UNEB UCE Literature Past Papers for Year 2006

UNEB UCE Literature Past Papers for Year 2006

Uganda National Examinations Board Past Questions


Sub – section (i)

Choose one of the passages 1 to 4, read it carefully and then answer the questions following it as concisely as possible.

Either 1. WOLE SOYINKA: Jero’s Metamorphosis

JERO: call my bluff then. And by the way, when battle is over and we have won our rights, I shall run you off this beach without lifting a finger.

ANANAIAS: you can’t do that to me. I’ve got as much right as you to be here.

JERO: not you.

ANANAIAS: you can’t do it. I’m a holy man same as you.

JERO: (contemptuously). Wrestling. Were you also wrestling in kiri – kiri prison?

ANANAIAS: (clamping his hand over JERO’s mouth in turn, and starting widely round).you’re the devil himself you are. How come you know that?

JERO: I know

ANANAIAS: (suddenly). What of it? So I did a bit of thieving before and got nabbed. But I’ve been straight ever since. Earned my living wrestling for pick ups clean and honest. And then I got the call. I’m reformed. What’s wrong with a reformed sinner?

JERO: reformed sinner? Hm. You didn’t by any chance thug for a certain businessman just this last week did you? A little trade war over the monopoly of the whisky retail trade. Whisky Ananaias, whisky!

ANANAIAS: (dignified). I beg your pardon, brother Jero. I never was no thug in all my life. Bodyguard, yes. Bodyguard I was, and whoever says that is not a respectable position, internationally recognized, I’d just like to meet him that’s all.

JERO: the police still have the finger prints of the man who set fire to the store of one of the trade rivals. Bottles of spirits exploding all night and injuring innocent people. And the dumb, gross, incompetent all – muscle and brain petty criminal left a hefty thumbprint on the kerosene tin and then threw the kerosene tin on a refuse heap near by. They also know that dirty great print matches the thumbprint of a certain ex-convict. The only thing they don’t know is he is hiding out after crimes of arson, unlawful wounding, attempted murder……..

ANANAIAS: (swallowing hard). Brother Jero………


a) What happens before this passage?

b) What does this passage show about the character of:

(i) Brother Jero,

(ii) Ananaias?

c) Why does Ananaias clamp his hand over Jero’s mouth and stare widely around?

d) Briefly describe what happens immediately after this passage.

Or 2. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: Romeo and Juliet

LADY CAPULET: ay sir, but she wills none, she gives you thanks.

I would the fool were married to her grave.

CAPULET: soft take me with you, take me with you, wife.

How will she none? Doth she not give us thanks?

Is she not proud? Doth she not count her blest?

Unworthy as she is, that we have wrought

So worthy a gentleman to be her bride?

JULIET: not proud you have, but thankful that you have.

Proud can I never be of what I hate,

But thankful even for hate that is meant love.

CAPULET: how, now, how, now, chop-logic. What is this?

‘Proud’, and ‘thank you’, and ‘I thank you not’,

And yet ‘not proud’? Mistress minion you,

Thank me no thankings nor proud me no prouds,

But fettle your fine joints ‘gainst Thursday next,

To go with Paris to saint peter’s church,

Or I will drag thee on a hurdle thither.

Out you green-sickness carrion, out you baggage,

You tallow – face!

LADY CAPULET: fie, fie! What, are you mad?

JULIET: good father, I beseech you on my knees,

Hear me with patience, but to speak a word.

CAPULET: hang thee young baggage, disobedient wretch!

I tell thee what, get thee to a church a Thursday,

Or never after look me in the face.

Speak not, reply not, do not answer me.

My fingers itch. Wife, we scarce thought us blest

That God had lent us but this only child;

But now I see this one is one too much,

And that we have a curse in having her.

Out on her, hiding!

NURSE: God in heaven bless her!

You are to blame, my lord, to rate her so.


a) What is the conflict in this passage?

b) Why is Capulet so annoyed with his own daughter?

c) What does Juliet mean when she says, “but thankful even for hate that is meant love”?

d) To whom does Juliet eventually turn for advice and what solution is she given?

Or 3. JOHN STEINBECK: the pearl

In his house Kino squatted on his sleeping mat, brooding. He had buried his pearl under a stone of the fire hole in his house, and he started at the woven tulles of his sleeping mat until the crossed design danced in his head. He had lost one world and had not gained another. And Kino was afraid. Never in his life had he been far from home. He was afraid of strangers and of strange places. He was terrified of that monster of strangeness they called the capital. It lay over the water and though the mountains, over a thousand miles, and every strange terrible mile were frightening. But Kino had lost his old world and he must clamber on to a new one. For his dream of the future was real and never to be destroyed and he had said “I will go,” and that made a real thing too. To determine to go and to say was to be halfway there.

Juana watched him while he buried his pearl, and she watched him while she cleaned Coyotito and nursed him, and Juana made the corncakes for supper.

Juana Tomas came in and squatted down beside Kino and remained silent for a long time, until at last Kino demanded, “What else could I do? They are cheats.”

Juana Tomas nodded gravely. He was the elder, and Kino looked to him for wisdom. “It is hard to know,” he said. “We do know that we are cheated from birth to the overcharge on our coffins. But we survive. You have defied not the pearl buyers, but the whole structure, the whole way of life, and I am afraid for you.”

“What have I to fear but starvation?” Kino asked.

But Juana Tomas shook his head slowly. “That we must all fear. But suppose you are correct- suppose you pearl is great value- do you think then the game is over?”

