UNEB UCE Literature Past Papers for Year 1995

UNEB UCE Literature Past Papers for Year 1995

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: The Lion and the Jewel

FIRST GIRL: the bale is jealous, but he pretends to be proud of you. And when this man tells him how famous you are in the capital, he pretends to be pleased, saying how much honor and fame you have brought to the village.

SIDI: [with amazement.] Is not Baroka’s image in the book at all?

SECOND GIRL: [contemptuous.] Oh yes, it is. But it would have been much better for the Bale if the stranger had omitted him altogether. His image is in a little corner somewhere in the book, and even that corner he shares with one of the village latrines.

SIDI: Is that the truth? Swear! Ask Ogun to strike you dead.

GIRL: Ogun strike me dead if I lie.

SIDI: If that is true, then I am more esteemed

Than Bale Baroka,

The lion of Ilijunle.

This means that I am greater than

The fox of the undergrowth,

The living god among men…..

a) Briefly describe the events that lead to this scene.

b) Why is the Bale jealous?

c) Which qualities of Baroka do the following expressions reveal?

(i) “the lion of Ilijunle”

(ii) “the fox of the undergrowth”

(iii) The “devil among women”

d) What do you learn of sidi’s character in this passage? What happens to her later in the play as a result of her character?

Or 2. G. B. SHAW: Androcles and the Lion

MEGAERA: You’d much better have remained a drunkard.

I can forgive a man being addicted to drink: it’s only natural;

And I don’t deny I like a drop myself sometimes. What I can’t

Stand is your being addicted to Christianity. And what’s

Worse again, your being addicted to animals. How is any

Woman to keep her house clean when you bring in every

Stray cat and lost cur and lame duck in the whole country

Side? You took the bread out of my mouth to feed them:

You know you did: don’t attempt to deny it.

ANDROCLES: only when they were hungry and you were getting too stout, dearie.

MEGAERA: Yes: insult me, do. (Rising.) Oh! I won’t bear

It another moment. You used to sit and talk to house

Dumb brute beasts for hours, when you hadn’t a word for me.

ANDROCLES: They never answered back, darling. (He rises and again shoulders the bundle.)

MEGAERA: Well, if you’re fonder of animals than of your own

Wife, you can live with them here in the jungle. I’ve had

Enough of them and enough of you. I am going back. I’m going home.

ANDROCLES: (barring the way back): No, dearie: don’t take on like that. We can’t go back. We’ve sold everything: we should starve; and I should be sent to Rome and thrown to the lions.

MEGAERA: Serve you right! I wish the lions joy of you.

(Screaming.) Are you going to get out of my way and let me go home?

ANDROCLES: No, dear.

MEGAERA: Then I’ll make my way through the forest; and

When I’m eaten by wild beasts you’ll know what a wife

You’ve lost. (She dashes into the jungle and nearly falls over the sleeping lion.) Oh! Oh! Andy! Andy! (She totters back and collapses into the arms of ANDROCLES, who, crushed by her weight, falls on his bundle.)

ANDROCLES (extracting himself from beneath her and slapping her

Hands in great anxiety): what is it, my precious, my pet?

What’s the matter? (He raises her head. Speechless with terror,

She points in the direction of the sleeping lion. He steals cautiously

To wards the spot indicated by MEGAERA. She rises with an effort and totters after him.)

MAGAERA: No, Andy: you’ll be killed. Come back.

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

b) What do you learn about the characters of Androcles and megaera from this passage?

c) Referring closely to the passage say whether Androcles’ and Magaera’s marriage is a happy one.

d) What is the significance of Androcles’ encounter with the lion in this passage to the rest of the play?

Or 3. AMADI: The Concubine

‘Ihuoma, what is it? Please tell me,’ she pleased.

‘It is that wicked fellow, madume,’ she managed to say between sobs.

‘Who?’ Nnadi roared.


‘Did he touch you?’

‘He as good as did it.’

‘Where is he?’

‘He is over there, near those plantains.’

