As an English major, there are times when I get English Major Syndrome. This is something I termed and diagnosed in myself. It usually occurs about half-way through a semester. Here are some symptoms I have found:
- Wanting to pick up whatever monstrous volume I am currently studying, pound it against my head, and scream, "I DON'T CARE WHAT THIS GUY WAS REALLY TRYING TO SAY!" Or, "WHY COULDN'T SHE JUST SAY WHAT SHE WANTED TO SAY?!" Sometimes it gets really annoying trying to find "hidden" and "deep" meanings in texts you care absolutely nothing for. Then again, other times it can be really cool when you find something and suddenly it all clicks and there is peace and goodness in the world. Like when I read the short story, "The Cove." At first, I was unprepared for the direction the story took. Then when I reached the end an idea formed in my head. "Oh my gosh! The realtor is a serial killer! It all makes sense now!" (Then I thought, "Eeeww. What a creepy dude.") That was a good day.
Then you read something like Henry James and the world isn't so peaceful and good anymore.
- Wishing I could duct tape certain people's mouths shut because I don't want to hear their opinion on every little thing. So what if you think Mark Twain's ending of Huckleberry Finn sucked? I don't care! So what if The Jungle reminds you of the time your daughter was trying to date someone? I. Don't. Care. And I don't feel the need to apologize for my own comments because I don't comment enough to get on people's nerves. So ha!
- Finding literary concepts in everyday life. For example, I was watching a movie. Quite content and forgetting about my English problems when boom, bam, literary theories came into my head. "Oh, but if we deconstructed it then it could have this meaning. Or if we looked at this from a Marxist perspective, it has the biggest totalization effect EVER!" Sometimes I feel like literary theory has ruined my life.
The cure for English Major Syndrome? I'm still looking for that.