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t know,” said Juana Tomas, “but I am afraid for you. It is new ground you are walking on, you do not know the way.”

“I will go, I will go soon,” said Kino

“Yes,” Juana Tomas agreed. ” that you must do. But I wonder if you will find it any different in the capital. Here you have friends and me, your brother. There, you will have no one.”

“What can I do?” Kino cried.” Some deep outrage is here. My son must have a chance. That is what they are striking at. My friends will protect me.”

“Only so long as they are not in danger or discomfort from it,” said Juana Tomas. He arose, saying, ” go with God.”

And Kino said, “Go with God,” and did not even look up, for the words had a strange chill in them.


a) Which immediate events lead to this passage?

b) Identify any two themes that are shown in this passage.

c) Describe Kino’s feelings in the passage.

d) What happens immediately after this incident?


‘Why do you, a white man, talk to me like this?’

‘Because first, zuma, I am a man like you, and afterwards I am a white man.

I have seen the sickness of your mind. I work with you every day and I saw your sickness and I understood.’

Xuma turned his eyes to paddy and stared at him.

‘You say you understand, white man.’

Paddy nodded.

‘You say I must speak what is in my heart?’

Again paddy nodded.

Zuma looked away and was silent. Paddy waited. The moon was to the west. The stars could hardly be seen. And the black man and the white were like two men alone in the world. There was no other sign of life around them. In the opposite direction they could see the tall buildings against the sky and in the distance they could see the mine dumps towering against the sky and in the opposite direction they could see the tall buildings of Johannesburg. There was a hush in the cool morning air. It was as though the world held its breath.

‘you say you understand,’ Xuma said, ‘but how can you? You are a white man. You do not carry a pass. You do not know how it feels to be stopped by a police man in the street. You go where you like. You do not know how it feels when they say “get out! White people only.” Did your woman leave you because she is mad with wanting the same things the white man has? Did you know Leah? Did you love her? Do you know how it feels to see her go to jail for none months? Do you know Leah’s house? Did Leah take you in the middle of the night?” xuma’s voice rose. “Did Leah talk to you and laugh with you from the side of her mouth? You say you understand.

Did you feel these things like I do? How can you understand, white man! You understand with your head. I understand with pain. With the pain of my heart. That is understanding. The understanding of the heart and the pain of understanding, not just the head and lips. I feel things! You want me to be your friend. How can I be your friend when your people do this to me and my people?


a) What happens immediately before this passage?

b) Describe the character of the red one (paddy) as shown in the passage.

c) What is the cause of Xuma’s “sickness”?

d) What happens immediately after this passage?

Sub – section (ii)

Answer one question on one book only.

N.B if your answer in sub – section (i) was on a play, now select a novel; but if your answer in sub – section (i) was on a novel, you must now select a play.

WOLE SOYINKA: Jero’s Metamorphosis

Either 5. What are the major characteristics of the bar beach prophets as shown in the play, Jero’s Metamorphosis.

Or 6. Compare the character of brother Jero with that of Shadrach.


Either 7. What is the contribution of Friar Lawrence to the major events in Romeo and Juliet?

Or 8. “Romeo and Juliet die partly because of factors that are beyond their control”. Give reasons in support of this statement.


Either 9. “Kino had lost one world and had not gained another”. Which world does lose and which one doesn’t he gain?

Or 10. Why does Kino eventually decide to throw the pearl back into the sea?


Either 11. Explain the importance of Ma Plank in Mine Boy.

Or 12. Identify and explain the problems faced by the blacks in the novel, Mine Boy.


In this section you must answer three questions covering three books.


Either 13. What the contribution of the tramp to our understanding of the play?

Or 14. What human characteristics are shown through the Ants in The Insect Play?


Either 15. Describe the major events in black mamba and relate them to any community you know of in Uganda.

Or 16. What challenges does Odiambo face in fighting the “sweet plague”?

TIMOTHY WANGUSA: Upon This Mountain

Either 17. Discuss the relationship between Mwambu and Nambozo.

Or 18. Explain the challenges that the author reveals about the cultural practice of circumcision. Illustrate your answer with examples from the novel.

ELECHI AMADI: The Great Ponds

Either 19. In what ways is Wago responsible for what befalls him in the novel, The Great Ponds?

Or 20. What were the consequences of Chiolu and Aliakoro’s fight over The Great Ponds?


Either 21. Show how Ngotho’s family is affected by the white man’s government.

Or 22. Why did the Africans ‘weep’ in Weep Not Child?

J.KARIARA AND E. KITONGA: An introduction to east African poetry

Read the poem below and answer the questions following it.

Either 23. They Ran Out of Mud

There is a little hut

Built across from here;

They’ve mudded two walls

And the rest stands unmade………..

For they ran out of mud.

There is a deep gully

Running along the road;

They have filled it halfway

And the rest is still gaping………

For they ran out of mud.

Mud! Mud!

Who can find mud?

May be if it were gold

Someone would.



a) What is the poem about?

b) Why were those things left unfinished?

c) What are the speakers’ feelings towards the way ‘they’ behaved?

d) Describe any three tasks in your locality that remained unfinished for no convincing reasons.

Or 24: select a poem from An Introduction to East African Poetry, on the theme of ‘outreach’ and answer the questions that follow:

a) State the title of poem and the name of the poet.

b) What does the poem say outreach?

c) Give reasons why you would agree or disagree with the views expressed in the poem you have chosen.

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