Supplemental Reading List for the English Major Field Test and the

Supplemental Reading List for the English Major Field Test and the
GRE in English
No English literature course can include every worthwhile piece of long writing from a given
period or century. For instance, longer works typically must be left out due to time constraints.
Yet references to such works do appear on the Major Fields Test, which is mandatory for our
majors, and the GRE which they will face in preparation for graduate school.
The following list of important long works contains the ones most likely to be referred to in such
tests. It may not be necessary to read through each one completely; in some cases, skimming
will be enough.
Ancient Classics: (Since this class is mandatory at Southern, only omitted works are shown)
Aeschylus: Prometheus Bound; Seven Against Thebes
Apollonius of Rhodes: The Voyage of Argo
Aristophanes: The Clouds; Lysistrata (Caution—filthy content. Lysistrata is mentioned
here only because it is certain to appear in any test covering ancient literature.
You really just need to know the title and general plot.)
Aristotle: Rhetoric; Nicomachian Ethics
Euripides: The Trojan Women; The Bacchae
Herodotus: The Persian Wars (history, really, but an important nonfiction narrative)
Plautus: The Menaechmus Twins (adapted by Shakespeare into The Comedy of Errors)
Sophocles: Antigone
Virgil: Bucolics (also called Eclogues)
Xenophon: Memorabilia (“Memories of Socrates”); Anabasis (“March Up-country”)
Chaucer, Geoffrey. Canterbury Tales; Everyman; Second Shepherd’s Play;
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
Foxe, John. selections from The Actes and Monuments. deaths of Latimer and Ridley
Jewel, John. An Apology in Defence of the Church of England.
Jonson, Ben. The Alchemist, Volpone.
Kyd, Christopher. The Spanish Tragedy.
Marlowe, Christopher. Dr. Faustus. “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love.”
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Lear. Macbeth. Othello. Richard II. Henry IV. Tempest.
Sonnets 18, 29, 30, 55, 73, 116 others?
Sidney, Sir Philip. “An Apology for Poesy,” a few sonnets
Skelton, John. “Upon a Dead Man’s Head.”
Spenser, Edmund. The Faerie Queene. Epithalamion. sonnets #30, #68
Surrey, Henry Howard, Earl of. “When Raging Love.” “So Cruel Prison.”
Tyndale, William. The Obedience of a Christen Man.
Wyatt, Sir Thomas. “They Flee from Me,” “Whoso List to Hunt,” “If Thou Wilt Mighty
Restoration/18th century: (* indicates inclusion in ELIT 444)
Goldsmith: The Vicar of Wakefield; *She Stoops to Conqer; *The Deserted Village
Behn: *Oronooko
Bunyan: *The Pilgrim’s Progress
Defoe: *Robinson Crusoe: Moll Flanders; A Journey through the Whole Island of Great
Milton: Areopagitica; Lycidas; Paradise Lost; Paradise Regained; *Samson Agonistes
Pope: *An Essay on Criticism; *The Rape of the Lock;
Richardson: Pamela (the first English novel and epistolary); Clarissa
Sheridan: The Rivals (Restoration play, popular reference in tests)
Sterne: The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (caution—unwholesome
19th century English: (* indicates inclusion in ELIT 337)
Romantic (period)
C. Bronté: Jane Eyre
E. Bronté: Wuthering Heights
Austen: Sense and Sensibility: *Pride and Prejudice
Butler: Erewhon
Dickens: David Copperfield; *Hard Times; A Tale of Two Cities
Eliot: Middlemarch
Hardy: The Return of the Native and/or Tess of the D’urbervilles
Kipling: Kim
Lawrence: Sons and Lovers (caution—unwholesome aspects)
Stoker: Dracula
Thackeray: Vanity Fair
World Literature:
Achebe: Things Fall Apart
Boccaccio: Decameron
Conrad: Heart of Darkness
Dante: The Divine Comedy
Dostoevsky: Notes from the Underground
Goethe: Faust
Ibsen: A Doll’s House, Hedda Gabler
Machiavelli: The Prince
Cervantes: Don Quixote
Levi: Survival in Auschwitz
Moliere: The School for Wives
Mon’zaemon: The Love Suicides of Amijima
Tolstoy: The Death of Ivan Ilych
Wiesel: Night
20th century:
Beckett: Waiting for Godot; Endgame
Bellow: The Adventures of Augie March; Henderson the Rain King; Humboldt’s Gift
Camus: The Stranger, The Plague, The Fall
Conrad: Lord Jim; Heart of Darkness
Cullen: Harlem Renaissance poetry
Eliot: The Waste Land; “The Four Quartets”; “The Hollow Men”; Murder in the
Cathedral; “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”
Ellison: Invisible Man
Faulkner: Sound and the Fury; Absolom, Absolom!; Go Down, Moses
Forster: A Room with a View; Howard’s End; A Passage to India
Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Old Man
and the Sea
Hughes: Harlem Renaissance poetry
Hurston: Their Eyes Were Watching God
Johnson (James Weldon): Harlem Renaissance poetry
Joyce: Ulysses, Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man
Kafka: Metamorphosis
Macleish: J.B.
O’Neill: Long Day’s Journey into Night, Mourning Becomes Electra
Orwell: Animal Farm; Nineteen Eighty-Four
Pound: familiary with his imagist poetry
Steinbeck: The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men, East of Eden
Wharton: House of Mirth; Ethan Frome; The Age of Innocence
Williams (William Carlos): familiarity with his imagist poetry
Wright: Native Son
Colonial American:
19th century American:
Chopin: The Awakening
Crane: “The Open Boat”; Maggie
Dickinson: poetry
Emerson: Nature, Self-Reliance
Fuller: Woman in the Nineteenth Century
Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter
Irving: The Sketch Book
James: Daisy Miller; The American; The Portrait of a Lady; Wings of a Dove; The
Jewett: “A White Heron”
London: “To Build a Fire”;
Melville: Moby Dick
Perkins: “The Yellow Wall-paper”
Poe: short stories and poetry
Stowe: Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Thoreau: Walden; Walking; “Civil Disobedience”
Twain: Adventures of Tom Sawyer; Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; Innocents Abroad;
The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson
Whitman: Leaves of Grass