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Bachelor Degree: Literature

A bachelor degree student who studies literature learns to think creatively and critically. You interrogate texts not because you have nothing better to do but because literature affords you powerful glimpses of lived experiences and philosophy in action.

When you study literature, you are also studying philosophy, human psychology, sociology, history, culture, race, sexuality and gender, religion and other aspects of the human experience all at the same time.

The term 'English literature' strikes people with awe and wonderment as they automatically associate someone who studies it with bookishness and intensity. People think that bachelor degree students of literature are not only too serious (nerds or geeks) for their own good, but also rather out of touch with reality. People fail to note that literature is not just Shakespeare, but encompasses such a broad range of writing. You spend hours reading lots of books, including material that is sometimes really old and really quaint and yet you are not all Shakespeare fans nor do you all end up teaching.

Literature is no longer studied merely for its textual richness alone, but for its relationship to gender and sexual issues (feminism), political and social aspects (post modernism), philosophical possibilities and its historical value (historicism).

Bachelor degree students have not only to read what is in between the lines, but what the text leaves out or unsaid in order to grasp what is said. Of course, there will be tools to assist in this sort of textual interrogation.

While studying literature alone cannot get you a job directly, studying it makes you a better person and a much more dynamic individual. These are qualities which you need in whatever job you do.

Literature opens your eyes to other lives and teaches you not to be judgmental about other people's way of living, which can greatly help you if your job requires that you travel or work with foreigners.

Literature also teaches you humility and courage, understanding and grace, while it gives you insights into the dynamics of good and evil, love and hate. So, whether you are a director of a major international company or an events manager, a traveling marketing manager or a communications engineer, literature is a helpful way of knowing and comprehending your world to make you a better person and a better worker.

So what do you need in order to succeed in literature? Basically, an inquisitive disposition and a love for ambiguity as literature does not provide straight answers to the problems posed by the text.

Everything about this course is subjective and based on interpretation. However, tools of the trade will enable some guidelines and assistance as to how far you can interrogate a piece of writing. Moreover, you must love reading as to study literature requires a lot of your time as well as energy for writing. Last but not least, if you want to experience the power of written word, be moved by the rhythm of a poem, be amazed by the wonder of your world, then literature is definitely for you.

Michael Russell Your Independent Bachelor Degree guide.

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