Literature in English

Curriculum Objectives

The aims of the Literature in English curriculum are to enable learners to:

  • appreciate and enjoy a wide range of literary or creative texts and other related cultural forms;
  • develop their capacity for critical thinking, creativity, self-expression, personal growth, empathy and cultural understanding;
  • enhance their awareness of the relationship between literature and the society;
  • develop a greater sensitivity to the nuances of the English language; and
  • be adequately prepared for areas of further study or work, where qualities promoted in the study of literature, such as creativity, critical thinking and inter-cultural understanding, are highly valued.

Curriculum Framework

The syllabus is based on the study of one set of texts, which will vary over time. The set offers a choice of one of two novels, one of two plays, one of two films, a set of short stories selected from a given volume and a set of poems selected from a given volume. The texts will be examined as follows:

Genre Paper(s)
Novels 1 Part I Section A, Part II & 2 Section A (text analysis)
Plays 1 Part I Section B, Part II & 2 Section A (text analysis)
Films 1 Part I Section C, Part II
Short stories 1 Part I Section D, Part II
Poetry 2 Section B (comparison of works by one or more poets)

Set texts (HKDSE 2024)

Novels: The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald OR Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier

Plays: The Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare OR Educating Rita, Willy Russell

Films: The Remains of the Day (1993) Dir: James Ivory OR Vertigo (1958) Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

Short stories:
Lorrie Moore: How to Become a Writer
Jhumpa Lahiri: A Temporary Matter
Tim O’Brien: The Things They Carried
James Thurber: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Anita Desai: Games at Twilight
Ray Bradbury: The Veldt
Roald Dahl: Parson’s Pleasure
Kate Chopin: The Story of an Hour

From The Rattle Bag ed. S. Heaney & T. Hughes, Faber and Faber
William Carlos Williams: ‘Flowers by the Sea’, ‘The Last Words of My English Grandmother’, ‘Raleigh Was Right’
William Blake: ‘The Chimney Sweeper’, ‘A Poison Tree’, ‘The Tyger’
Thomas Hardy: ‘Afterwards’, ‘Bags of Meat’, ‘Weathers’
E. E. Cummings: ‘Buffalo Bill’s’, ‘maggie and millie and mollie and may’, ‘nobody loses all the time’
Emily Dickinson: ‘Like Rain it sounded till it curved’, ‘There came a Wind like a Bugle’, ‘There’s a certain Slant of light’