Nnadi raced towards the spot. Other men followed Ekwueme among them. They reached the scene. Ihuoma’s basket was there, the plantain lying close to it. The drooping plantain leaves stirred gently in the morning breeze. Madume had moved farther on examining other plantain trees with affected unconcern. In a moment Nnadi was beside him.

‘You big eyed fool, how dare you touch ihuoma?’

‘If you don’t get away fast, you mouth will reject meals today.

Why don’t you find out the facts before…..’ but Nnadi was already on him. The two men closed in, their muscles taking the strain. They heaved and tugged, each wondering what was the best throw to employ in that particular position. But the neighbors moved in and separated them.

‘If you think you can chase me out of my land, you are mistaken,’ madume gasped.

‘Is this your land, you rogue?’ Nnadi fumed.

‘You hear that neighbors? He’s called me a rogue.’

‘I repeat you are a rogue, I would rather die than see you harvest plantains on this piece of land.’

‘Just watch, I am going to cut down a head of plantain right now.’ With that madume moved towards a tree with heavy ripe fruits. Nnadi struggled towards him but the neighbors held him fast.

a) What has just happened between madume and ihuoma?

b) What is meant by the expressions:

(i) ‘He as good as did it.’

(ii) ‘big eyed’

c) What do you learn of Madume’s character from this passage?

d) (i) What consequences does madume face as a result of this encounter?

(ii)How is Madume’s misfortune explained by Anyika and the villagers?

(iii) Give your own explanation of Madume’s misfortune.

Or 4. T. WANGUSA: Upon This Mountain

And Kangala, the cause and object of the joy, felt the highest exultation. The most sublime relief in this world of pain. He made three final leaps in the air. One! Tow! Three! Never more.

Then everybody came forward to him homage and felicitations.

‘Congratulations, Kangala, my son.’

‘Yes, father.’

‘Congratulations, my brave son.’

‘Yes. Mother.’

‘Congratulations, Kangala. You have well finished the debt you owe to the mountain.’

‘Yes. Thank you, uncle.’


‘Yes, sister……yes, aunt…yes, brother….’

‘With this one shilling …..With this small nothing from me with this hen…’

‘Thank you, brother…..thank you, sister….thank you, aunt….’

Mwambu elbowed his way forward to offer his compliments as soon as he could and then ran off to Wabwire’s home.

‘Congratulations, my dear friend! He said. I don’t have good enough words to say how splendidly you stood, and how I felt. Take this envelope as a small token from me….’

‘Many, many thanks, Mwambu. Well, it’s your turn next. And I’ll stand by you as much as you’ve stood by me!’

His grandmother, his mother’s mother, came dragging a live she goat by the rope.

‘You’ve done it, my husband!’ she said adoringly.

a) What has just happened to cause this exultation and joy?

b) What debt did Kangala owe to the mountain and why is everybody congratulating him and giving him gifts?

c) What do we learn of Kangala’s character from this passage?

d) Give examples of two other people who undergo this ceremony and describe the hardships they endured.

Sub – section (ii)

Answer one question on one book

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

WOLE SOYINKA: The Lion and the Jewel

Either 5. Baroka is a very cunning character who always gets what he wants. Do you agree? Give reasons for your answer.

Or 6. With relevant examples from the play, The Lion and the Jewel, show whether Soyinka prefers traditional or western values.

G. B. SHAW: Androcles and the Lion

Either 7. Comment on the religious stand of each of the following characters and say whether he (the character) gains his intentions at the end of the play:

a) Androcles

b) Ferrovius

c) Spintho.

Or 8. With illustrations from the play, show how Shaw makes the play, “androcles and the lion,” amusing to the audience.

A. AMADI: The Concubine

Either 9. Explain the circumstances that brought about the break up of the marriage between Ekwueme and Ahurole. Of the two whom do you sympathize with and why?

Or 10. Describe the following three incidents and say how the people of Omokachi interpreted them. What is your own interpretation of these incidents?

(i) Emenike’s death.

