About three days into my English Literature A Level, I realised I shouldn't be on the course, because that was the time I realised literature shouldn't be studied, it should be enjoyed.
I know... that's a mind-bending statement, isn't it? Well, no - not unless you're an English teacher.
Think about the writers we study:
- The Brontes
- Thomas Hardy
- Charles Dickens
So, this week, what I'd love to say to my English teacher is:
We shouldn't be doing this. We should be enjoying the books the way they were intended. We should think about the themes, enjoy the story, perhaps even consider the moment in history they are portraying - what better way to understand history than through the eyes of people who lived in it. Yes, these authors had important things to say about the world they were living in. They don't deserve to have their prose broken down into blocks of text for 18 year olds to pour over in sticky school halls, extracting every last significance out of every last full stop and semi-colon. Sometimes, Mr English Teacher, Sir, I'm sure they chose to describe the sky as cloudy because it just was, not to foretell something terrible in a hundred pages time!