A Guide to English Literature
Syllabus: Paper I
- William Shakespeare: King Lear and The Tempest
- John Donne. The following poems:
- Death be not proud;
- The Good Morrow;
- On his Mistress going to bed;
- The Relic;
- John Milton: Paradise Lost, I, II, IV, IX
- Alexander Pope: The Rape of the Lock
- William Wordsworth. The following poems:
- Ode on Intimations of Immortality;
- Tintern Abbey;
- Three years she grew;
- She dwelt among untrodden ways;
- Resolution and Independence;
- The World is too much with us;
- Milton, thou should be living at this hour;
- Upon Westminster Bridge;
- Alfred Tennyson: In Memoriam
- Henrik Ibsen: A Doll’s House
- Jonathan Swift: Gulliver’s Travels
- Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice
- Henry Fielding: Tom Jones
- Charles Dickens: Hard Times
- George Eliot: The Mill on the Floss
- Thomas Hardy: Tess of the d’Urbervilles
- Mark Twain: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Syllabus: Paper II
- William Butler Yeats. The following poems:
- Easter 1916;
- The Second Coming;
- A Prayer for my daughter;
- Sailing to Byzantium;
- The Tower;
- Among School Children;
- Leda and the Swan;
- Lapis Lazuli;
- T.S. Eliot. The following poems:
- The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock;
- Journey of the Magi;
- Burnt Norton;
- W.H. Auden. The following poems:
- Musee des Beaux Arts;
- In Memory of W.B. Yeats;
- Lay your sleeping head, my love;
- The Unknown Citizen;
- Mundus Et Infans;
- The Shield of Achilles;
- September 1, 1939;
- John Osborne: Look Back in Anger
- Samuel Beckett: Waiting for Godot
- Philip Larkin. The following poems:
- Mr. Bleaney;
- A.K. Ramanujan. The following poems:
- Looking for a Causim on a Swing;
- A River;
- Of Mothers, among other Things;
- Love Poem for a Wife 1;
- Small Scale Reflections on a Great House;
Things to Remember before Preparation
- Spend 500 or more hours to read the literature optional paper: The more you spend time in reading the more critical and in-depth knowledge will develop.
- Go through 6-7 years question paper: To be accustomed with the question paper pattern.
- Not to answer typically like college answers: This not a college or university examination, so prepare answers as a civil servant.
- Should have a critical mind: While answering prepare yourself and your mind as a civil servant. So, think and write as a civil servant.
- Should have good aptitude: Have a complete background knowledge before any preparation of any answers
- Go through the syllabus.
- Go through the question paper then connect with the want of the question paper and your understanding.
- Go through the basic books for English literature (14 novel 5plays 60 poems n hist of English literature).
- While reading go through the socio eco political aspect of the time that work was written and start writing your own answers using the time period written for that work and answer in a critical way highlighting the socio-eco-political aspect to get original thought.
- Go to online blogs and search scholarly articles to upgrade your critical thinking.
Tips for Answering
- Start with an introduction.
- Write what the question has been asked. Add your critical understanding.
- Analyze of the work by another literary critics of that time.
- End with a conclusion.
English Literature syllabus is short and concise. Nothing out of the topic so estimate the time accordingly to be taken to complete.
For writing answer use the same method/technique which you have adopted for writing answers in other main papers.
Take feedback of your answers from critics or professors as much as possible. UPSC needs critical understanding nothing in depth. Just keep in mind in regard to the socio-eco-political aspect of that time with your answer to make it unique.
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