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English personal statement

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My ambition of reading English Literature at university, stems from my desire to study a wider range of works from different periods and cultures that will allow me to draw a focus onto areas that particularly interest me. My A-Level studies have furthered my understanding of the power of pen and paper, through my own critical analysis of different works. I have particularly enjoyed exploring Romantic literature and how it advocated freedom and diversity in society during a period of cultural transition that has left a lasting impact. I believe literature opens one’s eyes to take in the world we live in and has the power to let people think both laterally and revolutionarily. As well as this, it allows one to view ideas from multiple angles and ethical standpoints. Since reading Roald Dahl’s books during my childhood, literature has always been a fundamental aspect of life and has helped shape the person I am today.

To complement the syllabus texts, I have read a wide range of books and for me Jack Kerouac’s work defined a movement literature which delved into the epitome of Beat. Despite his work dividing many people, he is to an extent a revolutionary hero in literature. In ‘On the Road’ through the vibrancy of the culture and discontent of the characters, Kerouac reaches the apex of 20th century American literature and is regarded by some as the greatest English language novel of all time. My studies in music require discipline and a focus to succeed, which is reflected in all my school work. Studying A-Level music has enhanced my ability to closely analyse works such as Butterworth’s ‘A Shropshire Lad,’ and also provided contextual background to some of my literature studies. My interest in music is reflected in my choice of literature which is especially noticeable in Beat and the Romantics, due to its strong links to the Jazz age and the Romantic era respectively. Studying Spanish at A-Level has also complimented my studies of English; through studying a modern language, my cultural horizons have been greatly expanded and it has opened my eyes to a breadth of literature, plays and poetry including ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ by Gabriel García Márquez, which led me to research the Latin American Literary Boom. I volunteered at my local library, listening to younger children read, which enhanced my communication skills. I also enjoy going to the theatre and have seen productions by the Royal Shakespeare Company and recently saw an adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being Earnest.’ Despite being somewhat uncertain about what I would like to do once I leave university, I would love to have a career involving English, perhaps in journalism. I would like to take my enthusiasm for Literature to the next level to develop my existing skills by improving my critical and analytical style.

Outside the classroom, I am an all-rounded individual and have been awarded the role of Senior Prefect and I am a music scholar. I am completing my Gold Duke of Edinburgh award which tests my teamwork and leadership skills and I attend Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama. My studies in music have enhanced my attention to detail, time management and ability to work under pressure. However, above all my passion is to continue studying English Literature and I believe I have the skills and attributes to undertake the academic and social challenges of university.

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