UNEB UCE Literature Past Papers for Year 1994

UNEB UCE Literature Past Papers for Year 1994

Uganda National Examinations Board Past Questions


Sub – section (i)

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

Either 1. W. SOYINKA: The Lion and the Jewel

SIDI: a woman spoke to me this afternoon.

BAROKA: indeed. And does Sidi find this unusual

That a woman speaks with her in the afternoon?

SIDI: [stamping.] no. she had the message of a go – between.

BAROKA: did she? Then I rejoice with you.

[Sidi stands biting her lips. Baroka looks at her, this time with deliberate appreciation.]

And how I think of it, why not/

There must be many men who

Build their loft to fit your height.

SIDI: [unmoving, pointedly.] her message came from one

With many lofts.

BAROKA: ah! Such is the father

[Aside] which many would take him to be

[Makes a rude sign.]

Would he pay my dowry to this man

And give his blessings?

BAROKA: Well I must know his character.

For instance, is the man rich?

SIDI: Rumor has it so.

BAROKA: Is he repulsive?

SIDI: He is old. [Baroka winces]

BAROKA: Is he mean and miserly?

SIDI: To strangers no. there are tales

Of his open handedness, which are never

Quite without a motive. But his wives report

To take one little story

How he grew the taste for ground corn

And pepper because he would not pay

The price of snuff!

[With a sudden burst of angry, Baroka lifts his opponent and throws him over his shoulder.]

a) What has led to his conversation and where is it taking place?

b) What is the name of the woman Sidi is talking about? What was the message she carried?

c) Why does Baroka wince? Why at the end does he throw his opponent?

d) (i) Briefly explain what happens after this scene.

(ii) Of what significance is it to the rest of the play?

Or 2. CAPEK : The Insect Play

SIGNAL OFFICER. The enemy is overwhelmed they have evacuated a foot of the furze bush.

CHIEF ENGINEER. Victory is ours. [Falls on knees and

Removes his helmet] great god of ants, thou hast

Granted victory to thy servants. I appoint thee honorary

Colonel. [Jumps up] third division, forward, all

Reserves forward no prisoners. Forward! [Again on his

Knees] righteous god of strength, thou knowest that our

Holy cause [jumps up] after them, after them attack them hunt then down slaughter everybody.

The empire of the world is settled. [Kneels] god of the ants, in this significant hour. [Prays silently.]

TRAMP. [Bending over him softly] empire of the world!

You miserable ant, you call this bit of clay and

Grass the world? This dirty little patch of soil? If I was

To trample down all this ‘ere ant heap of yours and you

With it, dyer thinks these ‘ere trees above year would

Notice it? Not they!

a) Briefly explain what is happening where the passage occurs. What caused the war?

b) What human characters are represented in the passage?

c) What is the role of tramp in the play?

d) Briefly describe what happens after this passage.

Or 3. AMADI: The Concubine

‘There are few women like that in the world,’ Anyika continued. ‘it is death to marry them and they leave behind a harrowing string of dead husbands. They are usually beautiful, very beautiful but dogged by their invisible husbands of the spirit world. With some spirits marriage is possible if an expert on sorcery is consulted. With the sea king it is impossible. He is too powerful to be fettered and when he is on the offensive he is absolutely relentless. He unleashes all the powers at his command and they are fatal.’

‘Is there nothing we can do to make the marriage work?’


Beaten and quaking in every limb the unhappy parents went back home. Ekwueme was in his house, foundling ihuoma. When he saw his parents he came out beaming. A second look at his parents sobered him.

a) Why did Ekweume’s parents consult Anyika? Give another occasion in which they consulted him.

b) Who is the sea king and what is his relationship to ihuoma?

c) What is meant by ‘a harrowing string of dead husbands’?

d) Do you think Anyika is right when he says that nothing can do to make a marriage with ihuoma work?

Or 4. T. WANGUSA: Upon This Mountain

‘I didn’t see you enjoying yourself at Khalayi’s feast, Mwambu,’ kuloba remarked jovially.

‘Yes, I did,’ shyly returned Mwambu. ‘I ate and talked and looked on.’

‘Yes, you looked on,’ agreed kuloba teasingly. And then changing his tone, he said, ‘but let me talk to you about something more important, Mwambu.’

Mwambu tensed a little with apprehension as kuloba touched his arm and led him aside. Could he have found out about Buwayirira? Oh Jesus. He though.

‘Mwambu, ‘Kuloba started, ‘you know that you’re a good Christian.’

Ye – es, ‘Mwambu agreed hesitatingly, unsure if there was a tinge of mockery in Kuloba’s voice. ‘A Christian, yes,’ he corrected himself, ‘but no one is a good Christian.’

‘Oh yes!’ disagreed kuloba. ‘There are good and bad Christians. Good Christians do not do witchcraft, dance at night or run after women.’

