UNEB UCE Literature Past Papers for Year 1996

UNEB UCE Literature Past Papers for Year 1996

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

SANDIKU: What on earth has got into her?

LAKUNLE: I wish I knew

She took off suddenly

Like a hunted buck.

[Looks off – stage.]

I think – yes, she is,

She is going home.

Sadiku, will you go?

Find out if you can

What she plans to do.

[Sadiku nods and goes. Lakunle walks up and down.]

And now I know I am the biggest fool

That ever walked this earth.

There are women to be found

In every town or village in these parts,

And every one a virgin.

But I obey my books.

[Distant music. Light drums, flutes, box guitars, ‘sekere’]

‘Man takes the fallen woman by the hand’

And ever after they live happily.

Moreover, I will admit,

It solves the problem of her bride price too.

A man must live or fall by his true

Principles. That, I had sworn,

[Enter Sadiku.]

SADIKU: She is packing her things is gathering her clothes and trinkets together, and oiling herself as a bride does before her wedding.

LAKUNLE: Heaven helps us! I am not impatient.

Surely she can wait a day or two at least.

There is the asking to be done,

And then I have to hire a praise – singer,

And such a number of ceremonies

Must firstly be performed.

SADIKU: Just what I said but she only laughed at me and called

Me a….a…. what was it now…a bra… braba….

Brabararian. It serves you right. It all comes of your

Teaching. I said what about the asking and the other

Ceremonies. And she looked at me and said, leave all that

Nonsense savages and brebararians.

  1. a) What has just happened before this scene?
  2. b) Why does Sidi laugh at Sadiku when she talks about the ceremonies to be performed?
  3. c) ‘A man must live or fall by his true principles’ explain what Lakunle means by this statement.
  4. d) From what is revealed in the passage and elsewhere in play why does Sidi choose Baroka and not Lakunle?

Or 2. B. Shaw: Androcles and the Lion

ANDROCLES: Oh bad wicked Tommy, to chase the Emperor like that!

Let go the emperor’s robe at once, sir: where’s your manners? (THE LION growls and worries the robe.) Don’t pull it away from him, your worship. He’s only playing. Now. I shall be really be really angry with you, Tommy, if you don’t let go. (THE LION growls again.) I’ll tell you what it is, sir: he thinks you and I are not friends.

THE EMPEROR (trying to undo the clasp of his brooch): friends! You infernal scoundrel (THE LION growls) don’t let him go. Curse this brooch! I can’t get it loose.

ANDROCLES: We mustn’t let him lash himself into a rage. You must show him that you are my particular friend – if you will have the condescension. (He seizes THE EMPEROR’S hands and shakes them cordially.) Look, Tommy: the nice emperor is the dearest friend Andy Wandy has in the whole world: he loves him like a brother.

THE EMPEROR: You little brute, you damned filthy little dog of a Greek tailor. I’ll have you burnt alive for daring to touch the divine person of the emperor. (THE LION growls.)

ANDROCLES: Oh don’t talk like that, sir. He understands every word you say: all animals do: they take it from the tone of your voice. (THE LION growls and lashes his tail.) I think he’s going to spring at your worship. If you wouldn’t mind saying something affectionate. (THE LION roars.)

THE EMPEROR: (shaking ANDROCLES’ hand frantically): my dearest Mr. Androcles, my sweetest friend, my long lost brother, come to my arms. (He embraces ANDROCLES.) Oh, what an abominable smell of garlic!

THE LION lets go the robe and rolls over on his back, clasping his forepaws over one another coquettishly above his nose.

ANDROCLES: There you see, your worship, a child might play with him now. See! (He tickles THE LION’S belly. THE LION’S wriggles ecstatically.) Come and pet him.

THE EMPEROR: I must conquer these unkingly terrors. Mind you don’t go away from him, though. (He pats THE LION’S chest.)

ANDROCLES: Oh, sir, how few men would have the courage to do that!

THE EMPEROR: Yes: it takes a bit of nerve. Let us have the court in and frighten them. Is he safe, do you think?

ANDROCLES: Quite safe now, sir.

THE EMPEROR (majestically): what ho, there! All who are within hearing return without fear. Caesar has tamed the lion. (All the fugitives steal cautiously in. THE MENAGERIE KEEPER comes from the passage with other keepers armed with iron bars and tridents.) Take those things away. I have subdued the beast. (He places his foot on it.)

  1. a) What happens just before and immediately after this passage?
  2. b) What do you learn about Androcles’ character from what is revealed in this passage?
  3. c) Describe the emperor’s reactions in this passage and say what they reveal about him.
  4. d) How do the events in this passage influence the ending of the play?

Or 3. E. Amadi: The Concubine.

No one quite knew where Anyika had come from. True he said he came from Eluanyim but that was nowhere as far as the villagers were concerned. But by now he had stayed so long in the village that people had ceased to bother about where he had come from. To the villagers he was just a medicine man and mediator between them and the spirit world. Towards evening, the medicine man came round to see emenike who was lying in one of his wife’s rooms. A glowing fire had been made at the foot end of his bamboo couch. He was shivering and constantly adjusted his legs to be as close to the fire as possible. His feet were grey with several hours’ deposit of ashes. He coughed pathetically.

Ihuoma sat on the couch, her husband’s head resting on her lap, Nnadi and the other relatives ranged themselves on one side of the room. Emenike’s children squatted on the floor, the oldest supporting his chin on his palm and peering anxiously into his father’s face. Anyika occupied the most central position. An oil lamp stood on a ledge on the wall. For some time there was a disturbing silence. The sound died in a hair rising diminuendo. The medicine man bowed his head. Nnadi exchanged glances with other members of the family. Clearly all was not well.

