For the post of Written Recruitment Test for the post of Postgraduate
Assistants in Tamil Nadu Higher Secondary Educational Service.

 Syllabus:  English (Subject Code: P02)

 Unit-I – MODERN LITERATURE (1400-1600)


For Detailed Study

          Chaucer       :                  Prologue to the Canterbury Tales

          Spenser       :                  Faerie  Queene - Book-I

 For Non-detailed Study

          Spenser       :                  Prothalamion and Epithalamion

          Wyatt, Surrey:                Selections in Peacock's English verse, Vol-I

          Ballads        :                  Peacock - Vol-II


For Detailed Study

          Bacon - Essays -              Of  Truth, Of Adversity, Of Studies,

                                                Of  Revenge, Of Ambition, Of  Friendship   

Sidney        :                  Apologie For Poetrie 

For Non-detailed Study

          The Bible   :                  The Book of Job. 


For Detailed Study

Marlowe     :                  Dr. Faustus 

For Non-Detailed  Study

Kyd              :                  The Spanish Tragedy      

Ben Jonson          :                  The Alchemist 

Unit-II  - MODERN LITERATURE (1600-1798) 


For Detailed study

Donne          :        Canonisation, The Ecstasie      

Milton           :                  Paradise Lost, Book-IX

Pope            :                  The Rape of the Lock. 

For Non-detailed Study

          Milton           :                  Samson Agonistes

Gray, Collins & Blake:          Peacock's English Verse - Vol-III

Herbert       :                  1. Affliction  2. The Pulley

Marvell        :                  To His Coy Mistress


For Detailed Study

          Johnson      :                  Life of Milton

 For Non-Detailed Study

          Bunyan        :                  The Pilgrim's Progress

          Fielding        :                  Tom Jones


For Detailed Study

          Dryden        :                  All for Love

          Sheridan      :                  The School for Scandal

 For Non-detailed Study :

          Congreve    :                  The way of the World

          Goldsmith   :                  She stoops to conquer

 Unit-III -  MODERN LITERATURE (1798 - 1832)


For Detailed Study

          Wordsworth :                  Immortality Ode, Tintern Abbey

          Coleridge    :                  Ode to Dejection, Kubla Khan

Keats           :                  Ode on a Grecian Urn, Ode to Autumn.

          Shelley        :                  Ode to the West Wind

 For Non-Detailed Study

          Wordsworth :                  Prelude - Book-I

Shelley        :                  Adonais


For Detailed Study

          Lamb           :                  Essays  of Elia

Christ's Hospital, The South Sea House, Dream children, New Year's Eve

Hazlitt                    :                  My First Acquaintance with Poets.

 For Non-Detailed Study

Shelley        :                  A Defence of Poetry

          Wordsworth :                  Preface to the Lyrical Ballads (1850)

          Jane Austen          :                  Emma

          Emily Bronte:                  Wuthering Heights

 Unit-IV   - MODERN LITERATURE (1832 to the present day)


For Detailed Study:

          Arnold                    :                  Dover Beach, The Scholar Gypsy

          Browning     :                  Andrea Del Sarto

          Tennyson    :                  Morte D' Arthur

          W.B.Yeats   :                  Byzantium

          Eliot             :                  The Waste land

 For Non-Detailed Study:

          Hopkins      :                  The Wreck of the Deutschland

                                                The selections from

(i) Owen (ii) W.H.Auden (iii) Stephen Spender in the Faber Book of Modern Verse.


For Detailed Study:

Carlyle        :                  The Hero as a Man of Letters

                      (from “On Heroes and  Hero Worship”)

Mathew Arnold:               The Study of Poetry

T.S.Eliot      :                  Tradition and Individual Talent

 For Non-detailed Study:

Dickens                :           Great Expectations

George Elliot                    :           Middle March

Hardy                     :           Jude the Obscure

Virginia Woolf          :           To the Light House

Graham Greene          :           The Power and the Glory 



For Detailed Study

Macbeth, The Tempest

 For Non-Detailed Study

          Henry–IV   Part-I:           Measure for Measure

          Antony and Cleopatra    

           A general knowledge of the other plays, poems and sonnets of Shakespeare is expected of the candidates.



Detailed  study

          Walt Whitman          :           Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking

          Emily Dickinson          :           Because I could not Stop for Death

          Robert Frost                   :           Mending Wall,  Birches, West Running Brook.

