Why are you studying English? Didn’t you get admission in any Science stream? You didn’t score well in your board exams? What’s the use of studying this?
Welcome to every wedding, birthday party and any other event in the life of those poor, misguided kids who decided to pursue a degree in English Literature.
I’m one of them, by the way.
Our country has a hierarchy for almost everything, including streams of education. At the top, reigning supreme, is Medicine. Then comes Engineering, Law, Commerce, the rest of the Sciences and Arts. Good news is, we aren’t last on the list. There’s that one stream whom society deems unfit to even be in the hierarchy – Fine Arts. But they really couldn’t care less.
So, what’s our society’s issue with studying English?
I used to think it’s because English is a foreign language. But then I saw how those incredible chaps who pursue regional languages are treated. Their issue is that no one should get a degree with a bare minimum effort by writing summaries of novels. I agree, no one should. What makes you think that’s what we do?
In a country where more than half the population does not acknowledge English as a “real degree”, what is it like to be an English Literature student?
Let’s ask the ones who know-
What we’re trying to say is – it takes a lot more than a basic understanding of grammar to delve into a piece of literature, scrutinize it with the application of multiple approaches (google literary theories) and create your own unique interpretation of it. And that doesn’t cover half of it.
It’s not easy, it is a real struggle at times, and it’s not for everyone. But you wouldn’t catch us wishing we were doing anything else.
Image Credits: Google Images