Are you shilly-shallying to studying English literature? Constantly fluctuating between your fondness for literature and the thought of its future benefits? Curious how it could forge a path to a prosperous career? Worry no more! This article provides the answers to your question: Why should I study English Literature?
There is a general misconception in our society that a literature degree provides less opportunities and an unsatisfying career as compared to a degree in science, math or any other discipline. The expanding stardom of science and technology has made literature study insignificant or somewhat outdated. Some people have started considering it as an underrated or neglected faculty with less career opportunities.
But I must say that literature is something that never ever gets outmoded. It has always stood the test of time and given us great, great knowledge indeed. Can you people imagine a life without books, without literature — merely surrounded with science and technology? I don’t have any intention to underestimate science and technology. It is indeed a huge blessing for all of us and we can’t imagine our life without it. But it doesn’t mean to consider literature or other art forms as insignificant and destined to a life of low-paying jobs and unsatisfying careers.
This article will let you know that in this era where there is so much economic crisis prevailing all over the world, why is English literature important and how the students with an English literature degree can get numerous opportunities that would surely help them financially as well as socially.
Why Should I Study English Literature?
1. Broadens Our Understanding of the World
Literature, in its varied forms, can be a valuable gateway to diverse cultures, historical epochs, and societal norms. For instance, reading a novel set in Victorian England can transport us to that era, enriching our knowledge of its manners and customs. Similarly, works from authors around the globe can offer us invaluable insights into their cultural contexts.
Literature has been studied since ages. It has served as a doorway to step into the world of learning. It gives us knowledge of the world packed with a lot of experience. At the same time, it widens our thinking horizon by giving us the ability to see beyond our perception. We learn so many things about the outside world and the people surrounding us. This makes us more competent to tackle our issues without getting help from others.
2. English Literature Helps Us Understand Ourselves Better
The journey through English Literature often becomes a journey of self-discovery. Characters, their words, thoughts, and actions often mirror our own lives, enabling us to better empathise with others and comprehend our experiences and emotions.
Literature modifies our lives by giving us orientation regarding ourselves and social issues. It gives us the spark to awake ourselves, ask questions, and build our intuitions and instincts. As a result, we become more vigilant with the passage of time.
3. Develops a Habit of Critical Thinking
English Literature fosters the development of critical thinking. The endeavour to understand a text leads students to delve deeply, identify underlying themes, interpret symbols, and connect disparate ideas. For instance, analysing Shakespeare's works often involves unravelling hidden meanings, drawing character connections, and seeking thematic threads - all these enhance creative skills and bring a rich understanding of the text. Breaking down the complexity of literature into digestible fragments makes the process more engaging and enlightening.
4. Helps Us to Explore Psychology
Literature helps us to explore psychology. As both these disciplines have a common object to study — the human soul, literature connects us with human psychology. Without a plunge into the human psyche, it is impossible for the reader to understand the causes of human behavior. This opportunity expands the readers’ mind-set and further accelerates their knowledge about human behavior.
5. English Literature Enhances Awareness of Human History
Literature also connects us with history. We learn about people who came before us and revolutionized the world with their thinking. Literature helps us to compare the past and present ages and be aware of the reason for change. It also helps us to understand why and how the world has evolved till now.
6. Understanding Global Cultures
English Literature illuminates different societal structures and lifestyles across the world. Works from authors like Chinua Achebe bring to life African tribal culture, while Gabriel Garcia Marquez's novels offer a taste of Latin American history and culture. Exposure to such diverse views can significantly enhance our understanding of worldwide living structures.
Literature further gives us knowledge about other religions, cultures, social norms and beliefs. We get awareness about the worldwide structure of human living systems. It helps us to step into the minds and reasoning of people all over the world.
7. Literature Enhances our Reading and Writing Skills
English Literature enhances our reading and writing skills. Reading classical works by authors such as Charles Dickens or Virginia Woolf can refine our language and vocabulary. It also exposes us to varying writing styles, enriching our expressiveness and creativity. From Shakespeare's iambic pentameter to Hemingway's succinct prose, the diversity in writing styles can inspire our own.
Literature enhances our reading as well as writing skills. Besides helping us in increasing our knowledge, literature magnifies our expertise as a good reader and writer. If we develop a habit of reading books, it improves our reading skills. Secondly, it helps us to develop a certain writing style after getting across so many books of numerous writers.
8. Literature Serves Humanity
English Literature has had a profound impact on societal development over centuries. Whether it's raising awareness about societal issues through Dickens's novels or the questioning of war through Wilfred Owen's poems, literature's influence is significant and far-reaching.
Literature, in any form, is written not merely for entertainment and educational purposes; but it has a wider, more deep aim and that is to help humanity. It helps us to explore human nature, find out the reasons for certain behavior that curb the optimistic growth or success and then look for reforms. If literature tends to reveal the evils of society, it also suggests reforms as well. So literature is really helpful for all of us. It links us with the whole of humanity.
So, why study English Literature? By now, it's clear that English Literature is more than just an academic pursuit; it can illuminate worldviews, enrich personal insights, hone critical thinking, reading and writing skills, and provide a springboard to myriad opportunities. Students with an English literature degree have the potential to establish fulfilling careers, both financially and socially. On that note, embark on the journey and discover the allure of English Literature yourself!
- various job opportunities for English literature students
- Introduction and History of English Literature