  1. a) What event happened before this passage?
  2. b) In the passage what shows you that “all is not well?”
  3. c) What is revealed about the relationship between emenike and the rest of his family in this passage?
  4. d) How does what happens to emenike affect the events that follow in the of the novel?

Or 4. T. Wangusa: Upon This Mountain

Mwambu walked away with a swollen, featherweight head, such as suddenly sprouts on a traveler’s shoulders when a beast jumps into his path in the dark. He walked away without knowing where he was going, was blown past the library, past the classrooms, where others were busy with revision, past the silent dining hall, past the laboratories, past the tennis courts, circled the gymnasium, retracted his steps towards the dormitories, and seeing a light in his own dormitory, went in, mumbled something about a headache to the boys on duty, and slumped into his bed.

His brain was reeling. Reeling. Reeling as if he had spun round on his foot too fast and suddenly gone dizzy. But was it his head, he wondered, or the world that was reeling? Surely it was the world reeling, as it used to do when he was little, when he looked at the mountains and valleys from between his legs. Ah, yes that old upside down feeling of mountains falling into valleys into and valleys falling onto mountains!

And where was god in all this daze? In the tree of god? Huddling with the bird which had hooted as he, Mwambu approached the chapel. He had become a fugitive, driven out his chief shrine by graves. By graves and Nambozo. Abdicated his throne, and left his regal robe behind for graves to soil with dirty naked feet.

But that graves. He must pay for it, he resolved. Must pay for it sooner than later.

  1. a) What events come just before and immediately after this passage?
  2. b) How has god been “driven out of his chief shrine” by rev. graves?
  3. c) Mwambu thinks rev. graves should” pay for this. Do you agree? Give reasons for your answer.
  4. d) What are the consequences of Mwambu’s chapel discovery?

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 Jewel

Either 5. Do you find the character of Baroka admirable? Support your answer with evidence from the play, The Lion and the Jewel.

Or 6. Briefly describe the mime scenes in The Lion and the Jewel, and show their contribution to the development of the play.

  1. B. SHAW: Androcles and the Lion

Either 7. Describe the relationship between Androcles and his wife, Megaera. Do you think Androcles gets fair treatment from Megaera? Give clear reasons to support your answer.

Or 8. Do you find the ending of Androcles and the lion a happy one or not? Support your answer with examples from the play.

  1. AMADI: The Concubine

Either 9. Anyika describes Ihuoma as a person who is “quite so right in everything almost perfect.” Referring closely to the novel The Concubine show how far true the description is.

Or 10. Referring to what happens in the novel, The Concubine; describe the role of the gods in peoples daily lives.

  1. WANGUSA: Upon This Mountain

Either 11. What are roles of informal and school education in society as presented by Wangusa in Upon This Mountain?

Or 12. Describe the problems that Wabwire experiences in Upon This Mountain. Do you sympathize with him? Give reasons for your answer.


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

  1. ACHEBE: Things Fall Apart

Either 13. Consider the relationship between Okonkwo and Ezinma, and explain why Okonkwo liked ezinma more than Nwoye.

Or 14. Using THREE incidents from the novel, Things Fall Apart, explain the importance of traditional ceremonies in the lives of the people of Umuofia.

  1. STEINBECK: The Pearl

Either 15. Referring closely to the novel, comment on the way the poor people are treated in the pearl.

Or 16. The Pearl is my misfortune and my life………” referring to what happens in the pearl, show how the pearl affects Kino’s life.

  1. ORWELL: Animal Farm

Either 17. Describe the character of squealer. How is his character suited to the role he plays in animal farm?

Or 18. List the seven commandments that were made by the animals at the beginning of the rebellion and describe how these commandments are broken one by one.

  1. SHAKEPEARE: Romeo and Juliet

Either 19. Describe Juliet’s character. How, does her character contribute to the development of events in Romeo and Juliet? Support you answer with examples form the play.

Or 20. The death of Romeo and Juliet is the work of fate. Do you agree? Support your answer with relevant examples.

  1. GOGOL: The Government Inspector

Either 21. If you were appointed the new mayor, what reforms would you carry out to improve the life in the town?

Or 22. What do you find interesting in the play, The Government Inspector? Refer closely to the play.

Either 23. Study the following poem and answer the questions following it.

The African beggar

Sprawled in the dust outside the Syrian store,

A target for small children, dogs and fles,

A heap of verminous rags and matted hair,

He watches us with cunning, reptile eyes,

His noseless, smallpoxed face creased in a sneer.

Sometimes he shows his yellow stimps of teeth

And whines for alms, perceiving that we bear

The curse of pity; a grotesque mask of death,

With hands like claws about his begging bowl.

But often he is lying all alone

Within the shadow of a crumbling wall,

Lost in the trackles jungle of his pain,

Clutching the pitiless red earth in vain

And whimpering like a stricken animal.

Raymond tong

  1. a) What is the poem about?
  2. b) Identify three images and show how they have been used in the poem.
  3. c) What feelins does the poet have towards the African beggar? Do you have the same feelings? Why or why not?
  4. d) What is the intention of the poet?

Or 24. Select one poem that you have enjoyed from rhymes and rhythms (excluding “the African beggar”) and use it to answer the following questions:-

  1. a) What is the title of the poem? What is the poem about?
  2. b) What was the poet’s aim? How well did he achieve his aim?

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