Literature is one of the most accessible subjects you can study. Knowing where to look and what to learn is just a matter of time before you understand the core concepts in literature. Is English literature hard? That depends on your learning style, your motivation, and how much time you have. Literature is not an easy subject to study; it takes a lot of dedication and self-discipline.
But, if that’s what you want to do, then it is effortless to study. It’s all about finding the right balance between reading material that will keep your interest with stories that are interesting enough for you to spend time reading them but not so detailed that they overwhelm you as well as reading material that gives a broad overview of the field and does so in a way which does not require more than three or four readings before it starts to make sense.
Why Do We Study Literature?
Literature is a core subject that addresses topics like the human condition, the nature of reality, or the relationship between language and experience. It often blends genres and explores the roots of fiction, poetry, drama, and even non-fiction. What makes literature so interesting is that it does not focus solely on facts but examines the different ways people have tried to make sense of their experiences by telling each other stories.
Literature is more than a collection of stories, poems, or plays. It’s also a way of looking at the human experience. It helps us understand who we are and how we live our lives. Literature lets us see life from other people’s points of view. It allows us to explore ideas and feelings that might be difficult or impossible to express in everyday language. This makes literature a vast subject that can be studied from multiple perspectives.
What Does Studying Literature Like?
Studying literature is an exciting journey that will challenge you intellectually and creatively. Studying literature means that you will read many different texts, which will introduce you to ideas, characters, and settings that you might not have come across or thought about before.
You will look at these pieces critically, asking yourself what they suggest about the human condition, what they say about the culture they were created in, and what they can tell us about the author’s intention. This means that studying literature requires you to be creative and analytical simultaneously.
Is English Literature Hard or Easy?
English literature isn’t just literature written in England. It refers to the study of literature written in English across time and cultures. English literature is not an easy subject to study for various reasons. First, it covers a lot of ground and presents great variety.
Second, it involves a lot of reading, which means that you have to have discipline and commitment. If you don’t enjoy reading or have a short attention span, studying English literature won’t be easy. It is essential to clarify that while studying English literature might initially seem intimidating, the subject is not set in stone. It is a very adaptable subject that can be studied in various ways, depending on the focus and interests of the student.
English literature is a wonderfully diverse subject as it covers literature in many languages across many centuries. Even within these broad categories, there is immense variety. There are many ways to approach the subject, so don’t feel you need to specialize in one language or period. You can even approach the subject by reading novels in translation.
Is Studying English Literature Worth It?
Yes, studying English literature is worth it for several reasons. First, it opens your mind to new ideas and concepts, which means that your way of thinking will be transformed. Secondly, it gives you the skills necessary to understand cultural and creative products that may otherwise seem strange or confusing. Finally, a degree in English literature will provide you with more options for future careers.
7 Misconceptions About Studying Literature
Studying literature can be difficult, especially when you feel like your friends are ridiculing you for spending so much time reading. After all, who has time to read these days?
However, before you give up on literature forever, remember there is a lot of value in reading good literature and the importance of studying literature. Many people fail on how to study literature effectively because they have negative preconceived notions about it. Below are some of the common misperceptions about studying literature.
1. English Literature Degrees Are “Just for Fun”
English literature degrees are often misunderstood because many students pursue them as a hobby rather than an academic pursuit. Many people believe that an English degree is useless since the only jobs you can get are in teaching or journalism. They are, of course, completely incorrect. A bachelor’s degree in English may open various doors, from marketing and management to publishing and PR to editing and even teaching.
2. You Can’t Study Literature Without Reading Shakespeare
This is probably the most common misconception about studying literature. Some people think you must read Shakespeare’s work before approaching any other type of literature. The truth is, you don’t have to read Shakespeare before reading any other literary piece.
You shouldn’t read Shakespeare before you read any other piece of literature. Shakespeare’s works are unique in that they are very complex, so they are not a good starting point for anyone trying to learn how to read literature. You should only read Shakespeare once you have a firm grasp on how to approach reading other literature.
Shakespeare’s work is complex and filled with symbolism, metaphors, and multiple layers of meaning. Approaching Shakespeare’s work as a novice reader is not a good idea. Start with simpler works and graduate to the more complex pieces when you feel ready.
3. Studying Literature is Like Memorizing Poetry
Reading poetry can be challenging for many people. When you’re reading poetry as part of a literature course, you don’t want to memorize the text. However, when studying poetry as part of your literature course, you must look at it from a different perspective.
Instead, you want to understand the meaning behind the words. Poetry is often very ambiguous and doesn’t explain itself. It leaves a lot of room for interpretation, which makes the process of understanding poetry very difficult. However, when you approach it as a reader trying to understand the text rather than a student trying to memorize it, you will have a much easier time with it.
4. Studying Literature is Subjective and Depends on Your Perspective
One of the biggest misconceptions about studying literature is that it is subjective. This means that the meaning behind the text is open to interpretation, so there is no specific answer to any of the questions you may have while reading. While there is some room for interpretation, not every reader will interpret a piece of literature similarly. When you’re reading a piece of literature, it is crucial to keep the author’s perspective in mind.
Your understanding of the text will be much better if you interpret it the way the author intended it to be analyzed. You should not just interpret the text based on your personal feelings. Instead, it would be best to approach the text with the knowledge that the author meant certain things when they wrote it.
5. You Only Read Classics
This is another misconception that many people have about studying literature. They think that the only way to read good literature is by reading what other people consider great works. While classics like “Hamlet” and “Wuthering Heights” are excellent pieces of literature that you should read, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t also read newer pieces of work.
Many students look for the most challenging books to read and assume that the only way to read good literature is by reading classics. This couldn’t be further from the truth. When choosing the books to read for your literature course, you should read a wide variety of books that are relevant to your interests. If you’re taking a modern poetry course, you should read modern pieces of poetry.
6. Studying English Literature is Boring
Some people associate studying literature with reading dense books written by old white men. While it is true that many of the works considered essential to study are written by people who fall into these categories, it doesn’t mean that all of the works are dull and uninteresting. Some of the most exciting and interesting pieces of literature are written by people who are part of the English tradition, such as Shakespeare and Chaucer.
There are plenty of great works of literature written by authors from other countries and cultures, such as “The Arabian Nights” and “The Tale of Genji.” You don’t have to read boring books just because they’re considered necessary. Choose books that interest you, and you’ll find that studying literature can be a fascinating and rewarding experience.
7. Studying Literature is Only for Girls
This is a myth, and it’s something that you’ll likely start to hear going into high school. However, it doesn’t matter if you’re a boy or girl; everyone should be encouraged to explore their interests and find value in what they like. There are a lot of male scholars in the industry, so don’t feel as though you’re alone.
Many of the most influential writers and poets in the industry are men. You shouldn’t feel as though you have to prove anything to anyone else; you should study what interests you and prove that to yourself. Remember, there are many stereotypes about literature, so make sure that you challenge yourself to disprove them.
Wrapping Things Up: Is Literature Easy to Study?
Studying literature can be challenging, but it can be very rewarding as well. You must understand the common misconceptions about studying literature so you don’t fall into them. Remember, reading and studying literature does not have to be complicated. When you approach it with an open mind and a genuine desire to understand the text, you will find it much easier than you may have thought.