Why Our Students Study Literature

"Creative writing has been a happy part of my life since I first learned to hold a pencil, so once I chose Gustavus, I considered my career as an English major a given. Perhaps I am a rare bird for that, being so sure of myself so soon. But I could not have anticipated how much I learned about the value of reading, in every area of life, through the English major; nor did I see its potential to shape me as a writer. No matter how straight-forward a story may seem, the search for something deeper within it leads to all kinds of insights that, while perhaps not in line with the author's original intent (who knows?), teach you more about the world and the different ways people use language. The theory taught alongside literature, in combination with this analysis, gives you the power of perspective that is so essential to finding contentment and peace in communication with people who are different from you, in a way that is unique to the study of literature. To write you have to read, and to really read, you have to think, criticize, doubt, wonder, and stand amazed by words on the page. The English major showed me how to do that, and not only has it increased my skills as a writer, it has made me a more compassionate and honest person."

"Creative writing has been a happy part of my life since I first learned to hold a pencil, so once I chose Gustavus, I considered my career as an English major a given. Perhaps I am a rare bird for that, being so sure of myself so soon. But I could not have anticipated how much I learned about the value of reading, in every area of life, through the English major; nor did I see its potential to shape me as a writer. No matter how straight-forward a story may seem, the search for something deeper within it leads to all kinds of insights that, while perhaps not in line with the author's original intent (who knows?), teach you more about the world and the different ways people use language. The theory taught alongside literature, in combination with this analysis, gives you the power of perspective that is so essential to finding contentment and peace in communication with people who are different from you, in a way that is unique to the study of literature. To write you have to read, and to really read, you have to think, criticize, doubt, wonder, and stand amazed by words on the page. The English major showed me how to do that, and not only has it increased my skills as a writer, it has made me a more compassionate and honest person." "I study literature because I believe there is power in stories. Literature is both intensely personal as well as a communal experience. I love examining how words, sentences, characters, plot-lines and tropes reveal who we are as humans. Humanity is a complicated thing, and requires an infinite amount of words to describe and analyze. That's the joy of studying literature, there is always a new reality to discover." "For me, the decision to study literature has been a struggle. Since I was young, I always enjoyed reading and being read to, but I always considered the actual study of literature to be made up; seriously, poets don’t actually try to "invoke" some other work. Literary devices? Some make-believe stuff that people invented to make English seem scientific. Although I enjoyed it, literature, to me, was studied only by those who weren’t smart enough to study something real, something provable.

As I understand it, those feelings are not uncommon. The difference for me, though (as compared to some other people I know), is that I grew out of them. I started really looking at rhetorical devices, and the use of language. I started to see that, although it still was not science, it was art, and art is the greatest expression of that which is human." "As far as my own goals in literature, they are quite simple. Admittedly, part of my fascination is for ‘great ammunition for cocktail parties.’ There is a very attractive element to being able to talk about literature—great characters, famous stories—that I think attracts most people to literature. And it is a good feeling to know a lot about it.

However, that is not my greatest concern. Most of all, my goal is to learn as much as I can about the human condition, and what it really means to be human, in all aspects." "By studying literature I find that this sense of confusion and search for self-discovery is a common theme. I am confident that my choice to be an English major is one that I will be satisfied with. Thus far, in my opinion, to be an English major entails more than just being able to read and write well. An English major must also strive to understand and interpret the importance that various forms of literature have had on the society of the past and the present. Being able to express opinions is another important aspect, as is starting a piece of literature with an open mind. These habits are also important when facing everyday life, not just literature tìm gia sư.

The chance to read and write is something that everyone should be able to experience. Literature in all forms is everywhere in today’s society, and with this idea, it is clear just how important it is. Whether it is studied in the classroom, read for pleasure or purpose, literature is a central part of many lives. It offers not only a chance to enlighten a person, but it also gives the chance to broaden one’s horizons and perspectives. In my case, having the opportunity to study literature in two different languages has helped me to find similarities in two different cultures, and to also find that although literature varies in form and content, it is important and it is a central part of many lives." "Reading and writing, the basic principles involved in the study of English, serve as the gateway to a deeper level of thought. After mastering these elementary skills, comprehension, analysis, and interpretation are learned and used to better educate ones self. Studying literature and observing personal reactions to the literature can make one more aware of his or her own values. English skills are helpful in every area of life. Reading, writing, comprehension, analysis, and interpretation increase efficiency in multiple ways including communication, documentation in other areas of study, and reflection of personal values. I believe there is no area of study that English and communication skills do not influence." "Reading and writing, in general, are undoubtedly some of the most valuable skills one can have; obviously, having these skills makes is much easier for people to communicate and to participate in society. However, there exists a purpose for reading and writing outside of these immediate practical purposes; the written word can be used to enlighten, to persuade, to express emotion, or simply for enjoyment. In these forms the written word becomes an art form, and a way of reaching out to others through a personal experience between the writer and the reader. Reading is an excellent way to associate oneself with the great minds of history and peer into their own thoughts. Reading is surely one of the most effective ways one can expand oneself." "Literature is a way in which we can capture and interpret what has happened and is happening to us personally and to the world as a whole. An entire culture exists in the written word, documenting the collective thoughts of everyone who cared to share them with the world. Therefore, I believe that for one to truly be a part of human society, it is critical that one take part in the evolution and self-realization that is literature, even if only in the reading aspect. Writing, however, carries a grave importance, as literature simply would not exist in the accessible form it does without written word, and for that reason I believe all who can write should. One should take advantage of the great opportunity to be part of and contribute to the world and society in which he or she lives through writing. I see literature in the societal sense a collective struggle to understand and make the best of the lives that we have all been given. Literature serves as a way to enrich our minds, and presents a way to improve the world not only through the beauty of its presence but through the ideas and tangible possibilities it possesses."

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