(ii) Madume’s loss of a toe nail in Ihuoma’s compound.

(iii) The shooting of the Ekwueme by Ihuoma’s son.

T. WANGUSA: Upon This Mountain

Either 11. With clear examples from the novel, Upon This Mountain, explain why circumcision is important in Mwambu’s community.

Or 12. Describe the incident that leads to the quarrel between wopata and masaba. What does this conflict contribute to the development of the novel as a whole?


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

CHINUA ACHEBE: Things Fall Apart

Either 13. Referring to what Obierika says and does in Things Falls Apart explain how he helps you understand and judge the Umuofian society.

Or 14. “The European intrusion is to blame for the collapse of the traditional Ibo society.” Do you agree with this statement? Give reasons for your view.


Either 15. What were the reactions of any three characters listed below to the findings of the pearl?

a) The priest.

b) The doctor.

c) The beggars.

d) The neighbors.

e) The pearl buyers.

Or 16. What role does Juan Tomas play in the novel The Pearl?

G. ORWELL: Animal Farm

Either 17. Describe the character of old major in animal farm. Why do you think he is important in the novel?

Or 18. “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from man to pig again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” Referring to events in Animal Farm, explain the meaning of the above quotation.

W. SHAKESPEARE: Romeo and Juliet

Either 19. What are the forces that work against Romeo and Juliet’s love and marriage? To what extent do they succeed in overcoming them?

Or 20. Discuss the roles played by any two of the following characters in the development of the play, Romeo and Juliet.

– The nurse

– Mercutio

– Balthazar

N. GOGOL: The Government Inspector

Either 21. Comment on the relationship between Marya and her mother. Do you think both of them deserve to be disappointed by Hlestakov?

Or 22. Describe one of the following scenes in detail:

a) The major’s first meeting with Hlestakov;

b) Hlestakov hearing people’s complaints about the town officials.

c) Hlestakov wooing the mayor’s wife and daughter.

D. WOOLGER &K. OGUNGBESAN: Rhymes and Rhythms

Either 23. (i) Select any one poem you have studied from Rhymes and Rhythms by Woolger and k. Ogungbesan excluding “grandpa”

a) What was its title and who wrote it?

b) What was the poem about?

c) Say whether you found it enjoyable and why.

Or 24. Study the following poem and answer the questions following it:


They say they are healthier than me

Though they can’t walk to the end of a mile;

At their age I walked forty at night

To wage a battle at dawn.

They think they are healthier than me:

If their socks get wet they catch a cold;

When my sockless feet got wet, I never sneezed,

But they still think they are healthier than me.

On a soft mattress over a spring bed,

They still have to take a sleeping pill:

But I, with reeds cutting into my ribs,

My head resting on a piece of wood,

I sleep like a babe and snore.

They blow their noses and pocket the stuff

That’s hygienic so they tell me:

I blow my nose into the fire,

But they say that is barbaric.

If a dear one dies I weep without shame;

If someone jokes I laugh with all my heart.

They stifle a tear as if to cry was something wrong

But they also stifle a laugh,

As if to laugh was something wrong too,

No wonder they need psychiatrists!

They think they have more power of will than me.

Our women were scarcely covered in days of yore,

But adultery was a thing unknown:

Today they go wild on seeing a slip on a hunger!

When I have more than one wife

They tell me that hell is my destination,

But when they have one and countless mistress,

They pride themselves on cheating the world!

No, let them to be honest with themselves first

Before they persuade me to change my ways,

Says my grandfather, the proud old man.

Paul Chidyausiku

a) Whom does the grandfather in the poem refer to as “they”?

b) What is the grandfather’s attitude towards the way “they” live?

c) Explain the meaning of the following expressions as they occur in the poem:

(i) “Though they can’t walk to the end of a mile” (line 2)

(ii) “The stuff” (line 14)

(iii) “Power of will” (line 24)

(iv) “Days of yore” (line 25).

d) Whose way of life would you prefer, the grandfather’s or “theirs” and why?

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