My little sister has always looked upon the subject English with great disdain. Not just the tactics of grammar that bored her to death, it was those huge novels of literature whose very sight took away her breath. This is when she turned to me, for whom this was the favourite subject.
Though it was a favourite, yet there were certain aspects that were not within my hands as well. This is when I personally decided to look after ways in which this application could be made realistic in every sense of the term.
What are the important facets of this subject?
Before deciding to take on any subject and analyse its positive and negative aspects, it is important to note what the most important facets are of that subject. This helps in giving a proper insight into that subject and getting on details of it. Once that is done, dealing with that subject becomes comparatively easier.
In case of English Literature, firstly, it is important to note what exactly are the various topics that this core subject deals with. On a personal note, all parts of the subject interested me at every level. However, to actually take out certain parts and make sure that they have some connection with real life was something that I haven’t tried out before.
This is when I decided to check this subject out on a different note.
How did this real life application begin?
The very first novel that I had taken up to explain this context to my sister was Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. The lead heroine Elizabeth was a character that my sister could not fathom. That is when I prepared a checklist of the features that were there inherent in her character.
This checklist helped my sister co-relate her own features with herself or with some of the other women of our house. There was not a single person whose qualities matched all those features of the character herself, however some did and those were highlighted. After this was done, the reactions associated against certain circumstances were measured. People with a certain set of characteristics reacted to a situation in a specific manner, akin to the character of the novel in that particular situation.
This to a great extent helped in making sure that particular characters with a specific strain in themselves have their own set of reactions to certain situations. In real life as well, people known for specific features react in such a manner that is only expected of them, or rather are typical to them.
Now this checklist helped my sister in understanding how this real life applications could make this subject way more interesting. Also, such specific features help in defining a person on an internal level as well.
Thus via means of this one can very well understand how this subject can have a wide real life application.
Understanding stock characters:
There are certain stock characters present in real life and bookish world that make connection a very easy process. How many times have you come across a mother who is desperate to marry off her daughters, or an aunt whose primary business in life was to interfere in other people’s domain? Well, explaining this to my sister by taking certain fine examples from novels was also quite interesting.
Our family too has certain characters who love interfering in other people’s personal affair rather than concentrating on their own work. Taking cue from certain characters in English Literature and placing them against thereal life characters of the families, this subject can be made way more interesting.
Thus, the manner in which each of these characters reacts is quite interesting and specific to certain situations. The beauty of this subject rests in the fact that they are directly influenced or even taken from characters who are present in real life scenario. Hence, understanding in correct context becomes easier.
Reacting to situations:
There is another very important aspect that enhances beauty of English Literature in respect to real life situation. That is primarily presence of certain specific situations. The situation that is often found in novels are akin to those found in real life. In this respect, reaction to that situation by certain people with similar characteristics is also same. Hence, this becomes easier to note while explaining someone this subject in context to real life.
For my sister as well, when I took a particular incident and noted her reaction to it, it was quite similar to the reaction that was given by a particular character from one of the novels from her syllabus. Naturally, post this experience and detailed analysis, explaining to her had become very easy and rather more practical and to the context.
How can it be followed in real life?
By means of the above situations, it is an evident that English Literature has a wide application in real life. However, to make it more interesting to students, it is best that certain steps be followed that could help them in relating with this subject at a base level and from then on continue with it. These steps make sure that students get a better understanding of this whole thing at a better level.

  • Step 1: Students should make a list of characteristics that would help them understand basics of that specific character.
  • Step 2: Before dealing and analysing a single novel, it is important that other novels of the same zone are also taken into account. This helps in improving the positioning of the current novel.
  • Step 3: Certain stock characters are to be taken into context. Since the beauty of English Literature rests in the manner in which it can be compared and contrasted so, incorporation of real life situations would be of great help.
  • Step 4: Noting reactions of primary characters to certain situations and taking real life examples to better the answering skills. This helps in making this subject more interesting in comparison to others.

Thus, with help of such important steps, surely English Literature can become one of those subjects with a high rate of real life situations. Unlike other subjects, the manner in which this subject has direct influence on real life and vice versa truly makes it more interesting than others.
Well, now this subject has definitely become more interesting for my sister as her daily cribbing seem to be missing. So, you too can try out this process!
In case of any query or feedback, do mail back to us. We are waiting for more techniques and morale boosters on your part!

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