"The rise of English in England ran parallel to the gradual, grudging admission of women to the institutions of higher education; and since English was an untaxing sort of affair, concerned with the finer feelings rather than the more virile topics of bona fide academic 'disciplines', ot seemed a convenient sort of non-subject to palm off on the ladies, who were in any case excluded from science and the professions" (Eagleton 24).
This quote stood out to me like a sore thumb! This quote seems to hold true, in a limited sense, throughout current history. For example, most of my English classes at Seton Hill are mostly dominated by females. This may only be because Seton Hill was, once, a female only school or because males usually do not study English-literature. Males tend to usually study Science or Math because it is a so-called “manly” subject. I do not believe that this is true. I think that any subject studied in post-secondary schools is appropriate for both genders.
While reading, I made the assumption that early-modern history was sexist. Do you think that based on the quote above? Our culture has grown and developed strong stereotypes. This can be seen, for example, with all of the previous elected Presidents. There has not been a woman elected President, ever. This may change in the coming elections, but it makes you wonder why society demotes one gender over another in certain professions or situations.
As history has changed, the idea of females studying English has changed. It seems that there are more and more males pursuing an English career. Personally, I believe that an English degree can take anyone past their goals as long as they strive for it. Our everyday society uses the English language to communicate crucial information.
"If human existence is constituted by time, it is equally made up of language" (Eagleton 55).
Language is the beginning step to a culture developing and turning into a successful nation. Every human, each and every day uses language in some shape or form.
Eagleton makes many interesting points about how the English language and literature has developed through history.
Course web page devoted to Eagleton