English Personal Statement

English Literature allows both, writers and readers to explore the complexity of human emotions and human thought. My passion for literature has stemmed from the ability possessed by writers to conjure their thoughts, feelings and experiences into written words. As an aspiring writer, the ability of writers to influence others’ thoughts and their ability to encourage the expansion of one’s ideas captivates me. Literature can be read for simple pleasure or it can be assessed further to reveal layers of contextual, historical and critical meanings generated by various effective literary techniques. I strongly believe that English Literature is a masterpiece of mankind which simulates my hunger to read the subject at University.

I have had the privilege to study a wide variety of texts throughout my school years, such as the classic Victorian canon to the modern novel, allowing me to gain a greater understanding of stylistic techniques employed by different writers. One of my favourite texts that I have studied is Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman. As a modern author, Blackman creates an alternative view on history thus conveying her view on racial discrimination powerfully in an imaginative way. This particular novel captured my interest as I was enthralled by Blackman’s ability to ‘rewrite’ history to her personal perspective allowing me to appreciate a diverse way of writing. I have also had the opportunity to study Thomas Hardy’s, The Mayor of Casterbridge, which exposed social taboo issues of agricultural Britain within the novel to gratify and entertain the reader. My enthusiasm for literature has extended far beyond formal education as I have independently taken a great interest into later aspects of literature ranging from Icelandic Sagas to Metaphysical poetry. Having read Gisli Sursson’s classic outlaw saga, I understand that historical values of society influence writing having being underlined by the tragic and complex divide of loyalties of a family within this saga. I have also read Metaphysical poems written by John Donne, my favourite being ‘Batter my heart’. This sonnet explores Donne’s divine yet complex love towards God, using literary devices such as paradox and juxtaposition to convey the extremity of his willingness to allow God to capture his soul. This powerful, sensual sonnet captured my interest by its vibrancy of language and its contradiction of ideas. Studying such a wide variety of literary texts has furthered my love for the study of English Literature which I am keen to progress at University.

I believe that all of my subjects that I’m studying complement my continual study of English. My English Literature course, has encouraged me to read widely and engage with various texts which provided me with the ability to think and write critically, conceptually and analytically. The study of Welsh Literature has progressed my ability to critically analyse works of literature whilst applying my independent ideas to its content. It has also allowed me to successfully construct analytical essays that show clarity, consideration and deep thought. The methodology applied to evaluate arguments and enhance personal research within my Religious Studies course, has allowed me to conduct thorough research, acquire the skill of understanding and interpreting factual information, as well as developing my understanding of ethical issues which can often be applied to literature.

I play an active part in my school life, I’m currently undertaking the role of Senior Prefect which has developed my confidence, sensitivity and leadership skills. I’ve received the Gwyn Thomas Creative Writing Prize for a short story titled ‘A family in the Valley’. Beyond my studies, I am a committed member of my school choir and a local choir. Having performed in many respected competitions, I have gained confidence, discipline and the capacity to work effectively with others. I have voluntarily taken part in a Citizenship Wales debate within a Brighter Futures Youth campaign, allowing me to articulate my thoughts and opinions. I was given the opportunity to experience University life at a Sutton Trust Summer School: attending lectures and interacting with others that shared my appreciation and passion for literature. I am a highly motivated, hardworking and passionate student and am confident that I have the necessary skills and qualities to succeed at University. I look forward to contributing to University life, as well as studying a challenging yet rewarding and enjoyable course.

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