Analysis skills learned in English class apply to life

By Eric Levin, Staff Writer

“When will we ever have to use this in real life?” Many students frequently ask this question or some variation of it in regard to any number of classes here at CHS.

 

I myself confess to being a victim of this crime. I do not see any purpose in logarithms unless, unbeknownst to me, they can be used to heat my instant hot chocolate when I get home from school.

 

There is one subject, however, which students treat way too unfairly—essay writing. Or, dare I say, the arrangement of words that are accompanied by punctuation and composed by writers in such a structure so as to contain an inherent meaning about a topic, thus reflecting the ironic influence of pre-determination on the construction of modern thought.

 

I always hear so many students complaining about having to write essays and I want to ask them, “Are not you aware of all the real world benefits offered by a premier literary analytical faculty?”

 

The written language offers permanence and preserves thought, allowing students to portray and highlight, with accurate precision, their awe-inspiring intelligence, and, more specifically, their intellectual abilities, in one of the least venal ways imaginable.

 

But what literary analysis teaches us can actually be applied outside of essays and used in our everyday lives.

 

Consider, for a moment, that literary works are reflections of life. Then literary techniques must be paralleled in life as well. Thus, with an expert eye and expansive knowledge, one can actually read one’s life, seeing beneath and between its lines.

 

Allow me to give you an example. On a college visit, a member of the opposite sex walks by you wearing vibrant red clothing. Due to the red outfit, with red symbolizing passion, one can conclude that said person is most likely fantasizing about making out on the nearby table covered with souvenir gift bags and “admitted student” stickers.

 

Here is an even better example, ripped straight from the binding of my own life’s story. Each morning, I read my daily horoscope before I leave for school. This repetition allows me to conclude that reading my horoscope is something I either like to do or have to do, and I will most likely continue to read it in the future.

 

Had it not been for my knowledge of repetition as a literary device, I most likely would have never reached this conclusion.

 

Also, whenever I enter my brother’s room to ask him a favor, I notice a rusted sword hanging on one of the walls, and know not to trust him because the sword symbolizes that he may be prone to stabbing people in the back, and the rust on it foreshadows that even if I trust him, our verbal agreement will likely decay under the tremendous power of the natural world.

 

Finally, last Friday, I attended an Open House at the University of Maryland, College Park. My dad gave me $10 to buy lunch, but on the way to the dining hall, I was convinced by a man in an Environment America t-shirt to donate the money towards lobbying for the protection of the Chesapeake Bay. Now I keep getting emails from this group.

 

I can dissect this scene, bringing it down to its bare essentials: the obvious phallic symbol of the pen used to fill out the form; the moral dilemma I faced, having to choose between providing myself with sustenance or saving the Bay; the use of the color green, ironically shared by the $10 bill as well as the environmental movement to symbolize our planet.

 

But what does it actually mean? I’ll leave that for you to decide. And when you have made your decision, you can write a four-page paper supporting it.

 

In conclusion, one recognizes that the role which literary analysis plays in our everyday lives is enlightening, and calling it a waste of time could not be further from the truth.