Which Author Would Fare Best in a Present-Day University?November 05, 2015

They were the best of the lot, and there was no doubt about it. How would the great authors fare in the university? Not everyone would leave the campus grounds with honours. They must be assessed, and the process would be subjective. This can be a good game to play with your coursemates after you beat yourselves over an assignment. And it won't be a waste of time. Your opinion will determine the extent of your knowledge. You'll also be aware of your dedication and enthusiasm. This can be valuable, as literature is like a demanding mistress.

Let's imagine some of the gifted writers as English majors. Which ones will do well? Here's the picture:

Jane Austen. She'll likely be worthy of the nod. Talent may not be the reason, but rather her apparent skill on watching people. She's a keen observer, without a doubt. She never fails to use wit, which engages her readers. If this won't make an impressive essay, then no one can figure out a better way.

Michael Crichton. No one will take him seriously. English majors pride themselves as a snotty lot, and the native of Chicago doesn't show a deep appreciation of the classics. But he can turn a news report on dinosaur fossils into a gripping novel. His admissions tutor would take notice of it, even encouraging him to keep on writing that way. It won't be long before there were rumors of a promising upstart in the English Department.

Charles Dickens. Don't be surprised if he'll have lots of mates. His humble background will endear him to his fellow students (and members of the faculty). He'll be admired too. Sympathy is one of the reasons, while the other will be the Londoner's wisdom at such a young age.

H. Rider Haggard. He might be the coolest housemate, as he has lots of stories to share. Many would envy the countries he visited, as he kept on telling everyone (in the English Department) that he would pen a travel guide book for backpackers. Some have doubts, as this might be his only excuse to plan his next trip. It will happen after you earn your degree. The travel bug bit you, so you would hope to be part of his next adventure.

Edgar Allan Poe. He'll stand out in Gothic fiction, but only due to his troubled background. The American won't have many housemates, which will be fine with him. In fact, a lone wolf will likely be his only friend. (Seth Grahame-Smith already thought of it.) Poe will manage to make it through the term, but not without distractions. It has nothing to do with parties, and this will make some housemates hesitant to knock on his door.

It's your turn to imagine the other writers. Keep in mind that there's no right or wrong response, as this is all about your perception of the authors and their works.

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