This essay deals with the positive outcome that arose out of this course, during which my personal experience of reading literature has transformed into a more profound understanding of critical thought. I have learned to read with more objectivity, to provide proper argumentation on why I consider something worthy of literary merit and finally, reading other people’s quality work has made my own writing immensely better.
Keywords: literature, course, report, reasons
Being an avid reader ever since I got my hands on the first book I could read, I found this Literature Course an unforgettable experience, one that has not only shaped my reading skills, but has sharpened my insight into the general world of literature. Before, I used to read for pleasure and for the sake of cultural cultivation, but now, I read with a critical insight into the world that has opened before me, bound by the covers of a book.
I find the course’s duration to be of ideal length, during which we covered all the prominent names of American literature, the forefathers of modern and postmodern lyrical and prose thought, as well as the subsequent followers and developers of new direction in an established literary dogma. As I already mentioned, I believe that I have always read quality writers, though I lacked the true insight into what they were really writing about. For instance, lectures touched upon not only the writing itself, but also the writer and his perspectives of the world, of his surroundings, his political beliefs and the moral grounds he stood on. All of this information being revealed shed completely new light on a piece of work, opening up entire innovative horizons of comprehension. My favorite writer has always been Edgar Allan Poe and it was an especially awe-inspiring experience to hear about his life and how it influenced his darkly melancholic poetry and short stories. I learned that no writer can completely distinguish between fact and fiction, that their lives are inextricably linked with the stories and plots they put on paper, simply because of their inability to refrain from placing themselves, indirectly though it may be, into their stories.
In addition, I learned much about critical thought and how to voice myself formally about it. It is not merely enough to state a preference in simple terms of liking or not liking a certain piece of literary art; rather, I see the necessity of having proper thesis statements when it comes to writing critical analysis, having valid points and arguments which are then utilized to buttress the chosen thesis statement and having an overall differentiation between subjectively liking something, whether or not it possesses literary quality, and objectively perceiving it as worthy of literary merit. Before this course, I was reading literature as a layman, a person who does something simply for the pleasure of it, but now, I do believe this experience has reached a new, more profound level which simultaneously requires more conscious and objective thought.
Finally, I believe that reading classics such as Poe, Hawthorne, Melville and others, has improved not only my critical perspective of other people’s work, but my own work as well. All of these writers are considered masters of their craft, yet they all achieved this status of recognition by writing in a different manner about different issues. All they needed to do initially was to find their true manner of expression and to choose the theme that appeals most to their hearts. After that, what they created were literary masterpieces, even though they were very rarely being recognized by their contemporaries. Thus, I firmly believe that by reading how other authors constructed their sentences, utilized figures of speech to convey a meaning and overall, how they formed their entire plot has influenced my own writing greatly and in a vastly positive way. I feel my sentences are sturdier, bear more potent meaning and flow in a much improved manner than they did before, creating a finer combination of proper form and content.
Consequently, as a person who prefers the whimsical world of imagination and books, I believe that this course has appealed to my every sense, and has made me a more avid reader, a finer critic and a more competent writer. Naturally, there is always room for improvement, which I intend to undertake, but here, where I am now, I would not be if it were not for this course and the wonderful lessons that I have learned regarding reading and understanding of the read subject matter.