UNEB UCE Literature Past Papers for Year 1999

UNEB UCE Literature Past Papers for Year 1999

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. JOHN RUGANDA: The Burdens

WAMALA: (tenderly) does it hurt? Let me look at it.

TINKA: Leave me alone.

WAMALA: Come on, old girl. Let me look at your elbow.

TINKA: Leave me alone, I said.

WAMALA: (looking at her elbow in spite of her protestation, gets alarmed) it’s swelling.

TINKA: Go away, leave me alone.

WAMALA: I’ll give it a rub.

TINKA: I can do it myself.

WAMALA: (pleading) just a little rub and you’ll be all right.

TINKA: Must it always be battles?

WAMALA: (notices blood) you’re bleeding.

TINKA: I’m not a stone.

WAMALA: You actually are bleeding like hell.

TINKA: What is that to you?

WAMALA: You see it was your fault. Just wanted a little drink with my own cash.

TINKA: You’ll pay for this, dearly.

WAMALA: You provoked me. Shouldn’t have me like that. A man always wants a little bit of respect. Just a little bit, you know. To make him feel he is the boss in his own house, not a door mat for every bastard to wipe his shoes on. You shouldn’t tread on a man like that, poverty or no poverty. The blood is flowing fast. I’ll get a bandage and dress your elbow.

a) What has just happened leading to this scene?

b) What is revealed about Wamala’s character in this passage?

c) What are Tinka’s feelings towards Wamala in this passage?

d) “You’ll pay for this, dearly’. How does Wamala pay dearly later in the play?

Or 2. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: The Taming Of the Shrew

PETRUCHIO: Gentlemen and friends, I thank you for your pains.

I know you think to dine with me today

And have prepared great store of wedding cheer,

But so it is, my haste doth call me hence,

And therefore here I mean to take my leave.

BAPTISTA: Isn’t possible you will away tonight?

PETRUCHIO: I must away today before night come,

Make it no wonder. If you knew my business,

You would entreat me rather go than stay.

And, honest company, I thank you all

That have beheld me give away myself

To this most patient, sweet and virtuous wife.

Dine with my father; drink a health to me,

For I must hence, and farewell to you all.

TRANIO: let us entreat you stay till after dinner.

PETRUCHIO: It may not be,

GREMIO: let me entreat you.

PETRUCHIO: It cannot be.

KATHERINA: let me entreat you.

PETRUCHIO: I am content.

KATHERINA: Are you content to say?

PETRUCHIO: I am content you shall entreat me stay, but yet not stay, entreat me how you can.

KATHERINA: Now if you love me stay.

PETRUCHIO: Grumio, my horse.

GRUMIO: Ay, sir they be ready – the oats have eaten the horses.

a) What happens just before this scene?

b) What aspects of Katharina’s character are being tamed?

c) Is Petruchio fair in treating Katherina the way he does in this passage?

d) Site two other moments when Petruchio tries to tame Katherina.

Or 3. NGUGI WA THIONG’O: The River Between

Four o’clock. And she had not yet appeared. The school was almost deserted Waiyaki had given the children permission to go home earlier than usual because they had been working the whole day mudding the building. The gaping holes were no longer there. The walls looked newly built and the hut was quite respectable except for the roof. However, he thought he would speak about the roof when the parents met. The gathering might be a large one, for it would be attended by people from the other ridges. Marioshoni had established itself as the centre of the new spirit sweeping through the ridges. And Waiyaki, though young, was considered the unofficial leader of the education movement that would inevitably awaken the ridges. The day for the meeting had already been fixed.

Waiyaki waited. He became restless. Perhaps she would not come. He felt hurt and did not know what to do. All the day long, he had thought of nothing but their meeting. Whenever he heard footfalls, he had thought that it was she. And when ever he saw a head appearing, his heart beat with expectancy. His soul and senses were taut and tense.

She did not come. And he could not wait any more. He was angry and felt disappointed. For the first time he thought that she might be the conceited girl Kamau had painted her in their talks. He had then not believed it but now he knew it was true. What a proud woman! Was it because her father Joshua – or could it be – ? Why had he not thought of it? She might have feared her father would discover her. For a time he strongly felt the gap between them. It was as big as the one dividing Kameno and Makuyu.

a) What happens before that makes Waiyaki so restless?

b) Do you approve of the friendship between Waiyaki and nyambura?

c) Briefly describe the circumstances that lead to the setting up of Marioshoni School.

d) What kind of gap divided Kameno and Makuyu?

