(Download) UPSC IAS Mains Exam 2020 - English Literature

(Download) CS (MAIN) EXAM:2020 Bengali Literature

Exam Name: CS (MAIN) EXAM:2020 Bengali Literature
Marks: 250
Time Allowed : Three Hours


Section 'A'

Q1. Write short notes on the following. Each question should be answered in about 150 words : 

(a) The Jacobean Drama

(b) The English Novel in 18th Century

(c) The Salient Features of Neo-classical Poetry 

(d) The Precursors of Romantic Poetry 

(e) The Victorian Society and Thought 

Q2. Answer all of the following : 

(a) Discuss the ways in which King Lear explores the theme of power. 

(b) Which elements of the epic form does Milton include in Paradise Lost to align it with epics from earlier eras? 

(c) Critically evaluate Pope's The Rape of the Lock as a social satire. 

Q3. Answer all of the following : 

(a) Account for the contemporary relevance of Wordsworth's poetry with special reference to the prescribed poems. 

(b) The metaphysical conceit helps John Donne in fusing both profane and divine love into one great whole. Illustrate. 

(c) In Paradise Lost, how does Milton succeed in making Satan a sympathetic character while at the same time condemning his actions? 

Q4. Answer all of the following: 

(a) How does Ibsen externalize inner problems by using effective symbols in A Doll's House? Give a reasoned answer. 

(b) How do images of darkness and light work throughout Tennyson's In Memoriam to represent grief, death, knowledge and life? How are they developed by the poet throughout the poem? 

(c) Discuss The Tempest as an allegory of European discovery and colonization. 


Q5. Study the following poem and answer all the questions which follow : 

I know that I shall meet my fate Somewhere among the clouds above; Those that I fight I do not hate, Those that I guard I do not love; My country is Kiltartan Cross, My countrymen Kiltartan's poor, No likely end could bring them loss Or leave them happier than before. Nor law, nor duty bade me fight, Nor public men, nor cheering crowds, A lonely impulse of delight Drove to this tumult in the clouds; I balanced all, brought all to mind, The years to come seemed waste of breath, A waste of breath the years behind In balance with this life, this death. 
(a) The word balance' occurs many times in the poem. What is its significance and what does it contribute to the whole meaning? 
(b) What is the effect of the contrasts in the poem? 
(c) Does the mood of the poem change at any point? If so, what is the contribution of these changes to the poem as a whole? 
(d) The poem is about coming to a decision. Trace various stages of this decision by examining the changes in mood and argument. 
(e) Identify the metre of the poem. How does it suggest repetition and progression? 

Q6.Answer all of the following : 

(a) Tom Jones is the story of the protagonist's journey from innocence, via experience, to wisdom. Elaborate the statement with events from the novel. 

(b) How does Swift address the ancients versus moderns' controversy in Gulliver's Travels ? 

(c) Pride and Prejudice opens up with the ironic narrative voice and it is the one the reader hears throughout the novel. Illustrate. 

Q7. Answer all of the following : 

(a) Comment on the significance of the epigraph "in their death they were not divided”. How does George Eliot portray the relationship of the siblings in The Mill on the Floss ? 

(b) Hard Times is built on the opposition between fact and fancy--a contrast which gives it both tension and unity. Elaborate. 

(c) What attitudes to marriage can be discerned in Jane Austen's account of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, Charlotte Lucas and Mr. Collins, and Lydia Bennet and Mr. Wickham in Pride and Prejudice? 

Q8. Answer all of the following : 

(a) "A sound heart is a surer guide than an ill-trained conscience." How far is this comment applicable in the context of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn? 

(b) Discuss Hard Times as a critique of industrial society. 

(c) Hardy subtitled Tess of the d'Urbervilles as 'A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented' to express his rejection of the conventional heroine of Victorian fiction. Substantiate your answer with reference to the novel. 



