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8 Things Every English Literature Student Knows To Be Impossible

No matter how much you try, and how much you read, some things are just impossible for Lit students. 

1. Actually reading a book in a week.

No matter how hard you try, you discover you do not have the time, willpower or social schedule to accommodate one book in a week. Good luck trying to blag your way through the seminar!

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2. Understanding Old English.

However hard the tutors make you try, or spark notes helps you out, Chaucer is an utterly foreign language that will never be understood.

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3. Doing exceptionally well.

Only when you have consulted the author’s entire body of work, every critical piece ever written and come up with something that would make Shakespeare quake in his grave, will they allow anything above 65.

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4. Having an original opinion.

Rest assured some critic somewhere has already come up with your idea. Plus, there’s always a chance that your tutor will downright disagree with you. Who said that reading poems or prose was about interpreting it for yourself?

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5. Getting the same response from two tutors.

The English department appear to conspire against the entire student body. One will say one thing, one will say another. One will tell you your idea is great, another will tell you to scrap it immediately. You can’t win!

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6. Consistent marking.

You did the same thing in two essays and got 10 marks higher in one? Depending on exactly who is marking your essay, what their specialist time period is, and how much wine they’ve had that evening will drastically affect your mark.

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7. Avoiding English Language.

Whether you have to take a whole module in Language, or just analyse some data, English Language will always sneak up on you when you least expect it. Think you signed up just for Literature? Think again.

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8. Knowing everybody on your course.

Everybody in the world appeared to decide to take English Lit at your uni. Rest assured there will be somebody at graduation you have never clapped eyes on.

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