Things to know about B.A English.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A) English. It is an undergraduate degree for three years. The course would focus on the main aspects of the language and it will help us develop creative and independent thinking. The course helps us to enhance our communication skills.

Why English Literature?

English Literature introduces us to a world of creativity. You would get a chance to discover poems, novels and plays. You get to read incredible novels as per your prescribed syllabus. You get the knowledge of the history of literature. You will be able to think without confinement. There are no particular reasons but;

  1. If you are drawn to literature.
  2. If you are interested in the language.
  3. If you love reading books.
  4. If you want to make a career based on this course
  5. If you would love to learn about the wide range of cultures.
  6. It will help you broaden your boundary.

The actual answer lies in your perspective and interest.

B.A English Literature Subjects

Literature students will have major, allied and core subjects. The subjects may differ in correspondence to where you are studying. The subjects are as interesting as it sounds. We will get the flavour of distinct eras. The subjects will pull out the self-reliant sense.

  • History of English Literature.
  • American Literature.
  • Victorian Literature.
  • Feminism.
  • Women’s Writing.
  • Linguistics.
  • Indian writing.
  • Poetry and
  • Literary Criticism.

Best College to Study Literature

  • Loyola College.
  • Stella Maris College.
  • Madras Christian College.
  • Ethiraj College for Women.
  • Meenakshi College for Women.
  • Women’s Christian College.
  • Patrician College of Arts and Science.

When it comes to college, we have a few things to consider. The accommodation, fees structure, reputation of the institution, etc. In that case, I have listed out colleges in Tamil Nadu, Chennai. The chrome will help you sort out colleges in your location.

Job Opportunities After B.A. English Literature.

  • Content writer.
  • Educator.
  • Editor.
  • Writer.
  • Journalist.
  • Public relations.
  • Blogging.
  • Creative writing.
  • Language translator.
  • Media and advertising, etc…

The career opportunities are impressive and you can be a freelancer too. Although, many prefer to do Masters in Literature. There are alternatives.

Books for Literature Students

The books may vary according to the syllabus prescribed. Classics to add to your never-ending reading list are;

  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
  • Jane Austen’s works.
  • Shakespeare’s works.
  • A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe.
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell.
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë.
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, etc.

As literature students, we might have the self-expectation of reading a particular genre. You need not read only classics to be acknowledged as a literature student. Try to savour the stories.

To know the history of English literature, you can refer to;

1. An Outline History of English Literature by William Henry Hudson.

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2. A Critical History of English Literature Vol 1 & 2 by David Daiches.

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Side Hustles for Litreature Students

I’m no expert, but I do have few ideas. Book lovers know the pain of having N number of books on their wishlist and not being able to get them all. Well, with side hustles we will be able to squeeze in extra books while buying.

  • Content Writing.
  • Freelancing.
  • Book logging & Bookstagram.
  • Bootubing (although the channel will take some time to get monetized.)
  • Copywriting.
  • Proofreading.
  • Affiliate Marketing.
  • Social Media Marketing.

However, the above-stated side hustles won’t make you rich but will be more like pocket money. There are plenty of internships that will pay you with a certificate.

For clear ideas, consult your counsellor, teachers and mentors. Is Literature tough? No, it is neither easy nor difficult. Unlike the olden days, we have technology and the internet facility. Literature is a wonderful way to know history.

“When in doubt, go to the library.”

Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, J.K. Rowling.
Source – Google.

Self care is not selfish thing

Often times, when we do something for ourselves, it is considered selfish. Growing up it is common to be taught to take care of other people and put others first. However, when it comes to our mental and emotional health, these types of actions of neglecting yourself to put others first can have huge consequences.

Self-care can be confusing and it can make you feel like you are putting too much attention on yourself. But remember, self-care never has and never will be selfish, especially when it comes to mental health.

In order to take care of other people, you must take care of yourself first. 

Why Self-Care is Important

Self-Care is one of the most important things that a person can do for themselves. It is not only vital for your physical health, but also your emotional and mental health as well.

There are many misconceptions around self-care and what exactly it entails. However, self-care is really not that complicated. At the most basic level,

self-care is just doing good things for yourself. This could be anything from working out, to taking an hour every night to journal, anything that makes you feel good.

Self-care requires you to know and understand yourself. You are forced to listen to your body and mind, understand what resources are running low and what you have to do to replenish them. 

There are many benefits that come with performing self-care. Some of them include increased productivity, improved resistance to illnesses & better physical health are just a few. These benefits are just the beginning.  Some of the other, more personal benefits are, enhanced self-esteem, increased self-knowledge, and most importantly, you have more to give to other people.

