UNEB UCE Literature Past Papers for Year 1991

UNEB UCE Literature Past Papers for Year 1991

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. THE BROTHERS CAPEK: The Insect Play

MRS. CRICKET. Oh no, all I want is to have my own

Little home, my nest, a little house of my very

Own. And curtains, and children, and my cricket.

That’s all.

MRS. BEETLE. How can you live without a pile?

MRS. CRICKET. What should I do with it?

MRS. BEETLE. Roll it about with you everywhere.

There’s nothing like pile for holding a man.

MRS. CRICKET. Oh no, a little house.

MRS. BEETLE. A pile, I tell you.

MRS. CRICKET. A little house.

MRS. BEETLE. Pretty innocent! I’d like to stay

With you, but I must be going.

MRS. CRICKET. And I wanted to hear all about your


MRS. BEETLE. I don’t want to brother over no children.

My pile, that’s all I want, my pile! [Exit]

MRS. CRICKET. Oh, what an old frump! I don’t wonder

Her husband’s run away from her. [Sings a snatch of the song]

I’ve such a queer feeling. Snip! Snap! That’s what he did to him snip!

  1. a) Briefly state what the argument between Mrs. Beetle and Mrs. Cricket is about in this scene.
  2. b) Why are Mr. Beetle and Mr. Cricket not with their wives at this point in the play?
  3. c) In what ways are Mrs. Beetle and Mrs. Cricket similar to man in their ideas?
  4. d) Describe the fate of Mr. and Mrs. Cricket later on in the play. What are your feelings about this?

Or 2. WOLE SOYINKA: The Trial of Brother Jero

AMOPE: Kill me. You’ll have to kill me. Everybody come and bear witness.

He’s going to kill me so come and bear witness. I forgive everyone who

Has ever done me evil. If forgive all my debtors especially the prophet who

Has got me into all this trouble. Prophet jeroboam, I hope you will pray

For my soul in heaven …..

CHUME: You have no soul, wicked woman.

AMOPE: Brother Jeroboam, curse this man for me. You may keep the velvet

Cape if you curse this foolish man. I forgive your debt. Go on, foolish man,

Kill me. If you don’t kill me you won’t do well in life.

CHUME: [suddenly.] shut up!

AMOPE: [warning up as more people arrive.] bear witness all of you,

Tell the prophet I forgive him his debt but must curse this foolish

Man to hell. Go on, kill me!

CHUME: [who has turned away, forehead knotted in confusion.] can’t

You shut up, woman.

AMOPE: No, you must kill me ….

  1. a) What important things happen earlier, leading to his scene?
  2. b) Why do you think both Amope and Chume deserve to be called foolish at this point in the play?
  3. c) How and why does Chume fail to achieve his aim in this scene?
  4. d) Briefly explain how the incident in this scene affects Chume’s relationship with his wife, Amope, here and in the rest of the play.

Or. 3. CHINUA ACHEBE: No Longer At Ease

‘I’ m sorry, Mr. Mark, but I really don’t understand what you are driving at.’ He said this in English, much to Mr. Mark’s consternation. Miss Tomlinson pricked up her ears like a dog that is not quite sure whether someone has mentioned bones.

‘I’ m sorry – err – Mr. Okonkwo. But don’t get me wrong. I know this is the wrong place to – err ….’

‘I don’t think there is any point in continuing this discussion,’ obi said again in English. ‘If you don’t mind, I’m rather busy.’ He rose to his feet. Mr. Mark also rose, muttered a few apologies and made for the door.

  1. a) When and where does this conversation take place? What is happening here?
  2. b) (i) Briefly describe the feelings of obi okonkwo, Mr. Mark and miss Tomlinson on this occasion.

(ii)What is your own reaction to the attitudes of these three people?

  1. c) Mention two other occasions in the novel when obi faces a similar situation, and say how he deals with each of them.
  2. d) Compare briefly Mr. Green’s and obi’s attitudes to Africans such as Mr. Mark.

Or 4. CAMARA LAYE: The African Child

Not for a single instant do I doubt the presence of the monster. Who could assemble such a numerous herd, hold such a nocturnal revel, if not Konden Diara? ‘He alone’, I said to myself, ‘he alone has such power over lions …. Keep away, Konden Diara! Keep away! Go back into the bush! ….’ But Konden Diara went on with his revels and sometimes it seemed to me that he roared right over my own head, right in my ears even. ‘Keep away, I implore thee, Konden Diara!’

