IB English Literature Book List 2021: Essential Readings for Exam Prep

Are you an IB student studying English literature? Do you want to ace your exams and impress your teacher with your literary analysis skills? Then you need to read the right books! In this post, we’ll cover the essential readings for IB English literature in 2021 and provide some tips for how to approach each text.

So without further ado, here’s your IB English literature book list for 2021:

1. Hamlet by William Shakespeare

This is a classic play that every student of English literature should read. Hamlet is a tragic hero who struggles with revenge, indecision, and existentialism. You will explore themes like betrayal, madness, and mortality. Hamlet is a dense and complex text, so take your time with it. Read it slowly and carefully, and try to analyze the language, symbolism, and character development.

2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby is a novel set in the Roaring Twenties, a time of decadence, wealth, and moral decay. The protagonist, Jay Gatsby, is a mysterious and charismatic millionaire who has a secret past and a passion for a woman who is already married. This book explores themes like love, class, corruption, and the American Dream. Pay attention to Fitzgerald’s use of symbolism, imagery, and language, and try to identify the author’s critiques of the era he writes about.

3. A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

A Streetcar Named Desire is a play that tells the story of Blanche DuBois, a fading Southern belle who moves to New Orleans to live with her sister and brother-in-law. The play deals with themes like desire, illusion, madness, and abuse. Williams uses vivid and poetic language, and his characters are often flawed and conflicted. Try to analyze the symbolism and motifs in the play, and think critically about the way the characters interact with each other.

4. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian novel set in a future where women are treated as property and reproductive machines. The protagonist, Offred, is a handmaid who is forced to bear children for a powerful couple. This book explores themes like gender, power, oppression, and resistance. Atwood uses a vivid and unsettling imagery, and her world-building skills are impressive. Try to analyze the symbolism and motifs in the novel, and think critically about the message the author is trying to convey about the dangers of unchecked power.

5. Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Chronicle of a Death Foretold is a novella that tells the story of the murder of Santiago Nasar, a young man in a small Colombian town who is killed for a crime he did not commit. The book explores themes like honor, justice, guilt, and social hypocrisy. Marquez uses a nonlinear narrative structure and employs magical realism to tell the story. Try to analyze the symbolism and motifs in the book, and think critically about the way the author uses the murder as a metaphor for larger societal issues.

There you have it! The essential readings for IB English literature in 2021. Remember to approach each text with an open mind and a critical eye, and don’t be afraid to ask your teacher for help if you get stuck. Happy reading!

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