Q1. Critically comment in about 150 words each on the following passages : 

(a) Marbles of the dancing floor Break bitter furies of complexity, Those images that yet Fresh images beget, That dolphin-torn, that gong-tormented sea. (Yeats) 

(b)All this was a long time ago, I remember, And I would do it again, but set down This set down This: were we led all that way for Birth or Death? (Eliot) 

(c) Barbed wire enclosed an arbitrary spot Where bored officials lounged (one cracked a joke) And sentries sweated for the day was hot: (Auden) 

(d) Their beauty has thickened. Something is pushing them To the side of their own lives. (Larkin) 

(e) The new poets still quoted the old poets, but no one spoke in verse of the pregnant woman drowned, with perhaps twins in her, kicking at blank walls even before birth.(Ramanujan) 

Q2. Answer all of the following: 

(a) Discuss W.B. Yeats as a symbolist and romantic poet with specific reference to the poems in the syllabus. 

(b) T.S. Eliot's renditions of the "mind of Europe” are profoundly problematic insofar as they retrieve selective pasts. Would you agree ? Give examples from the poems in the syllabus. 

(c) Discuss how “the close connection between modernism and difficulty made it (modernism) appear increasingly isolated, elitist, and apolitical.” 

Q3. Answer all of the following: 

(a) “I should repeat that neither the private person of the poet, his psychology, nor his so-called social viewpoint are to come into question here: what matters is the poem itself as a philosophical sundial of history.” Analyse the poetry of W.H. Auden in the context of this statement.  

(b) Philip Larkin's poetry tentatively explores the possibility of positive meaning in life. Elucidate the statement with a few illustrations from the prescribed poems. 

(c) The poets of the Thirties are critical of their present and nostalgic for irretrievable pasts. Argue for or against this statement with specific examples from the poets of the period. 

Q4. Answer all of the following: 

(a) While Look Back in Anger represents the problems of working-class life, it is conservative in its representation of women within that milieu. Would you agree ? Give reasons. 
(b) A.K. Ramanujan's poems are perfectly balanced between critique and nostalgia for lost pasts and homelands. Discuss with reference to the poems in the syllabus. 
(c) Waiting for Godot is a profound meditation on the triad of arrival, waiting, and death, with emphasis on the despair yet necessity of waiting. Discuss. 


Q5. Answer all of the following: 

(a) In Lord Jim, Joseph Conrad presents the theme of isolation and search for identity. Elaborate. 

(b) Discuss the use and significance of epiphanies in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. 

(c) The conflict between Gertrude and Walter in Sons and Lovers is often compared to the social conflict between the middle class and the working class. Elaborate. 

(d) “For the next thirty-five years he was to be a wanderer with no place he could call his own, with no family except that which he was to attempt to create out of the engulfing world of the Tulsis.” Discuss the significance of the statement with reference to the novel A House for Mr Biswas. 

(e) Discuss the social and political contexts of human behaviour in A Passage to India. 

Q6. Answer all of the following: 

(a) Lord Jim is “predicated on dramatizing the process of Marlowe's discovering the subtleties of another character, ... the epistemological problem of how we can possibly understand and empathize with another character.” Discuss. 

(b) Stephen Dedalus articulates an aesthetic framework that is problematic; at the same time it seems to promise him freedom from Ireland. Would you agree ? Give reasons for your arguments. 

(c) Critically analyse representations of the colonial and the post-colonial with reference to the novel Kanthapura. 

Q7. Answer all of the following: 

(a) The representation of women in Sons and Lovers, especially Paul Morel's two love interests, Miriam and Clara, is problematic insofar as they exist primarily to help Paul work out his existential angst. Argue for or against this statement with examples from the novel. 

(b) E.M. Forster's characterization of India and Indians in A Passage to India is well-intentioned but flawed. Discuss with specific textual references. 

(c) Mrs Dalloway is a complex rendition of modernist desires and anxieties in its portrayal of life impacted by World War I. Discuss. 

Q8. Answer all of the following: 

(a) “Indians can write in English, but they cannot write like the English' — rather, Indian English must become a distinctive and colourful dialect of the language, which “time alone will justify?” Analyse Kanthapura as an Indian English novel in the context of Raja Rao's statement. 

(b) “Realities such as poverty and degradation are made to seem grotesque: their social and ideological contexts are quite removed.” Discuss A House for Mr Biswas in the context of Naipaul's failure to deal with 'social and ideological contexts.' 

 (c) “Life is not a series of gig-lamps symmetrically arranged, but a luminous halo, a formless, shapeless something ....” Elucidate the statement with textual references from the novel Mrs Dalloway. 

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