What was it my father has said? Konden Diara roars; but he won’t do more than roar; he will not take you away ….’ Yes, something likes that. But is it true, really true? There is also a rumor that Konden Diara sometimes pounces with fearsome claws on someone or other and carries him far away, far, far away into the depths of the bush.

  1. a) Briefly state the significance of the ceremony of Konden Diara.
  2. b) Briefly describe the feelings of Laye and his parents towards this event.
  3. c) (i) What mysteries surround the ceremony of Konden Diara according to Camara Laye?

(ii) What truth does he learn about these mysteries later?

  1. d) (i) Compare briefly Laye’s experience with the school bullies with his experience during the ceremony of Konden Diara.

(ii)What lessons does he learn from these two experiences?

Sub – section (ii)

Answer one question on one book.

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


Either 5. Choose two of the following characters and explain with reasons why you consider them to be very dangerous characters:

Ichneumon fly


Chief engineer

Or 6. Just before he dies the tramp says, ‘I’ve learned how to live.’ What has he learnt about how to live? Refer to play, the insect play.

WOLE SOYINKA: The Trials of Brother Jero

Either 7. Show how brother jero’s position as prophet becomes increasingly threatened in the course of the play. How does he overcome these threats as they appear?

Or 8. Why are people at the bar beach in Lagos easily converted to brother jero’s brand of religion?

CHINUA ACHEBE: No Longer At Ease

Either 9. Outline the causes of the quarrel between obi and Umuofian progressive union. What are feelings about each of the two parties? Give reasons for your answer.

Or 10. Why do you think obi okonkwo took the £20 bribe?

CAMARA LAYE: The African Child

Either 11. What problem does Laye face in the course of this education, and how do they affect him?

Or 12. What differences are there between life in Koroussa and life in Tindican? Which of the two places would you prefer to live in? Give reasons for you choice.


In this section you must answer three questions covering three books

  1. GOLDING: Lord of the Flies

Either 13. Which good qualities in the following four characters could have been used to keep the boys happy on the island?





Or 14. Show how the boys change from civilized people into primitive, savage ones.

  1. S. NAIPAUL: Miguel Street

Either 15. What surprises or amuses you about the following characters in Miguel Street?




Or 16. In what ways do people in Miguel Street earn their living?

  1. SHAKESPEARE: Julius Caesar

Either 17. Examine either Brutus’ or Antony’s speech at Caesar’s funeral, and say how the speech you have chosen appeals to you.

Or 18. What signs does Shakespeare use to prepare us for the coming danger of the death of Julius Caesar? Is this preparation good or bad? Why do you think so?

  1. IMBUGA: Betrayal in the City

Either 19. What are the reactions of any three of the following to the government of kafira? Do you find reactions justified? Give reasons for your answer.

(i) Mosese

(ii) Jusper

(iii) Jere

(iv) Tumbo

(v) Regina.

Or 20. Describe the scene you find most interesting in the play. Why do you find it so interesting?

OKOT P’BITEK: Song of Lawino and Song of Ocol.

Either 21. Why does Ocol prefer Clementine to Lawino? Do you agree with him? Give reasons for your answer.

Or 22. Comment on what you find interesting about Ocol p’Bitek’s language in song of Lawino and song of Ocol.

  1. KARIARA AND E. KITONGA: An Introduction to East African Poetry

Either 23. From this collection, choose one poem that has affected your feelings very much, and say what you find especially memorable in the poem. (Do not include ‘grass will grow’ in your answer).

Or 24. Grass will grow

If you should take my child lord

Give my hands strength to dig his grave

Cover him earth

Lord send a little rain

For grass will grow

If my house should burn down

So that the ashes sting the nostrils

Making the eyes weep

Then lord send a little rain

For grass will grow

But lord do not send me


I ask for tears

Do not send me moon hard madness

To lodge snug in my skull

I would you sent me hordes of horses



But do not break

The yolk of the moon on me.


  1. a) What does this poem show about the poet’s relationship with God ?
  2. b) What do you understand by ‘grass will grow”?
  3. c) (i) why would the poet want to ‘cover him with earth’ (line 3)

(ii)why does the poet ‘ask for tears’ (line 13) and ‘hordes of horses’ (line 16)?

  1. d) What do you understand by the following expressions:
  2. i) Give my hands strength … (line 2)
  3. ii) ….. the ashes sting the nostrils (line 7)

iii) …. Lodge snug in my skull (line 15)

  1. iv) …. Yolk of the moon ….. (line20)
  2. e) Why does the poet repeat some words and phrases in the poem?

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