“Literature is one of the most interesting and significant expression of humanity”…P.T. Barnum
English Literature, as a subject, its scope is wide. The main concern of this subject is to study the works of various writers, poets worldwide. Starting from the study of the history of english literature which gives the students an idea of the prevailing writers, poets in every literary age beginning from Anglo-Saxon Age through Elizabethan Age, Jacobean Age, Age of Puritan, Age of Milton, Age of Alexander Pope and the Romantic Age and finally Modern and Post-modern era. This subject deals with human emotions. It makes us aesthetic human beings. “The crown of literature is poetry”..W.Somerset Maugham. Literature expresses love for nature far off from the complexities of everyday urban life. In the midst of busy life schedule one wants recourse to partake of the beauty of nature and hear the chirping of birds and finding in nature a melody which would heal all the wounds and pains of everyday life. The poems of poets like William Wordsworth, John Keats bears testimony to these natural beauties. They are poets of the era which is known as the romantic era or “return to nature” as it is also known as. Returning to nature signifies returning to the lap of nature, to be a part of the lovely nature. William Wordsworth in his poem “Tintern Abbey” conceives of nature as his beloved as he recollects his days of childhood when he ran like a deer and the sound of the waterfalls possessed him like a desire. Nature to him is an ever-healing balm to all the sorrows and pain of everyday life.
The scope of the syllabus also includes Philology which is the study of language giving knowledge about the various influences of the other languages on the English Language. Many of the words of other languages like Latin, French gradually became an english word. The syllabus includes novels, short stories, dramas,etc.
Now, why one should choose this subject? It gives a student complete knowledge of various literary genres. It develops the vocabulary skills, writing skills and enables them to critically analyze a work.
This subject gives ample career opportunities. One can take up Journalism and become a journalist. One can become an editor by enrolling himself or herself in some editing course. One can take up the job of a newspaper reporter if he/she has an aptitude and is verbally efficient having complete knowledge about the nuances of news reading. One can enroll in some news reading course. One can become a teacher which would require him or her to do a B.ed after graduation or one can also continue higher studies doing Masters, Mphil, and Phd if one wishes to teach Literature in a college or university. By taking up literature as a subject one can become a research scholar too. Apart from these,there are multiple career options open to a student taking up literature at the graduation level.
Who should take up
For taking up any subject one has to have an interest in that subject. This is the primary requirement. In case of literature too, one should first have an interest towards the subject. One who has interest in reading poetry, short stories, novels can take up this subject. Obviously one who wishes to take up the above professions in future can take up this subject. The syllabus of this discipline is very wide. It covers major historical events which had an impact on the writings of poets and writers belonging to various literary ages. It studies the various philosophies which poets have used in their works.
There are various well-known universities where one can study English Literature. For example –Calcutta University(there are many colleges under this university), Jadavpur University, Presidency University, Delhi University,etc. These universities have a good faculty for English Literature. Often literary seminars, workshops, conferences are held in these universities as a part of extra-curricular activity to help students in further prospects. One has to have English as a compulsory first language as a subject in order to enroll himself or herself in a college or university with the required amount of marks in the subject and a good percentage overall.
“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lovely shore, There is society where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music its roar, I love not man the less, but nature more”.. Lord Byron.
Author Bio: Sayan Anthony Gomes, Kolkata, An outstanding participant of InternationalEssay Contest, October,2019.