Or 4. ALAN PATON: Cry, the Beloved Country

At last Jarvis found a place where the ran did not fall too badly, and Kumalo found himself a place also and they sat there together in silence. But outside it was not silent, with the cracking of the thunder, and the deafening downpour on the roof.

It was a long time that they sat there and it was not until they heard the rushing of the streams, of dead rivers come to life, that they knew that the storm was abating. Indeed the thunder sounded farther away and there was a dull light in the church, and the rain made less noise on the roof.

It was nearly over when Jarvis rose and came and stood in the aisle near Kumalo. Without looking at the old man he said, is there mercy?

Kumalo took the letter from his wallet with trembling hands; his hands trembled partly because of the sorrow, and partly because he was always so with this man. Jarvis took the letter and held it away from him so that the dull light fell on it. Then he put it back again in the envelope, and returned it to Kumalo.

– I do not understand these matters, he said, but otherwise I understand completely.

– I hear you, Umnumzana.

Jarvis was silent for a while, looking towards the altar and the cross on the altar.

– When it comes to this fifteenth day, he said, I shall remember. Stay well, Umfundisi.

But Kumalo did not say go well. He did not offer to carry the saddle and the bridle, nor did he think to thank Jarvis for the milk. And least of all did he think to ask was still raining, but lightly and the valley was full of sound, of streams and rivers, all red with the blood of the earth.

a) Place the context of the passage.

b) What is the content of the letter that Kumalo takes?

c) Why does Jarvis say he shall remember when it comes to the fifteenth day?

d) Comment on the relationship between Jarvis and Stephen Kumalo in this passage. What lesson does the author teach us through their relationship as revealed in the passage?

Sub – section (ii)

Answer one question on one book.

N.B if your answer in sub -s 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.


Either 5. What happens in Wamala’s family that is common in Uganda today?

Or 6. Identify and explain the burdens that the following characters experience:

i) Wamala,

ii) Tinka,

iii) Kaija.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: The Taming Of the Shrew

Either7. Describe the process of taming Katherina in the play the taming of the shrew.

Or 8. Compare and contrast the characters of Katherina and Bianca in the play the taming of the shrew.

NGUGI WA THIONG’O: The River Between

Either 9. How effectively do Waiyaki and nyambura represent the rivalry in the ridges?

Or 10. ‘In fact Joshua had emerged from his trial much strengthened in faith.’ Mention what the trial was and how he manages to handle it.

ALAN PTON: Cry, the Beloved Country

Either 11. How do the following people help rev. Kumalo in his search for his son?

i) Mrs. Lithebe,

ii) Father Vincent,

iii) Rev. Msimangu.

Or 12. Explain how the death of Arthur Jarvis affects Mr. James Jarvis’ attitude towards “the native question” in south Africa.


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

MEJA MWANGI: Carcase for Hounds

Either 13. With close reference to the novel, The Carcase for Hounds, how Africans suffer under the colonialists.

Or 14. Briefly describe the ending of Carcase for Hounds. How does it affect you as a reader?


Either 15. Drawing examples from the novel, examine the relationship between bigger and his ma.

Or 16. Why do bigger and his friends show no commitment to their own people’s culture and religion?

FRANCIS IMBUGA: Betrayal in the City

Either 17. By referring to specific incidents in the play, show how the state of kafira has no respect for human life.

Or 18. What does the meeting in preparation for the visiting head of state reveal about boss’s regime?

EFUA SUTHERLAND: The Marriage of Anansewa

Either 19. How does the story teller help us to understand the play, The Marriage of Anansewa?

Or 20. How is Anansewa shown as simple and humble?

WOLE SOYINKA: The Lion and the Jewel

Either 21. In what way is Sidi a typical village girl in The Lion and the Jewel?

Or 22. Referring closely to the text, show whether Sadiku is an admirable character or not.

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

I, too, sing America

I, too sing America

I am the darker brother.

They send me to eat in the kitchen

When company comes,

But I laugh,

And eat well,

And grow strong.


I’ll sit at the table

When company comes.

Nobody will dare

Say to me,

‘eat in the kitchen’,



They’ll see how beautiful I am

And be ashamed

I, too, am America.

Langston Hughes (U.S.A)

a) Who is the speaker and whom is he talking to?

b) What is the importance of the kitchen?

c) What feelings does this poem arouse in you toward the situation of the speaker?

Or 24. Select one poem on freedom that you enjoyed a lot from “growing up with poetry” edited by David Rubadiri’s (excluding I, too, sing America) and use it to answer the following questions:

a) What does the poet say about freedom?

b) In what ways does his view of freedom agree or disagree with yours?

c) How far do you enjoy the poet’s sense of freedom in your own locality home or school?

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