          Sylvia Plath            :           Daddy

 Non-Detailed Study

          Walt Whitman          :           Passage to India

          E.E.Cummings          :           The Cambridge Ladies

          Hart Crane           :           Poem: To Brooklyn Bridge.


          Mark Twain           :           The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

          Melville                  :           Moby Dick

          Hemingway            :           The Old Man and the Sea


Detailed study

          Emerson                :           The American Scholar

          Faulkner                 :           Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech.

 Non-Detailed Study

          Thoreau                :           Walden

          James Thurcer          :           The Owl in the Attic


Detailed study

          Eugene O’ Neil          :           The Hairy Ape

Arthur Miller            :           The Death of a Salesman

Non-Detailed Study

Tennesse Williams          :            A Street Car named Desire

Edward Albee          :           Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?



Detailed Study:

Tagore        :                  Gitanjali

Aurobindo    :                  Thought the Paraclete

 Non-Detailed Study:

Poems of Sarojini Naidu and Toru Dutt from the Golden Treasury of Indian Poetry.

Poems of A.K.Ramanujam, R. Parthasarathy, Kamala Das and Nissim Ezekiel from “Ten Twentieth Century Indian Poets” ed. R.Parthasarathy.


Mulk Raj Anand          :           Coolie

Raja Rao              :           Kantapura

R.K.           Narayan      :           The English Teacher

Kamala Markandaya:        A Handful of Rice.


Detailed Study:

Ananda Commarasamy Aurobindo:The Dance of Shiva (The Title Essay)

 Non-Detailed Study:

Nehru                     :           An Autobiography


Detailed Study:

          Tagore                  :           Muktha Dhara

Girish Karnad          :           Tughlaq

Non-Detailed Study:

          Gurucharan Das          :           Larine Sahib

 Commonwealth  Literature


Non-Detailed Study:

          E.J. Pratt            :           The Dying Eagle

          Judith Wright          :           Fire in the Murdering Hut, The Cedars

          Wole Soyinka          :           The Telephone conversation

          Abioseh Nicoll          :           The Meaning of Africa

          A.D.Hope              :           Australia


Detailed Study

          Wole Soyinka          :           The Lion and the Jewel

Non–Detailed Study

Douglas Stewart          :          Ned Kelly


Chinua Achebe          : The Novelist as Teacher


          Chinua Achebe          : Things Fall Apart

Alan Paten           : Cry, the Beloved Country


1. Modern  Drama

2. Modern Fiction

3. Literary Movements

4. Literary Criticism and Theory

5. Feminism

6. Teaching of English in India

7.     Journalism and Creative Writing in English

8.     Post – Modernism


1.     Origin of Language

2.     Place of English in the Indo-European family

3.     General Characteristics of Old and Middle English

4.     The rise and growth of Modern English

5.     Growth of Vocabulary Greek, Latin, French, Italian, Scandinavian and other foreign influences – Word Formation.

6.     Change of Meaning

7.     The Makers of English, The Bible, Spenserm, Shakespeare, Milton and Dr.Johnson.

8.     American English

9.     Indian English

10.    Characteristics of Modern English

11.    Spelling Reform

12.    The English Lexicon

 Books for reference:

1) Henry Bradley:           The Making of English

2) F.T.Wood :           An outline History of the English Language

3) A.C.Baugh :               A History of the English Language


 Definitions – The Nature and Scope of linguistics, Speech and Writing,

Form and Meaning

Words, Clause and Phrase – Concord Government– Sentence Pattern



Idiolect, Dialect

Transformational Generative Grammar

 Books for Study

Frank Plalee           : Grammar, ELBS

John Lyons           : An introduction to Theoretical linguistics


1. Aristotle                : Poetics

2. Dryden                  : Essay of Dramatic Poesy

3. Coleridge              : Biographia Literaria Ch.XIV and Ch.XVII

4. Keats           : Letters (from English Critical Tradition-Macmillan)

5. T.S.Elliot                : Metaphysical poets

6. I.A.Richards          : Four kinds of Meaning

7. William Empson          : The Seventh Type of Ambiguity

8. Northrop Frye          : The Archetypes of Literature

9. L.Trilling                : Sense of the Past

10. Brooks                  : Irony as a Principle of Structure

11. Allen Tate          : Tension in Poetry