When you are mindful about reguarily carving out time for yourself and making sure that your physical, emotional, and mental needs are being met, you will feel better in all aspects of your life.

This makes it easier for you to work with and help others in their time of need. Just like when you are on an airplane, you have to take care of yourself before you can help anyone else. 

Stigma Around Self-Care

Self-care can be hard, not only because of the stigma that surrounds it, but because it can be extremely difficult to admit that you need help or to take care of yourself when you are struggling with your own mental health.

Growing up, it is extremely common to hear that you should put others before yourself. Kids are taught that being too vain or thinking about yourself is selfish. When you take time to take care of yourself, friends and family may start to get frustrated or say that you need to spend more time thinking about others and spending time with them.

Read also: We need support, not stigma. How do we end the stigma around mental illness and start talking about it?

However, the worst stigma, is self-stigma. The voice in your head that tells you to stop focusing on yourself, saying that you don’t deserve the time or attention that you are giving yourself.

You start to think about all of the things that you are neglecting and the people who deserve your attention more. However, this self-stigma, and any outside stigma, is far from true.

By taking care of yourself you are making sure that you will be able to help and encourage others.  

How you can Take Care of Yourself 

Self-care can be difficult because of the stigma that comes with it. However, understanding how, and being able to take care of yourself is one of the strongest things that you can do.

It is also important to distinguish between the things that actually make you feel good and things that you think make you feel good, but often have the reverse effect, like drugs & alcohol, over-eating, and taking risks. 

There are many different types of self-care; the most well-known is physical self-care. When people say that they are trying to take care of themselves this is often what they mean.

Physical self-care can be helpful not only for your physical health but also to help you let off steam. This doesn’t have to be going to the gym, it can also mean dancing around the house to your favorite song, doing yoga, or going outside and going for a walk. This could also be taking a nap when you need some extra rest or giving yourself a break when you are down or unwell.

However, while physical health is important and this type of self-care can make a huge difference, it can also be harmful to your mental health if you focus on your physical self too much and too often. Working out and getting the ‘perfect’ body isn’t what self-care is all about.

It is vital to remember the other parts of yourself that need to be taken care of, make sure that you aren’t focusing on the outer-self to avoid taking care of your inner-self. 

Sensory self-care helps to calm the mind. This will help you to live in the moment, focus better, and let go of the past and forget your anxieties.

This type of self-care is all about sight, smell, touch, and sound. This could be considered sitting outside at the beach, enjoying the feeling of the water on your skin from a shower or a bath, or listening to calming music. Anything that helps you feel calm and relaxed. 

Top Five must read Ray Bradbury books.

To open the pages of a Ray Bradbury novel is to enter an imagination that has travelled far beyond the bounds of our rocky globe, into the most fascinating and perplexing realms of human life.

Bradbury had a productive career as one of America’s most successful novelists, short storey writers, playwrights, and screenwriters, best known for his works Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles. Bradbury, in a strange blend of the futuristic, the spooky, the bizarre, and the nostalgic, could be considered a genre unto himself. Bradbury was a Renaissance writer if there ever was one.

It’s hard to think this isn’t a scenario from one of Bradbury’s books because his writing career began in such a magical way. When he met Mr Electrico at a carnival when he was twelve years old, he was taken around a tent of misfits that would later stalk the pages of his most morbid books. Mr Electrico touched Ray with an electrified sword later that day and whispered to him, “Live forever.”

And Bradbury took Mr. Electro’s vow to heart, writing every day for more than seventy years, establishing a literary legacy that will live on in perpetuity, employing his prodigious storytelling abilities to craft tales that have enthralled millions of readers and inspired a slew of imitators.

He said that he was neither a science fiction, fantasy, or magical realism author, but rather a word magician who was written by his books.

It’s impossible to choose a Top Five list from Bradbury’s seemingly endless works, therefore this will be a list of my favourites and recommended must-reads.

A Ray Bradbury Top Five must-read list must include the following, in no particular order. 

1. The Illustrated Man (1951)

The Illustrated Man — a former carnival worker whose crawling tattoos spun stories of dread and delight — weaves together a series of short stories in this dark and wonderful novel.

Several stories are connected to The Martian Chronicles, and many of them resemble Bradbury’s early futuristic work, such as “The Veldt,” a cautionary storey set in a children’s nursery that conjures up the contents of the imagination. When the children’s parents consider shutting off the nursery, they discover that virtual reality has become all too real, and “Kaleidoscope,” in which an accident rips open a starship and spews its space-suited crew into space, where they meet a variety of ends. This narrative is so amazing that I read it at least twice a year to see how a master works.

