A-Level English Literature is a whirlwind. If you’re not spending at least thirty percent of the lesson debating the nature of your existence and the restraining nature of society, are you even studying English Literature?
Admittedly, sometimes it is a little bit shit. Despite the fact that I’ve only been in this class for under two months, we’ve already discussed a man’s ‘growing vegetable love’ with a teacher whose own civil status is a constant, bewildering enigma, questioned and changed my views on organised religion (to be honest, they were always teetering on the edge anyway), and had enough awkward references to ‘the deed’ to last a lifetime. Sometimes he doesn’t even say the word, he just coughs and assumes that we know he’s referring to sex.
Aside from the spine-crawlingly ‘Love Through the Ages’ poetry lessons (search ‘Songs of Solomon’, imagine discussing it with nine equally awkward classmates and a teacher who probably wants to crawl under his desk and die, and that’s my life), the only other text that I have such an intense dislike for is Wuthering Heights.
I have a few issues with Wuthering Heights. In theory, I can appreciate the beauty and eloquence of Bronte’s writing. In practice, I’m too busy deciphering Joseph’s speech and trying to work out who’s been doing the deed with who and who the pitiful offspring is. They’ve all got similar names, they all live within a couple of miles of each other, and I;m still wondering if anyone’s married their cousin yet. Too confusing, too many names, too damn boring.
Although I’m half dead during Heights lessons, rest assured that Othello is my jam. Villainy is always more interesting than a bunch of people regretting their life choices and sexual partners, and there’s no better villain than Iago. I can think of some real-life, topical villains who would vastly outrank Iago on the evil scale, but I promised myself that I’d leave off political rants for the next four years.
I hope that this hasn’t put anyone off doing English Literature. If you can survive the God-awful 18th Century euphemisms, you’ll be fine. Slightly mentally scarred, but fine.
Apologies for my absence, I’ve been writing essay after essay and generally wondering how the hell I’m still managing eight hours sleep. Back soon!