I cannot remember a time when literature did not satisfy my otherwise insatiable desire for a broader depth of critical thinking and academic study. Though literature captivates me, I have never found it to be a form of mindless entertainment or a method of escape. Always, literature offered me endless mental exercise and roused more unsettling questions than it answered. To this day, I remain fully immersed in said questions, especially those that require the application of literary theories before my attempt at a solution can even begin. I have found my participation (however modest) in the ongoing argument of literary criticism to be quite exhilarating and I do not expect my pursuit of scholarly endeavors in literature to come to a halt any time soon. I am fully prepared to devote the greater part of my future to further my literary pursuits; for I would not stand to face the dull and constant pain of mourning that would surely follow the loss of my most rigorously compelling form of intellectual study.
Literature aids in the study of human capacities. Whether it be a capacity for pain, experience, knowledge, desire, disease, disorder, or freedom, literature allows me to trace the boundaries established within myself and others while sill remaining far enough outside in order to analyze and extract knowledge from the experience. Why is this useful? Frankly, it does not prove useful unless we want it to be. I study literature because I long to participate in history, in the continuation of the creation of language, and the expansion of the human consciousness. Those who live without a thirst for knowledge and who do not care to experience history, language, the flaws and extraordinary properties of the psyche are more free than I will ever be. Through literature, I explore boundaries and therefore recognize my human limitations–I feel the constriction firsthand. Try as I might to exceed them, I run my hands along the walls that enclose me, and, when I finally grasp the latch to set me free I find myself propelled into another realm of questions, obstacles, and even higher walls. For those who seek truth and rely on literature to provide it, this is as free as we will ever be–forever in the exploration of our limitations, our boundaries, always hoping to surpass them. My personal liberation begins with my acceptance of this endless pursuit and said acceptance commences my lifelong career in literary studies.