UNEB UCE Literature Past Papers for Year 1997

UNEB UCE Literature Past Papers for Year 1997

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.

Either 1. WOLE SOYINKA: The Lion and the Jewel

SIDI: O – oh. You really mean to turn

The whole world upside down.

LAKUNLE: The world? Oh that. Well, may be, later.

Charity, they say, begins at home.

For now, it is this village I shall turn

Inside out, beginning with the crafty rogue,

Your past master of self – indulgence – Baroka.

SIDI: Are you still on about the bale?

What has he done to you?

LAKUNLE: He’ll find out. Soon enough. I’ll let him know.

SIDI: These thoughts of future wonders – do you buy them or merely go mad and dream of them?

LAKUNLE: A prophet has honor except

In his own home. Wise men have been called mad

Before me and after, many more shall be

So abused. But to answer you, the measure

Is not entirely of my own coinage.

What I boast is known in Lagos, that city

Of magic, in Badagry where Saro women bathe

In gold, even in smaller towns less than

Twelve miles from here……..

SIDI: Well go there. Go to these places where

Women would understand you

If you told them of your plans with which

You oppress me daily. Do you not know

What name they give here?

Have you lost shame completely that jeers pass you over.

LAKUNLE: No. I have told you no. shame belongs

Only to the ignorant.

SIDI: Well, I am going.

Shall I take the pail or not?

a) Mention three ways in which Lakunle has shown up to this point in the play that he wishes to turn village life in Ilijunle upside down.

b) “Lagos, that city of magic”. What is the immediate effect on Sidi when she had her photographs printed in the city magazine?

c) Compare briefly lakunle’s and sidi’s different ways of thinking about marriage as shown in this passage.

d) What argument did Lakunle use against bride price at the end of the play?

Or 2. B. SHAW: Androcles and the Lion

LENTULUS: (uneasily): Er – good evening. (He tries to move away.)

FERROVIUS: (gripping his shoulders): oh, do not harden your heart, young man. Come: try for yourself whether our way is not better than yours. I will now strike you on one cheek; and you will turn the other and learn how much better you will feel than if you gave way to the promptings of anger.

(He holds him with one hand and clenches the other fist)

LENTULUS: Centurion: I call on you to protect me.

CENTURION: You asked for it, sir. It’s no business of ours.

You’ve had two whacks at him. Better pay him a trifle and square it that way.

LENTULUS: Yes, of course. (To FERROVIUS) it was only a bit of fun, I assure you: I meant no harm. Here (He proffers a gold coin.)

FERROVIUS: (taking it and throwing it to the old beggar, who snatches it up eagerly, and hobbles off to spend it): Give all thou hast to the poor. Come, friend: courage! I may hurt your body for a moment; but your soul will rejoice in the victory of the spirit over the flesh. (He prepares to strike.)

ANDROCLES: Easy, ferrovius, easy: you broke the last man’s jaw.

LENTULUS: (with a moon of terror, attempts to fly; but ferrovius holds him ruthlessly.)

FERROVIUS: Yes but I saved his soul. What matters a broken jaw?

LENTULUS: Don’t touch me, do you hear? The law-

FERROVIUS: The law will throw me to the lions tomorrow;

What worse could it do were I to slay you? Pray for strength;

And it shall be given to you.

LENTULUS: Let me go. Your religion forbids you to strike me.

FERROVIUS: On the contrary: it commands me to strike you.

How can you turn the other cheek, if you are not first struck on the one cheek?

a) (i) What has just happened that leads to this episode?

(ii) What happens to Lentulus immediately after this passage?

b) Do you approve of ferrovius’ view of law and his Christian method of salvation? Why?

c) Refer to another occasion when ferrovius has dealt with another person in a similar way.

d) In what way is this scene humorous and also important in understanding what later happens to ferrovius?

Or 3. E. AMADI: The Concubine

“I didn’t say it was difficult.”

“Ekwe, now that this is over, can you help Nkechi carry home some palm fruits tomorrow? It is not…”

“You can be sure I won’t,” Ekweume snapped.

“If Nkechi can’t do it alone, you help her.”

“But you are free tomorrow, my son.”

“Do you mean I should never rest?”

“Ojukwo forbid! How can I ever say that?”

“Let me rest then.”

“But we need oil very badly.”

“I have promised to help tie up Ihuoma’s yams along with Wakiri and Nnadi.”

“But I didn’t know that.”

“You know now.”

“It is well, my son. Go and help ihuoma. She is a well -behaved young woman.”

Ekweume was secretly thrilled and excited. He went into his room light – hearted. He was not alone in admiring this woman. Everyone did so. Emenike her husband must have been an extremely happy man. He tried to recall Emenike’s disposition. Yes, he had always been happy, optimistic and pushful. But he himself has no hope of marrying her. No? Come now why not?

He was aroused from his reverie by the sound of a drum. He wondered whether singers were arriving from another village. He had not heard about that. He listened. A single drum beat a familiar sequence. That must be Mmam. What now? He got out of his room and saw Mmam the drummer carrying a drum with a new skin under his left arm.

a) What precedes the dialogue in this passage?

b) (i) What relationship exists between Ekweume and Ihuoma. How does this relationship affect his life later on in the story?

(ii) Which other character, not named in this passage, has a similar relationship with ihuoma and how is he affected?

c) What aspects of Ekweume’s character are shown in this passage?

d) Briefly describe the life of the people of Omokachi as shown in this passage.