Exploring this live canvas with Bradbury as your guide becomes a riveting investigation of the human condition, putting The Illustrated Man among the best Ray Bradbury books.

2. Fahrenheit 451 (1953)

Guy Montag, a fireman in a dystopian society where books are forbidden and most people spend their days in front of television screens, doesn’t put out fires; he causes them. Montag is assigned by the authorities to burn forbidden publications that promote free and complex thought, and he works diligently to complete his task. That is, until he meets Clarisse, a lone late-night pedestrian who reawakens Montag’s awareness of his surroundings. Montag begins to have doubts about his technology-dependent civilization and attempts to save the secret realm of printed knowledge that still exists.

Bradbury was inspired to create this grim essay on a post-literature future by the Red Scare of the 1940s, which saw America seized by anti-communist hysteria. While Fahrenheit 451 may be a parable about McCarthyism and Stalinism, Bradbury’s warnings about the pitfalls of political correctness and technological advancements appear to be becoming increasingly prescient.

This short novel, based on his short tale “The Fireman,” is perhaps most recognised for the Francois Truffaut film starring Oscar Werner and Julie Christie. And if that’s the case, people are missing out on a classic science fiction storey with a chilling Orwellian theme. Read the book and watch the movie. Fahrenheit 451 serves as a admonitory tale.

3.  The Martian Chronicles (1950)

The heat from the rocket burns blazes through an Ohio winter in January 1999, as pioneers depart Earth for Mars. In this superb epic about the colonisation of a new frontier in space, waves of settlement missions land on Mars until the planet’s cities are nearly destroyed. Things take a turn when humankind is on the verge of extinction on Earth, and the survivors seek refuge on the planet they once exploited, now a barren wasteland. 

Mars and the ethereal Martians are fanciful imagination in Bradbury’s hands. Despite the fact that he eschewed the hard scientific truths of regulated science fiction writers and preferred old technology to modern — bicycles over cars, typewriters over computers – he possessed a remarkable foresight into the future. Bradbury utilises the unusual light of an alien world to question humanity’s constant avarice in The Martian Chronicles, which might be interpreted as a mirror of postwar life in the Midwest. He reminds us that technical growth is only worthwhile if it improves our lives.

Rather than sticking to science fiction conventions, each chapter is an experiment in style and atmosphere. It does, however, take place on Mars, but it is the Mars of Edgar Rice Burrows and Barsoom, not the world we know from various landers and orbital photographic surveys. In Bradbury’s universe, Martians exist, and when Earthlings come, all hell breaks loose, albeit in a calm, retrospective, and masterfully portrayed manner

The text alone in The Martian Chronicles is worth reading; from “The Off Season”: “The wind threw the sand ship keening across the empty sea floor, past upturned pillars, past derelict marble and brass docks, past dead white chess cities, past purple slopes, into the distant…”

4. The October Country (1955)

Despite his fame as the author of the book-burning apocalyptic classic Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury was first and foremost a short-story writer. Dark Carnival, a collection of weird and melancholy stories published in 1947, was his first book. He trimmed, altered, and expanded to this collection eight years later to create The October Country, his ultimate tome of the macabre and bizarre.

Such classics as The Small Assassin, Skeleton, and The Wind, among its lovely bits of autumnal sweets, upend the familiar, creating a world where the mundane is exotic and terrifying. Bradbury’s horror stories aren’t surprising or exciting. It’s the terror of realising that something inside you is out to get you, whether it’s an unborn child or a pile of bones. It’s the terror of living in a world where the winds are conspiring to bring you down. But, though Bradbury avoids gore and the stock creatures of spooky literature, I defy you not to feel a shiver running down your spine as you read The October Country on a dark and stormy night.

5. The Golden Apples of the Sun(1953)

Bradbury abandoned frame narratives for his fourth ‘fix-up’ of short stories and simply juxtaposed tales from a variety of genres. The result is a stunning fusion of his familiar, wistful fantasy, such as “The April Witch,” a haunting tale about a teenage dream-traveler yearning to fall in love, and visionary science fiction, such as the title storey, a terrifying yet beautiful description of a spaceship’s flight into the Sun’s atmosphere.

