Trauma of an English Major


Well, one thing we students of English Hons are good at is -reading and writing. And that is precisely what I am doing at this very moment.Readingand writing and some more reading and writing.

Exams are almost approaching and I am prepared enough to write this blog (not exam.) Let me just give you some numbers. No. of text I am suppose to read and few more numbers. (Only final year)

Plays- 9

Novel-8

Poets-14 (around 41 poems)

Background readings-21

Background topics-20

(Additional reading and critical analysis- not included.)

Even after I read this all, one thing is still sure. The question paper would be out of context. There would be no question related to content of text. All that an examiner would ask is- about things he is able to interpret.

Found through Google

Found through Google

(This image is good example of what I want to say)

Another example that I can quote is from the play Rhinoceros by Eugene Ionesco.  In this play every human being is turned into a Rhinoceros, for most of us it is weird thing that how can humans turn into a Rhinoceros? But..But..But our teachers say that they have turned into followers of communism or Marxism or even fascism. I wonder how and I question that does author really wants to tell us that human turned into a Rhino or it is just the interpretation we have made.

If you have to ask me that what I think about this whole Rhino business. I would say that yes humans have turned into Rhinos OR say followers of Communism or Marxism or even Fascism. I say this because enough spoon feeding is done to me. I cannot say anything against above interpretation.

At the end of the day I have to follow what my teachers say, also write accordingly in my answers.

No matter who says what that Literature is all about how you interpret. All that matters is that how those teachers at centers checking our answers interpret.

For ex: If I talk about Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe and say that it was NOT a Morality Play along with a valid critical over-view. And that paper ends up in hands of a teacher who is strong critique of the fact that DF is a Morality Play then I will be fucked up big time. (Excuse my language). No matter how much we say that literature is about interpretation, what matters at result centre is what the teacher thinks.

I am now hoping that my answers sheet fall in hand of teachers gracious enough to let me pass with OK marks if not great.

Finger Crossed. Bless me.

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NEXT BLOG: My day at Aravalli hills, Faridabad.

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5 thoughts on “Trauma of an English Major

  1. I love the diagram of what the author meant v what the teacher meant. That’s what annoyed me heaps about doing English Lit for 2 years during undergrad. I’d find myself questioning “how do you know that’s what the author/poet meant???” Especially when it’s a known fact some of them wrote when they were stoned or high on LSD! (Coleridge, anyone?) 2 years of English lit made me lose interest in reading for pleasure. And for someone never seen without a book since the age of 6, that’s saying something! Once I was done with that, I re-started reading for pleasure in my third year as I was studying psych. Good luck with your exams!

    • Hey thanks for dropping in. Appreciate your comments.

      Well, good to know that their are more people like me in this world. Traumatized with literature. Though, unlike you; I started reading book more after taking up this course.

      I am also aware of the Coleridge, well he was well high or stoned while he wrote his best work and same was Shakespeare. It is been said that pieces of cigar along with wraps of other drugs were found in his house garden.

      I love to hear from you once again. Keep coming back.

      Love,
      Aditya Bhasin

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