets) fame Should share in Nature’s immortality.’, emphasising the role of the poet as a beautifier of Nature, I think to beautify is vital to the importance of Literature. The small details, a single passage of a literary work, has the capability to not only influence society, much like poets such as Coleridge and Wordsworth did in aiding the popularisation of pantheism in western societies, but to change the writer themselves through reflection and influence of the greater world when writing their works. The way that literature has changed my perspective and influenced my world view is one of the reasons that I believe I would love studying a degree in English Literature, as I can’t wait to discover a wider range of Literature and the way different authors throughout many genres interacted with the world around them.

Through my exploration of Literature as a student at A level, an interest was sparked in Feminist Literature and readings. Through background reading of critical essays by scholars, I began to see ways in which we can criticise the popularity of male authors and how women are represented in their texts. My love of Literature expanded with the discovery of applying theory to texts as a way of changing the meaning and looking at the era’s historical contexts in relation to the text. I also began to pick up more works of female authors such as Mary Shelley and Jane Austen, who remain my favourite authors and whose female perspective was refreshing to consume in the world of classic literature.

Modern female authors have also greatly shaped my love of literature from Janet Fitch’s exploration of a complex relationship between mother and daughter and the resilience of human spirit in White Oleander; to Donna Tartt’s disarmingly well-crafted intricacy in the novel The Secret History, where she exerts herself in every aspect of the novels’ structure and tears her characters apart at the seams. In my second year of A-levels I began to feel a lack of female influence in the texts I studied as a literature student, therefore I decided to take it upon myself to make feminist literature the driving topic of my extended project qualification. Doing this for my extended project qualification helped me to read a range of works, novels by male authors and how they present female characters was my main interest and I became invested in novels such as, ‘The Virgin Suicides’ by Jeffery Eugenides, ‘Norwegian Wood’ by Haruki Murakami, and ‘Lolita’ by Vladimir Nabokov, which all offer a insight into the male gaze in literature. As an art student visual expression also began to link in with my passion for feminist literature, during my second year I decided to dedicate my end of year exhibition work to historical femininity and feminist movements of the 1990s, further compelling me to research this subject.

Throughout my exploration of genres within my second year I have begun to strengthen my critical reading skills through political texts. I am currently reading Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’ Communist Manifesto, and I believe works such as these have aided in my understanding of the effects of Literature and it’s influence in society. Politics and socio-political issues have always been a draw for me, I’ve been interested in pursuing journalism for a while, through influence of journalists such as Christiane Amanpour and political filmmakers such a Jafar Panahi, that I discovered whilst studying film at A level. In my first year of college I became a part of the student newspaper as my enrichment subject, however, was not able to explore this passion due to COVID-19. My interest in world issues has been prominent through my teenage years however, and I have been active in advocating for issues that are important to me such as climate change, stewarding for the youth climate strike in my area from GCSE year up to my final year of A levels.

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