Or 4. T. WANGUSA: Upon This Mountain

The following day was the end of the school year. The pupils hang about in small groups on the grass, anxiously conjecturing whether they had passed or failed their respective examinations. Concealed in the satchels of the toughs were stones and reed canes for what was known as ‘beating you fainolo.’ On the final day of a term it was common practice for some pupil to settle and to deal him an unsolicited blow in the face or give him a quick lash of the cane, and then quickly run home. Some of the pupils were taken unawares while the real thoughts never forgot to avail themselves of the pleasure of fainolo.

Around midday midday the bell rang for everybody to report to his class for the examination results and for the dismissal. In primary one, stream A, there were only two casualties: a boy called Khawanga and once again, wayero the terrible one! Khawanga burst out crying on hearing his name read ‘below the red line’ but wayero kept his countenance. Reports were given out and as soon as the class was dismissed wayero ran out ahead of everybody, firmly holding his sarchel under the armpit, and stopped by the corner of the classroom block. Excited pupils were tumbling out of the classrooms and converging and mingling on the grass, congratulating one another upon their passes. Then they started filing away homewards in various directions.

a) What happened the day before that made Mwambu so proud?

b) What does wayero do immediately after this passage that confirms his badness?

c) Do you as a reader approve of ‘fainolo’ or not? Why?

d) Outline Wayero’s characteristics. Why does he behave the way he does?

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. Show how sidi’s and lakunle’s views on marriage differ. How does Lakunle finally pay for not agreeing with Sidi?

Or 6. Name three things that Sadiku promises Sidi if she marries Baroka and three that Lakunle promises Sidi if she marries him. What do the promises suggest about what the two men stand for?

B. SHAW: Androcles and the lion

Either 7. Compare the characters of Androcles and his wife Megaera. What message about marriage does their relationship illustrate?

Or 8. In what ways is shown in the play “Androcles and the Lion” that Christianity and violence are incompatible?

E. AMADI: The Concubine

Either 9. How does ihuoma influence the lives of madume, emenike and ekweume in the novel?

Or 10. “Like the hunter who was never satisfied with antelopes, he might be obliged to carry an elephant home one day and collapse under the weight.” How does this statement apply to madume?

T. WANGUSA: Upon This Mountain

Either 11. Why according to wopata, kuloba and wayero, is Mwambu a half- man? Why do these three people hate Mwambu?

Or 12. Is Mwambu right in exposing Nambozo and graves? Give reasons for your answer.


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

CHINUA ACHEBE: Things Fall Apart

Either 13. “It is the relationship between the white missionaries and the natives of Umuofia that led to the falling apart of the Umuofia society.” Do you agree? Why?

Or 14. With close reference to the novel “things fall apart” give the causes of the conflict between the traditional religion and Christianity.


Either 15. Explain how Kino found the pearl and how it affected his ambitions in life.

Or 16. Having read The Pearl what lessons does Kino’s experience with the world teach you about human society?

G. ORWELL: Animal Farm

Either 17. “The creatures looked outside from pig to man and from man to pig; but already it was impossible to say which was which”. Giving specific examples say why pig and man had grown similar.

Or 18. Explain the circumstances that led to the animals’ rebellion on manor farm in the novel Animal Farm.

W. SHAKEPSEARE: Romeo and Juliet

Either 19. In the play, Romeo and Juliet, two love relationships are presented involving Rosalyn and Romeo, then Romeo and Juliet. Which love relationship do you find more convincing and genuine? Why?

Or 20. Describe the circumstances leading to the deaths of Tybalt and Mercutio. Whose death do you sympathize with more and why?

N.GOGOL: The Government Inspector

Either 21. In what ways is the mayor, Anton Antonovitch, portrayed as a corrupt person I the play The Government Inspector?

Or 22. Are you pleased with the way the story in The Government Inspector ends? Give reasons for your answer.

D. WOOLGER & K. OGUNGBESAN: Rhymes and Rhythms

Jamaican bus ride

Either 23. Read this poem and answer the questions following it.

The live fowl squatting on the grapefruit and bananas

In the basket of the copper coloured lady

Is gloomy but resigned

The four very large baskets on the floor

Are in everybody’s way,

As the conductor points out

Loudly, often, but in vain.

Two quadroon dandies are disputing

Who is standing on whose feet.

When we stop,

A boy vanishes through the door marked ENTRANCE;

But those entering through the door marked EXIT

Are greatly hindered by the fact that when we started

There were twenty standing

And another ten have somehow inserted themselves

Into invisible crannies

Between dark sweating body and body.

With an odor of petrol

Both excessive and alarming

We hurtle hell for leather

Between crimson bougainvillea blossom

And scarlet poinsettia

And miraculously do not run over

Three goats, seven hens and donkey

As we pray

That the driver has not fortified himself

At daisy’s drinking saloon

With more than four rums:

Or by the gods of Jamaica

This day is our last.


a) Explain the writer’s feelings towards the following:

(i) The cooper- coloured lady and her live fowl,

(ii) The two quadroon dandies,

(iii) The boy that vanishes through the door marked ENTRANCE and those entering through the door marked EXIT.

b) In your own words, say what is meant by the poet in the following:

(i) “both excessive and alarming” (line 19)

(ii) “has not fortified himself” (line 26)

(iii) “this day is our last” (line 30)

c) Point out two instances in the poem that make you laugh. Explain why.

d) Write a brief letter to the manager of Jamaican Bus Company telling him your feelings about this bus service and suggesting what should be done about it.

Or 24. Select a poem you have enjoyed reading from rhymes and rhythms (excluding “Jamaican bus ride”) and use it to answer the following questions.

a) What is the title of the poem? How does it suit the content of the poem?

b) What are your feelings after reading this poem? Why?

c) What does the poem teach you?

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