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Free Sample Personal Statement in English

For Program: MA in English
My two-year hiatus from the campus setting has caused me to make a careful inspection of my decision to return to school. This inspection has strongly confirmed my previous belief that I have a vocation for both teaching and research, and it has increased my determination to enter the profession. My experience at the University of Tuscola Honors College showed me the excitement which can be created through classroom interaction and hallway interaction, whether the topic is Aristotle, Chaucer, or simply the daily news; and the eleven months which I spent producing my undergraduate thesis showed me the rewards of scholarship. I wish to continue these discussions and to pursue my own research in the future.

Admittedly, the weakest element of my undergraduate education is the sparseness of theory to which I was exposed. In order to remedy this shortcoming, I have solicited reading lists from several sources and I have begun my own preliminary exploration of the field of theory. I have become interested in the work of critics such as Barthes, Derrida, Jameson, Gallop, Sedgwick and Eagleton, and I look forward to exploring it further in an academic setting, and to incorporating it into my own practices. I am also eager to take part in the developments that will occur in the field of theory over the next several decades.

At this point, I believe that I would like to focus my graduate studies, and my career, on the Twentieth Century--both in England and in the United States. I do not, yet, feel prepared to select a dissertation topic, but I am drawn to the novels and short stories of authors such as Joyce, Wolf and Walker, and the work of such poets as Yeats, Pound, Eliot and Rich. (I am also interested in the works of several Hispanic writers, especially Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Jorge Luis Borges.) One topic that I find appealing is the examination of the plurality of perspectives a text contains, especially with respect to the characters, and the way in which these perspectives allow the reader to interact with the text.

A striking example of this effect can be found in Wolf's Mrs. Dalloway. The text constantly changes perspectives from one character to another. And, though we are most aware of Clarissa and of Septimus Smith, we are constantly reminded that neither has a transcendent vantage point. Indeed, the perspective that I find most intriguing is one to which neither the reader nor Clarissa has any access.

Oh, but how surprising!--In the room opposite the old lady stared straight at her! It was fascinating, with people still laughing and shouting in the drawing room, to watch that old woman, quite quietly, going to bed.

The existence of this perspective which we cannot see (but which Clarissa understands to be unappreciative of the momentous nature of the evening) is a reminder to us that there are meanings and realities which exist outside of those presented by the author, meanings which it is the reader's part to explore. It is my intention, in applying for graduate school, to join the exploration.
 


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