Literature Optional Books and Syllabus for UPSC

In India the UPSC exam is considered as one of the hardest exams to pass. But an aspirant with a good understanding and the subject knowledge can pass that exam easily. But they also need to go through the subject syllabus to study more. There are 48 optional Literature Books and Syllabus for upsc exam.

Among the 48 optional subjects, literature is a highlighting subject. There are two parts of the paper and each paper brings 250 marks. In total there are 500 marks to score. In the first paper of literature The Renaissance : Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama; Metaphysical Poetry; The Epic and the Mock-epic; Neoclassicism; Satire; The Romantic Movement; The Rise of the Novel; The Victorian Age are there.  In the second paper topics like Modernism; Poets of the Thirties; The stream-of-consciousness Novel; Absurd Drama; Colonialism and Post-Colonialism; Indian Writing in English; Marxist, Psychoanalytical and Feminist approaches to literature; Post-Modernism are highlighted. Aspirants must have a good understanding about these topics before facing the exam.

Books to Refer for Literature Optional UPSC Exam

Literature Optional is considered as a safe subject to opt for upsc exams. Literature Optional is often selected by a lot of people. Students from any background can select this optional subject if they have a good grip on the English language. Candidates who appear for literature optional are supposed to read a lot of novels and poems. There are a lot of literature optional upsc books that you can refer to know more about who to use English language for writing your answers. Most of the literature optional books available for upsc students are novels, stories and poems. Here are some of the best recommended Literature Optional books to refer.

• Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man-James Joyce

• Sons and Lovers-D.H. Lawrence

• A Passage to India- E.M. Forster.

• Mrs Dalloway- Virginia Woolf.

• Kanthapura-Raja Rao

• A House for Mr. Biswas- V.S. Naipal

• Introduction to English Literature by W. H Hudson

• The Routledge History of Literature in English

• A short History of English Literature (Pramod K. Nayar)

• King Lear- William Shakespeare

• The Tempest- William Shakespeare

• Canonization- John Donne

• Next- Philip Larkin

• Please-Philip Larkin

• Deceptions-Philip Larkin

• Afternoons-Philip Larkin

• Days-Philip Larkin

• Bleaney-Philip Larkin

• Looking for a Causim on a Swing-A.K. Ramanujan

• A River-A.K. Ramanujan

• Of Mothers, among other Things-A.K. Ramanujan

• Love Poem for a Wife 1-A.K. Ramanujan

• Small-Scale Reflections on a Great House-A.K. Ramanujan

• Obituary-A.K. Ramanujan

• Lord Jim-Joseph Conrad

• Death be not proud- John Donne

• The Good Morrow- John Donne

• On his Mistress going to bed-John Donne

• The relic- John Donne

• Paradise Lost, I, II, IV, IX- John Milton

• The Rape of the Lock- Alexander Pope

• Ode on Intimations of Immortality- William Wordsworth

• Tintern Abbey-William Wordsworth

• Three years she grew-William Wordsworth

• She dwelt among untrodden ways-William Wordsworth

• Michael-William Wordsworth

• Resolution and Independence- William Wordsworth

• The World is too much with us-William Wordsworth

• Milton, thou shouldst be living at this hour-William Wordsworth

• Upon Westminster Bridge-William Wordsworth

• Easter 1916- William Butler Yeats

• The Second Coming-William Butler Yeats

• A Prayer for my daughter-William Butler Yeats

• Sailing to Byzantium-William Butler Yeats

• The Tower-William Butler Yeats

• Among School Children-William Butler Yeats

• Leda and the Swan-William Butler Yeats

• Meru-William Butler Yeats

• Lapis Lazuli-William Butler Yeats

• The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock- T. S. Eliot

• Journey of the Magi-T. S. Eliot

• Burnt Norton-T. S. Eliot

• Partition- W.H. Auden

• Musee des Beaux Arts-W.H. Auden

• In Memory of W.B. Yeats-W.H. Auden

• Lay your sleeping head, my love-W.H. Auden

• The Unknown Citizen-W.H. Auden

• Consider-W.H. Auden

• Mundus Et Infans-W.H. Auden

• The Shield of Achilles-W.H. Auden

• Look In Anger-John Osborne

• Waiting for Godot-Samuel Beckett

Literature optional paper 1 syllabus

Section – A

  1. William Shakespeare: King Lear and the Tempest.
  1. John Donne. The following poems :
  1. Canonization;
  1. Death be not proud;
  1. The Good Morrow;
  1. On his Mistress going to bed;
  1. The Relic;
  1. John Milton : Paradise Lost, I, II, IV, IX
  1. Alexander Pope. The Rape of the Lock.
  1. William Wordsworth. The following poems:
  1. Ode on Intimations of Immortality.
  1. Tintern Abbey.
  1. Three years she grew.
  1. She dwelt among untrodden ways.
  1. Michael.
  1. Resolution and Independence.
  1. The World is too much with us.
  1. Milton, thou shouldst be living at this hour.
  1. Upon Westminster Bridge.
  1. Alfred Tennyson : In Memoriam.
  1. Henrik Ibsen : A Doll’s House.

Section – B

  1. Jonathan Swift. Gulliver’s Travels.
  1. Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice.
  1. Henry Fielding. Tom Jones.
  1. Charles Dickens. Hard Times.
  1. George Eliot. The Mill on the Floss.
  1. Thomas Hardy. Tess of the d’Urbervilles.
  1. Mark Twain. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Literature optional paper 2 syllabus

Section – A

  1. William Butler Yeats. The following poems :
  2. Easter 1916, he Second Coming, A Prayer for my daughter, Sailing to Byzantium, The Tower, Among School Children, Leda and the Swan, Meru, Lapis Lazuli
  3. T.S. Eliot. The following poems :
  4. The LoveSong of J.Alfred Prufrock, Journey of the Magi, Burnt Norton.
  5. W.H. Auden. The following poems:
  6. 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.
  7. John Osborne: Look Back in Anger.
  1. Samuel Beckett : Waiting for Godot.
  1. Philip Larkin. The following poems :
  2. Next, Please, Deceptions, Afternoons, Days, Mr. Bleaney
  1. A.K. Ramanujan. The following poems :
  2. Looking for a Cousin on a Swing, A River, Of Mothers, among other Things, Love Poem for a Wife 1, Small-Scale Reflections on a Great House, Obituary

Section – B

  1. Joseph Conrad. Lord Jim
  1. James Joyce. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  1. D.H. Lawrence. Sons and Lovers
  1. E.M. Forster. A Passage to India
  1. Virginia Woolf. Mrs Dalloway
  1. Raja Rao. Kanthapura
  1. V.S. Naipaul. A House for Mr. Biswas

Bottom Line

There are so many subject matters under these topics. then each and every literature optional aspirant must go through them carefully. There are books which have provided knowledge about the literature subject on the market. As this is literature, the aspirants need to go through the context line by line by understanding the literary meanings. And also the aspirants must have to criticize the special points on the context and practice to write answers.

The aspirants need to follow a great studying strategy if they want to score a good mark on the UPSC Exam. It is better to go through the past year papers and understand the structure of the questions and the papers. Then they won’t get into trouble while facing the exam. writing the papers, aspirants must use the examples and subject points to explain the answers and support them. The more described answers, the more marks he or she gets. So every aspirant must follow a good strategy to study the literature optional subject and try to earn a good mark.

They must complete studying the whole subjects before facing the exam and practice with past year papers. Otherwise they won’t be able to write on some questions correctly. Time management is also important as this subject needs more time for questions. aspirants must take all of these points into consideration and study the whole syllabus.

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