Jesus, he knows! Thought Mwambu, his blood rushing to his skin.

‘Don’t look so put out, Mwambu,’ said kuloba with a smile.

‘I’m not saying anything bad, am i? as a matter of fact, there’s something I want to ask you because I know you’re a good Christian.’

‘What something?’

‘You go to holy communion by now, don’t you?’

‘Yes, I was confirmed at school last year.’

‘Good! Enthused Kuloba. ‘You see,’ ‘I want that little Buwayirira of ours to be baptized while still an infant.’

Of ours! Mwambu was strung by the insinuation.

‘That will be two weeks from today,’ continued kuloba.

a) State what happens just before and immediately after this passage.

b) ‘Jesus, he knows!’ what does Mwambu think kuloba knows?

c) Describe the relationship between kuloba and Mwambu as shown in this passage.

d) “I know you are a good Christian” from what is revealed in this passage and else where in the novel briefly say whether you agree with Kuloba’s opinion of Mwambu.

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

WOLE SOYINKA: The Lion and the Jewel

Either 5. Do you find the character of Lakunle admirable? Give reasons to support your answer.

Or 6. “Sidi is a victim of her own pride.” Support your answer with examples from the play.

CAPEK: The Insect Play

Either 7. Why did war break out? What do we learn from the deaths of most characters during the war?

Or 8. Referring to any two insects, say how they represent the behavior of people in your society.

A.AMADI: The Concubine

Either 9. Discuss the role played by Anyika in the story.

Or 10. Discuss the consequences of Madume’s greed in the novel.

T. WANGUSA: Upon This Mountain

Either 11. Religion hypocrisy is one of the themes Wangusa presents in Upon This Mountain. Describe how the author has developed this theme.

Or 12. “Mwambu is half a man!” discuss this statement with reference to Mwambu’s reaction to the circumcision ritual.


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

CHINUA ACHEBE: Things Fall Apart

Either 13. Discuss the reasons for Okonkwo’s fame in Umuofia. To what extent was okonkwo responsible for his own downfall?

Or 14. How appropriate is the title Things Fall Apart? Support your answer with examples from the novel.


Either 15. What do you find admirable about Kino as a character in The Pearl?

Or 16. Using any three characters for illustration, show how the people in The Pearl get their livelihood from the sea.

V.NAIPUL: Miguel Street

Either 17. “The characters in Miguel Street escape from the bitter realities of their lives by engaging in abnormal behavior”

Justify this statement with reference to Man Man and Laura.

Or 18. Referring to any three major characters in the novel, explain how they represent some people in society.

W. SHAKESPEARE: Romeo and Juliet

Either 19. Describe the incident in which Tybalt was killed. What were the consequences of that death?

Or 20. What roles are played by the clown and the nurse in the play Romeo and Juliet?

N. GOGOL: The Government Inspector

Either 21. Discuss the theme of corruption and lack of responsibility as shown in the play, The Government Inspector.

Or 22. “Hlestakor was simply a lucky man”. Do you agree with this statement? Give reasons.

J. KAIRIARA & E.KITONGA: Introduction to E. Africa Poetry

Either 23. Select one poem that you enjoyed from the book an introduction to east African poetry (excluding “extract from a letter to Leopold Sedar Senghor”) and use it to answer the following questions.

(i) What is the poem about? How are the main ideas shown?

(ii) What did you enjoy in the poem and why?

Or 24. “Extract from a letter to Leopold Sedar Senghor.”

Do not remind me of things that are gone

Nor of the spendour that was in yesteryears;

Do not sing of my mother’s laughters

Nor of the sensual songs resounding through their tears;

Do not dream of the ancestral hearth

Nor of the piety of communicating ancients;

Do not wake the dead from their wakeful slumber

In the earth,

Nor delve into the base of glories gone:

But look to the unmended rafters of our bondage being.

Let Shaka alone,

And let Sundiata be,

And Samori

And Sumanguru;

Do not utter their immortal names,

For their greatness my enslavements shames;

Do not proclaim your blackness,

For who shall hear your near white accents?

Sing not of the beauty of the sons of Ham,

For this much I know, none can my pride harm

But tell me how to do,

Tell me how to be

Tell me how to become,

Dance to us with your actions,

And sing to us with your actions

That, seeing, we may blend

The noumenal

With the phenomenal


a) (i) What are “the things that are gone”?

(ii)Why doesn’t the poet like to be reminded of them?

b) What is the meaning of the following:-

(i) “sensual songs resounding through their tears” (line 4)

(ii) “……..the sons of Ham”? (line 19)

c) Who are the “communing ancients” (line 6) and what is meant by “their wakeful slumber?” (line 7)

d) What do Shaka, Sundiata and Sumanguru have in common in this poem?

e) What feelings does the poem arouse in you and why?

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