When I’m confused, I write. When I want to understand, I read. Words give meaning to God, to life, to death and to the seconds in between them. Beauty is here, in black and white. Just as Tennessee Williams said, “Art ascribes meaning to the moment, neutralises the fear of not meaning.” Maybe words just give the chance for meaning, which is all anyone wants here in life - for their life to be good enough for a work of literature. This is where I want to be: in the middle of all the pain, joy, and answers. I find the same saving grace that Offred (Handmaid’s Tale) did, in putting language to the abstract or real. In a world where life can sometimes feel like chaos swirling up to a hurricane, “I tell [him] my real name and feel that therefore I am known”. Language can express what the world can’t; language can give freedom to ideas that are restrained; language can be proud and humble at the same time. Just like Offred, “I can feel it’s power, the power of the words it contains”. I hope to discover the extent of this “power” throughout history, genre, style and artist, while at university.
For most of my life, I was told I was meant to be a scientist, meant to work with numbers and study the mechanics of the world. One day I felt like I had discovered something new and pages of text finally made sense to who I was and who I could be. Where science can’t empirically quantify, words do more than a slight justice. After that, I knew there was something even more that I wanted to “taste, now, and see” (J. I. Packer). That’s when I realised where my love lay. Every novel was a new discovery; a new America over the wide expanse of nothingness. To me, words are where God is found, beauty explored, and love lost forever. Studying literature will let me understand more about the world that I not only observe but experience, in the internal and external life and world of man. In Shakespeare we find the ravaging of time, in Austen we find the importance of irony, in Orwell we find a warning of what could be, and in myself, I have found the passion of true meaning behind the words of life written by these artists.
In my English dissertation for Advanced Higher, I furthered my love of poetry and used my skills of critical analysis on “Paradise Lost” - John Milton’s epic exploring the fall of man. This gave me a backdrop for the characterisation and presentation of God, Satan, and Adam and Eve, which allowed for discussion of themes such as justification and evil. This epic poem developed my understanding of greater literary texts and the many-layered aspects of each word, line and page. Poetry has always amazed me as in even a couple lines love can be found or lost. My personal love of poetry came with an inspiration to write like Norman McCaig or King Solomon and did not stop at Milton’s beautiful verse.
I have found in myself the hard work and organisation that is needed for these tasks and for university, through leadership roles, and dedication to sport. In S6 I had been working hard to organise a team of prefects and the hockey teams, as the Hockey Ambassador. These roles reward my dedication to my own sport and participation in other school activities. I feel that my final year has prepared me significantly for the challenging experience of university as I have learnt the importance of independence and communication through working at a Hilton and moving outside my comfort zone in activities such as performing my own spoken word poems. This will be continued this year, before university: I am first attending an American high school to further my understanding of the world in unity and then taking up an assistant teaching post in Australia to further my own personal development. This will fully allow me to grow into the person that I should be when coming to university.