Agony And Shocks Of An English Hons. Student

WARNING: The author is in a state of frenzy, and her words ought not to be taken seriously by those who wish to pursue English Hons., or are already studying the course —- because English Hons. rocks! 

Come college-time, and many school graduates go helter-skelter.

But a certain someone who was sure about her footing since 9th grade told me her sob-story recently. It’s sad how sad her tale sounded.

She’d opted for English Hons., got into a good college in Delhi University, and couldn’t have been more excited about her classes. She bought all the course books – stuff she’d already skimmed through in 10th grade – and had them covered in bright papers. After all, who wants books to spoiled, greased, and unintentionally dog-eared inside the bag?

College was love – faculty was superb – classmates were amazing – friends were life-partners, for her.

But all this happened a year back.

Second year began, and with it came the realisation as to how tragic her situation actually was. Not that the course was tough, or her footwear always broke mid-way to college everyday but it suddenly dawned on her that Literature wasn’t the “best-est-est-est subject ever!” created by mankind.

The course involved various novels and plays that she had previously only heard about, but not read before. Books like The Duchess of Malfi by Webster, or The Wife of Bath by Chaucer, were all new to her – and yet she was forced into knowing the entire story well before she’d turned the first page.

Just imagine how a bookworm would feel if the plot was revealed to her in the first class itself? Imagine her and her friends sitting on their desks, trying to be attentive, putting their faith on the professor, and WHOOSH! Out comes the storyline.

It’s not done, you say?

It’s utterly barbaric, I say.

And not just that; having to critique a favourite and closest-to-heart novel is not simple either. It’s pure torture! Who would want to come face-to-face with reality, and listen to people (especially a professor) bad-mouth a favourite character? Who would want a Rhett Butler or an Almighty Zeus or even a handsome and drool-worthy Darcy humiliated, dissected, ridiculed and ultimately reduced to nothing in a claustrophobic classroom?

Who would want to critique a dashing hero, just because he happens to be living in the wrong century? Who would wish to doubt an author’s intention of character depiction?

But most importantly, who would want a handsome, good-looking professor ripping apart a character on whom you happen to have a crush on? In such cases, isn’t it far better to swallow your hurt pride and wounded feelings than argue and possibly even annoy, the professor in question?

And then again, who would wish to inspect the story for any underlying, hidden meaning? Why can’t Literature students just let things be the way they are? Why question every written word, and instead go with the flow? Why not treat the story like a story, and not a creative maze that leads to the Golden Pot of Truth and Righteousness?

Nay. English Literature isn’t all hearts and kisses. It’s full of loopholes – it’s the Devil in Disguise. And it’s sad for those who thought otherwise – who, in their untrained and juvenile state, believed this course to be God-sent.

*sobs and snickers in a corner*

Sigh. It isn’t fair!



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