I have a BA in English Lit. This is surprising to many because I have a horrible command of grammar. I have to remind people that it is not a degree in the language per se, but a degree in the words…
People are also surprised to learn that my heart goes to all books great and small because I am an analytical person- I am fully based on logic and reasoning and proof. For some reason, those around me do not see logic and literature going hand in hand. Yet I am here to tell you that being a student of literature is one of the most analytic in town.
As a lit major, all you do is read things and look for clues.
You figure out foreshadowing and motivation: You scan for literary devices and tropes. You look for flaws in the authors reasoning. If that’s not analytics, I don’t know what is.
When I read, multiple things are going on in my brain. I am looking at the words- I am looking to how one word goes in front of the other and I marvel at how the author strung the words together to start an idea, how the sentences coexist to add the argument of the idea, and how the paragraph sort of wraps it up. It’s the beauty of language, the richness of the vocabulary, the way the sounds meld together.
I love how an author will create the layers- how they put a germ of something on page five, and then continue to back it up at various points in the work. And I love looking for the evidence of this.
I love when I am able to decipher the clues that an author has sprinkled throughout a work- when I as a reader get the “Aha” moment… whether it is the “who” in the whodunit, the “what” in a story of love and loss, or the “why” a character did what they did.
Reading is like solving a puzzle where the pieces are all over the place- but if we take one piece at a time and categorize it, we are soon able to put the puzzle together and enjoy the whole that became of separate parts.
That’s all analytical
And it’s why I say to never underestimate an English Lit major- we might know more than you think we do.