UNEB UCE Literature Past Papers for Year 2000

UNEB UCE Literature Past Papers for Year 2000

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

TINKA: He won’t do it again, son. (Gathering up saucepans, etc)

KAIJA: And passers – by cheering and encouraging you to go on fighting. You could have killed yourselves.

TINKA: People always do.

KAIJA: I didn’t like it all. I didn’t. And my schoolmates were there too. Looking at me with pitiful eyes.

TINKA: Don’t mind them.

KAIJA: It’ll be the talk at school for months. You were unfair to me, mother. I tried to stop you then he slapped me.

TINKA: It was unintentional.

KAIJA: How could you have been so unfair? Both of you.

TINKA: These things happen.

KAIJA: But where has he gone?

TINKA: A long way from here.

KAIJA: They couldn’t have him instead of me?

TINKA: They just can’t him.

KAIJA: It wasn’t my fault mother, believe me.

TINKA: What wasn’t?

KAIJA: You must believe me, mother. I couldn’t have helped it.

TINKA: He’s gone, that’s all.

KAIJA: I didn’t know what I was doing.


a) State briefly what happens just before this passage.

b) Why is Kaija expecting the police to come for him?

c) Describe the relationship between Kaija and his parents as shown in this passage

d) What happens later in the text and how does it affect you?

Or 2. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: The Taming of the Shrew

KATHERINA: patience, I pray you, ‘it was a fault unwilling.

PETRUCHIO: a whoreson, beetle – headed, flap – eared knave!

Come, Kate, sit down, I know you have a stomach.

Will you give thanks, sweet Kate, or else shall I?

What’s this? Mutton?


PETRUCHIO: who brought it?


PETRUCHIO: ‘Tis burnt, and so is all the meat.

What dogs are these! Where is the rascal cook?

How durst you, villains, bring it from the dresser

And serve it thus to me that love it not?

There, take it to you, trenchers, cups, and all.

He throws the food and dishes at them

You heedless jolt heads and unmannered slaves!

What, do you grumble? I’ll be with you straight.

Exeunt servants hurriedly

KATHERINA: I pray you, husband, be not so disquiet.

The meat was well, if you were so contented.

PETRUCHIO: I tell thee, Kate, ‘it was burnt and dried away,

And I expressly am forbid to touch it,

For it engenders choler, planteth anger;

And better ‘it were that both of us did fast,

Since, of ourselves, ourselves are choleric,

Than feed it with such over – roasted flesh.

Be patient, tomorrows shall be mended,

And for this night we’ll fast for company,

Come, I will bring thee to thy bridal chamber.

Enter servants severally

NATHANIEL: Peter, didst ever see the like?

PETER: He kills her in her own humor.

Enter Curtis

GRUMIO: Where is he?

CURTIS: In her chamber,

Making a sermon of continence to her,

And rails and swears and rates, that she poor soul,

Knows not which way to stand, to look, to speak,

And sits as one new – risen from a dream,

Away, away, for he is coming hither.

Enter Petruchio

PETRUCHIO: Thus have I politically begun my reign,

And ‘it is my hope to end successfully.

My falcon now is sharp and passing empty,

And till she stoops she must not be full – gorged,

For then she never looks upon her lure.


a) What happens just before Katharina’s plea?

b) (i) Why does Petruchio throw away the food and dishes?

(ii) Refer to three other incidents in the play when Petruchio behaves in a similar manner.

c) Basing your answer on this extract says whether you sympathize with Katherina or not.

d) “Thus have I politically begun my reign,” what reign is Petruchio referring to?

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

‘Stop fighting!’ he shouted breathlessly as he stood near the pair. Kamau stopped, but he still sat on Kinuthia.

‘Why are you fighting?’

‘He called me names, ‘answered Kamau.

‘He is a lair. He laughed at me because my father died poor and…..’

‘He called my father a convert to the white man.’

‘He is!’

‘You beggar.’

‘White man’s slave.’

‘You …. You……’

Kamau became furious. He began to pinch Kinuthia. Kinuthia looked appealingly to the other boy.

‘Please stop this, Kamau. Didn’t we swear that we of the hills were comrades?’ he felt helpless. It was three days earlier that they had sworn to be brothers.

‘What do I care about comrades who insult my father?’ asked Kamau.

‘I will do it again,’ retorted Kinuthia between tears.

‘Do now.’

‘I will.’


Kamau and Kinuthia began to struggle. The boy felt an irresistible urge to fall on Kamau; he pulled a blade of grass and begun to chew it quickly, his eyes dilating with rage and fear.


a) What leads to the above incident?

b) In what way is the fight between Kamau and Kinuthia related to the basic conflict in the novel?

c) Write another incident in the novel where Kamau feels humiliated.

How does he react to this humiliation?

d) “Kinuthia looked appealingly to the other boy;”

(i) Who is the boy?

(ii) Briefly describe what the boy does in this incident.

(iii) How does his role here continue through the story?

Or 4. ALAN PATON: Cry, the Beloved Country

There are some men who long for martyrdom, there are those who know that to go to prison would bring greatness to them, these are those who would go to prison not caring if it brought greatness or not. But john Kumalo is not one of them. There is no applause in prison.