A seemingly uninteresting storey is tucked within amidst these treats. The film “The Pedestrian” is about a man who enjoys getting out of the house and going for a walk. In a nod to Fahrenheit 451, this society is one in which individuals are cooped up in their homes, engrossed in television — and going for a walk results in arrest. Bradbury warns that technology progress can steal people of their humanity and enforce adherence to the current quo by depicting neighbourhoods as graveyards and people as mindless insects.

A fascinating account of a spaceship’s journey into the Sun’s atmosphere in order to sample some of its composition. Scientifically improbable, but a masterwork of heat, terror, and beauty in Bradbury’s hands. It’s also the title storey in a wonderful anthology of 22 pieces, including “The Fog Horn” and “A Sound of Thunder,” which are both classics.

Happy reading guys.

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN

Hollowness: that I understand. I’m starting to believe that there isn’t anything you can do to fix it. The holes in your life are permanent. You have to grow around them, like tree roots around concrete; you mold yourself through the gaps.

-Paula Hawkins, The Girl on the Train

This is for all the girls who have just experienced a breakup. I just want you to understand that it was not your fault, so stop blaming yourself.

Breakups can be a shambles. Breakups can be excruciating. People also use memes to mask their pain and turn it into a source of amusement. They are aware, however, that it will not be easy. The agony you’re experiencing is indescribable, and no one could possibly comprehend it. You’re stuck in a rut, unsure of what to do next. Is it time to move on or not? Was he going to return or not? Is it better if I call or if he calls? Is he going through the same thing I am right now?

All of these questions have the same answer: ‘It doesn’t matter.’

What matters is how you’re keeping things together. Is it fair to be so harsh on yourself? You weren’t solely to blame. Perhaps you should set aside some time for yourself. What if he doesn’t return? So, what’s the point? You’ve got your friends, family, and, most importantly, you’ve got yourself. “But I just want him,” I know you’re wondering right now. You don’t want him, that’s the truth. YOU DON’T WANT HIM, BELIEVE ME. He abandoned you in this mess. He said he wouldn’t, but he did anyway. He deceived you. It’s time for you to do the same. He walked away without looking back, and it’s time for you to do the same. It’s past time for you to forgive yourself.

This is just like the girl on the train. Rachel, who recently experienced a breakup, is unable to accept the harsh reality. She also believes Tom loves her and that he will return. Everyone assumes she’s just a drunk girl who’s lost her job and has a broken heart.

Is anybody a fan of suspense novels? If you answered yes, you should probably read this at least once. It’s not great, but it’s not horrible either. You won’t be able to figure out who the killer is.

Apart from that, there is a lot of lying in this storey. All is deceiving one another. Many secrets are kept locked in the recesses of their minds. Loved ones are kept in the dark about secrets. However, with all of the lying, I began to doubt the confidence. Who could be trusted by whom? Rachel had faith in Tom. Scott had faith in Rachel. Anna had faith in Tom. Megan had faith in Kamal Abdic. Despite this, they all ended up rejecting each other. Okay, well, Rachel trusted herself in the end.

That’s one of the things I loved about this book: she wanted to see the whole picture and trust her intuition over Tom’s words. This is a tale about three women who were once strong but had become vulnerable as a result of their circumstances. Don’t let it happen to you as well. Have faith in yourself. Fight for your own interests. Because you are the best, girl.

THE ALCHEMIST

Book : The Alchemist
Original Title : O Alquimista (Portuguese)
Author : Paulo Coelho
Publisher : HarperCollins Publishers LLC
Genre : Quest, Adventure, Fantasy

The majority of the people we see are members of a community. In a dynamic and traditional world, When we’re together, when we look around, we notice that most people are doing similar things, even though their priorities are different. However, if we come across someone who matches our criteria when searching, someone who dares to be different, someone who pays attention to their surroundings. I believe we have found the most courageous among us.

The Alchemist is a mystical fable about the importance of pursuing one’s dreams. The tale of a young shepherd boy who longs to travel and discover a secret that no one else has ever found is wonderfully told by the poet. He continued on his search for the lost treasure in the pyramids. He learned a lot on his journey, read a lot of books, battled with those who got in his way, survived the mighty desert, and finally realised that a person’s treasure is where his heart is. He discovered that it is our decisions, not destiny, that determine what happens to us.

The path to find the treasure is jam-packed with life lessons. Paulo Coelho’s – The Alchemist – became an international bestseller after being translated into 56 languages and selling over 43 million copies worldwide. This book teaches us that we are the masters of our own destiny and captains of our own dreams. It’s a must-read for anyone who has ever doubted themselves. So, if you just pick up one book during the lockdown, make it this one.