Some people do not have the aptitude to study English LiteratureThis is what my literature teacher said when some of us took it. She said if this was the case then we should drop it otherwise we...

Some people do not have the aptitude to study English Literature

This is what my literature teacher said when some of us took it. She said if this was the case then we should drop it otherwise we would be torturing ourselves. Desire or passion for the subject did not matter to her.Do you agree with this? why?

Asked on by siret

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lorrainecaplan's profile pic

Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I disagree as well. For some people, it is easy to "get" good literature because of the way their minds work.   However, a good teacher should be able to help a student connect to good literature in some way.  The whole point to good literature, in my opinion, is to be able to take away understanding of the world, some insight into oneself, or both.  Everyone who has a functioning mind is capable of doing this because everyone is formed by experiences for which connections can be made. 

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catd1115 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted on

I disagree. While unquestionably we all have different levels of ability in any area, I don't think that such a broad statement is true. Some students will certainly struggle more to reach an understanding of English Literature, as again some have a natural aptitude and some don't. However I feel there are very few things (if any) that can't be learned to some degree if the passion and desire (as well as the willingness to work hard) are there. Not everyone will be an expert in literature. And some will always find it more difficult or not likeable, but to say that only some can learn it is absurd.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

It's hard to separate desire and aptitude.  However, I believe that what your teacher says is true.  There are definitely people whose minds do not work in the ways that are needed to really "get" literature.  You have to have a certain mindset to really get into and understand high quality literature and not everyone has it.  I say this because I am (in my opinion) quite intelligent and I have tried to like and "get" literature but I have never really managed it.

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I completely disagree.  There is no doubt that the class will be easier for some than others, but if you have a strong desire and passion for the subject along with a willingness to work I predict you will have amazing success in the class.

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