To me, History and English seem inextricable.

The historical context of a piece of
literature can dramatically change the understanding that can be drawn from it. For
example I read into Mrs Dalloway an illuminating interplay between Woolf's
modernist, formal experimentation with stream of consciousness and her desire to
contextualise Clarissa's struggles in a highly patriarchal society. The novel also
comments on a range of social classes in 1920s London and, when treated as an
historical source, can be used to remove the societal mask which covered much of
the War’s psychological legacy.
Furthermore, literature can be used both retrospectively and contemporaneously to
reflect the attitudes and experiences of members of a society at a given time. This
perspective informed my Extended Essay in which I evaluated Seamus Heaney's
Field Work. Researching the context in which this personal narrative of the Irish
Troubles was written, I discovered that Dennis O'Driscoll's Stepping Stones reveals
the motivation behind Heaney's work. For example Heaney refers to his writing
process for Casualty as uncertain, drafting the poem several times before
publication. He knew the poem would cause controversy as in it he resisted the
political pressure to ally himself to a particular side in the conflict. For this reason I
would argue that he wrote Casualty as an observer, rather than from a partisan
point of view.
Studying historiography has shown me how the perspectives of an historical event
develop over time, an approach which I applied when studying the American Civil
War. The historian Adam Smith argues that the War was significant to the extent
that it was a manifestation of the socio-political divisions between North and
South. I concur to some extent, but this would suggest that the Unionist victory
ought to have solved these underlying problems and yet they seem to have
persisted even through to modern day America. I would cite Toni Morrison's The
Bluest Eye as a novel exemplifying this very point. She explores the American
perception of beauty as almost exclusively white, thus conveying the cultural
dominance of white Americans as being as destructive as their political dominance.
In my view this cultural dominance is an obstacle to solving the age old NorthSouth divisions, although admittedly those divisions are now as much along racial
as geographical lines.

This gave me an opportunity to explore a text in order to apply its traditional themes of honesty and betrayal to a modern setting. I am keen to continue such activities at university but above all I am looking forward to exploring further the interwoven nature of History and English at degree level. The play was set so as to draw a parallel between today’s celebrity culture and aristocratic. most recently when I took the lead as Alceste in The Misanthrope. as has my role as a researcher and writer for the school blog. Visiting Uganda triggered my interest in post-colonial Africa.My involvement in Model United Nations has heightened my awareness of the influence of historical events in shaping international politics. My role in many stage productions with school and the Chichester Festival Youth Theatre has deepened my understanding of the relationship between literature and culture. but also the much subtler question of who should write a people's history neatly framed. I took from Adichie’s work not only the human cost of an arrogant and ignorant British policy of partition. . thereby gaining a greater understanding as to the fundamental ideas which underpin today's political and cultural sphere. 17th Century France. which led me to read Chimamanda Adichie’s Half Of A Yellow Sun. by the Biafran flag and its role as a symbol of hope for the Igbo people. in the Nigerian case.