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
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.