The syllabus consists of two papers, designed to test a first-hand and critical reading of texts prescribed from the following periods in English Literature : Paper I : 1600-1900 and Paper II : 1900- 1990. There will be two compulsory questions in each paper : a) A short-notes question related to the topics for general study, and b) A critical analysis of UNSEEN passages both in prose and verse.


UPSC English Literature Syllabus - Paper I

Paper-I
Answers must be written in English. Texts for detailed study are listed below. Candidates will also be required to show adequate knowledge of the following topics and movements :
The Renaissance : Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama; Metaphysical Poetry; The Epic and the Mock-epic; Neo-classicism; Satire; The Romantic Movement; The Rise of the Novel; The Victorian Age.
Section-A
1. William Shakespeare : King Lear and The Tempest.
2. John Donne. The following poems : - Canonization; - Death be not proud; - The Good Morrow; - On his Mistress going to bed; - The Relic;
3. John Milton : Paradise Lost, I, II, IV, IX
4. Alexander Pope. The Rape of the Lock.
5. William Wordsworth. The following poems:
- Ode on Intimations of Immortality.
- Tintern Abbey. - Three years she grew.
- She dwelt among untrodden ways.
- Michael. - Resolution and Independence.
- The World is too much with us.
- Milton, thou shouldst be living at this hour.
- Upon Westminster Bridge.
6. Alfred Tennyson : In Memoriam.
7. Henrik Ibsen : A Doll s House.
Section-B
1. Jonathan Swift. Gulliver s Travels.
2. Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice.
3. Henry Fielding. Tom Jones.
4. Charles Dickens. Hard Times.
5. George Eliot. The Mill on the Floss.
6. Thomas Hardy. Tess of the d Urbervilles.
7. Mark Twain. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

UPSC English Literature Syllabus - Paper II

Answers must be written in English. Texts for detailed study are listed below. Candidates will also be required to show adequate knowledge of the following topics and movements :
Modernism; Poets of the Thirties; The stream-of-consciousness Novel; Absurd Drama; Colonialism and PostColonialism; Indian Writing in English; Marxist, Psychoanalytical and Feminist approaches to literature; PostModernism.
Section-A
1. 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. - Meru - Lapis Lazuli - The Second Coming - Byzantium.
2. T.S. Eliot. The following poems : - The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock - Journey of the Magi. - Burnt Norton.
3. W.H. Auden. The following poems : - Partition - Musee des Beaux Arts - in Memory of W.B. Yeats - Lay your sleeping head, my love - The Unknown Citizen - Consider - Mundus Et Infans - The Shield of Achilles - September 1, 1939 - Petition.
4. John Osborne : Look Back in Anger.
5. Samuel Beckett. Waiting for Godot.
6. Philip Larkin. The following poems : - Next - Please - Deceptions - Afternoons - Days - Mr. Bleaney
7. 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 - Obituary (All these poems are available in the anthology Ten Twentieth Century Indian Poets, edited by R. Parthasarthy, published by Oxford University Press, New Delhi).
Section-B
1. Joseph Conrad. Lord Jim
2. James Joyce. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
3. D.H. Lawrence. Sons and Lovers.
4. E.M. Forster. A Passage to India.
5. Virginia Woolf. Mrs Dalloway.
6. Raja Rao. Kanthapura.
7. V.S. Naipal. A House for Mr. Biswas