Introduction

 

Entering the course of English 305, I was overwhelmed with the question of why the study of literature is important? I was looking through the lens of an educator: we must learn to read and write to be successful in the world and reading paves the way to all other learning. But I soon realized that this was a very basic reason and that I needed to broaden my scope of thinking. That was how I was going to get the most out of this class.

It would be an understatement to say that I learned a lot throughout the writing and revising of our six essays assigned in this course. I was pushed outside my comfort zone and was able to develop myself as a literary critic and view works of writing in a variety of lenses that were once unfamiliar to me. I found that is important to analyze the text as well as questions about the writing, interrogate, and interact with it. In the past, I used to only agree with the author and their claim, but I realized that it is ok not to agree completely with what a piece of writing says, no matter how renounced the author may be.

Throughout this course, I also learned to view writing from multiple aspects. Prior to our critiquing in this class, I used to just have a ‘Gretchen’ perspective where I just saw what I wanted and believed I should see in a piece of writing. I found out that all it took to get out of this mindset was someone to challenge me to see Hamlet and The Tempest from a critical view or through the lens of philosophers or scientists. I  learned so much from doing this dissecting of the text and it also built up my confidence. I know now that in the future, when I am reading literature, I am capable of thinking deeper into the text and can wrap my head around complex ideas.

 In this course, I experienced a new voice for my writing. Before, I had only exercised my research paper writing skills and reflection writing in my college career of being an Education Major. In high school, I was more of a creative writer and now I feel like I can do anything (well, a lot more). Ultimately, my confidence has grown as a writer and reader throughout this course and I am very grateful for the challenges it presented me because it was worth the work in the end. Of course I am not done growing as a writer and reader, but I feel that I have traveled leaps and bounds from where I started in January.