English Personal Statement
I am applying for English Literature first and foremost because I very much enjoy reading and I look forward to extending my knowledge and my understanding of a wide range of texts. What attracts me to the subject is the way in which ideas and truths are communicated in a creative and relevant way and because literature is fundamental in shaping our views and beliefs. As Belinsky says in Stoppard's 'Voyage - the Coast of Utopia': 'without literature there is no culture' and I believe that this is true of most cultures. Reading texts for A Level has certainly made me think. I have enjoyed studying Jane Austen's novels because she constantly surprises the reader, challenging us when, like her heroines, we believe we are most certain and I found this to be equally true of de Bernieres in 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin', the novel that taught me that there are no winners in war
My English Literature course has certainly broadened my own reading. I enjoy Browning's poetry and the novels of Ishiguro because I like the way in which both writers address issues of validity and I am interested in Henry James' work and the way in which he shapes our view of society
My other A Level subjects have definitely shaped me as a student
Music has developed my sensitivity and Chemistry and Mathematics have taught me the importance of working independently and have trained me to think in a more logical way. Being able to take part in and express my own opinions about professional research in the pathology department at UCL on work experience and my term of weekly sessions at the London Mathematics Institute have given me a taste of degree level discussions and research which I am eager to apply to literature. In addition, working with younger children and watching their dedication and passion for music on my second period of work experience at the Yehudi Menuhin School of Music has inspired me to be confident in pursuing my own passions and goals
Life in the sixth form has helped me to develop new interests. For example, as a member of the school debating team, I have enjoyed the research and the teamwork and I now relish the fun of using persuasive language in competition. Music has always been an important part of my life and playing the piano and the violin to diploma standard has led to frequent orchestral performances at London venues and in competitions. As a result, I have tremendous admiration for those who are able to move people so strongly and in such different ways, through literature, music and theatre. These are main areas of interest for me and ones that I look forward to pursuing at university.
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