I shall not keep you any longer, says john Kumalo. It is getting late and there is another speaker and many of you will be in trouble with the police if you do not get home. It does not matter to me, but it matters to those of you who must carry a pass. And we do not wish to trouble the police. I tell you we have labour to sell, and it is a man’s freedom to sell his labour for what it is worth. It is for that freedom that this war has just been fought. It is for that freedom that many of our own African soldiers have been fighting.

The voice growls again, something is coming.

Not only here, he says, but in all Africa, in all the great continent where we Africans live.

The people growl also. The one meaning of this is safe, but the other meaning is dangerous. And john Kumalo speaks the one meaning and means the other meaning.

Therefore let us sell our labour for what it is worth, he says. And if an industry cannot buy our labour, let that industry die. But let us not sell our labour cheap to keep any industry alive.

John Kumalo sits down, and the people applaud him, a great wave of shouting and clapping. They are simple people, and they do not know that this is one of the country’s greatest orators, with one thing lacking. They have heard only the great bull voice, they have been lifted up, and let fall again, but by a man who can lift up again after he has let fall.

– Now you have heard him, said Msimangu.

Stephen Kumalo nodded his head. I have never heard its like, he said. Even I – his brother – he played with me as though I were a child.

– Power, said Msimangu, power. Why God should give such power is not for us to understand. If this man were a preacher, why, the whole world would follow him.

– I have never heard its like, said Kumalo.

– Perhaps we should thank God he is corrupt, said Msimangu solemnly. For if he were not corrupt, he could plunge this country into bloodshed. He is corrupted by his possessions, and he fears their loss, and the loss of the power he already has. We shall never understand it. Shall we go, or shall we listen to this man Tomlinson?

– I could listen to him.

– Then let us go nearer. He is difficult to hear.


a) What is happening at this point in the story?

b) Briefly describe john kumalo’s character as portrayed in the passage.

c) “for if he were not corrupt, he could plunge this country into bloodshed.” In what way would john Kumalo plunge this country into bloodshed?

Sub – section (ii)

Answer one question on one book only.

N.B if your 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.


Either 5. Supposing you were Kaija what advice would you give Wamala and Tinka to try and solve the family problems?

Or 6. Tinka’s last words in the play are “and always remember it was not my fault.” Explain what she means and show whether indeed it was not her fault.


Either 7. Show how Katherina is portrayed as an unattractive character.

Or 8. Why was Petruchio able to marry Katherina?

NGUGI WA THIONG’O: The River Between

Either 9. What Nyambura and Muthoni’s rebellion against their father justified? Support your answer with examples from the novel.

Or 10. How does Waiyaki influence the life of the people in the ridges?

ALAN PATON: Cry the Beloved Country

Either 11. What does the Rev. Stephen Kumalo’s search for his son say about the life of the people of Johannesburg?

Or 12. In this book, why does Alan Paton refer to South Africa as ‘beloved’ and what would make you cry for that country?


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

MEJA MWANGI: Carcase for Hounds

Either 13. Why did it take long for the colonial government to defeat the Mau Mau fighters in the novel, Carcase for Hounds?

Or 14. Was captain Thames justified in blaming Capt. Kingsley for failing to capture and kill Haraka?


Either 15. In what way is Bigger’s trial unfair?

Or 16. What does Richard Wright say about religion in?

FRANCIS IMBUGA: Betrayal in the City

Either 17. Describe fully the scene of Mulili’s death and say why the ghosts of Doga and Nina are present.

Or 18. How do the events in Kafira state relate to our present situation in Uganda?

EFUA SUTHERLAND: The Marriage of Anansewa

Either 19. If you were Anansewa would you get married to chief who is chief?

Or 20. How does Ananse escape from the web that he weaves for himself?

WOLE SOYINKA: The Lion and the Jewel.

Either 21. Consider plans Lakunle and Baroka have for modernizing Ilijunle. Whose plans would you find acceptable?

Or 22. Referring closely to the text, show how Lakunle is not ready for marriage.

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

I speak for the bush

When my friend sees me

He swells and pants like a frog

Because I talk the wisdom of the bush!

He says we from the bush

Do not understand civilized ways

For we tell our women

To keep the hem of their dresses

Below the knee.

We from the bush, my friend insists,

Do not know how to ‘enjoy’:

When we come to the civilized city,

Like nuns, we stay away from nightclubs

Where women belong to no men

And men belong to no women

And these civilized people

Quarrel and fight like hungry lions!

But, my friend, why do men

With crippled legs, lifeless eyes,

Wooden legs, empty stomachs

Wander about the streets

Of this civilized world?

Teach me, my friend, the trick,

So that my eyes may not

See those whose houses have no walls

But emptiness all around;

Show me the wax you use

To seal your ears

To stop hearing the cry of the hungry;

Teach me the new wisdom

Which tells men

To talk about money and not love,

When they meet women;

Tell your God to convert

Me to the faith of the indifferent,

The faith of those

Who will never listen until

They are shaken until

They are shaken with blows.

I speak for the bush:

You speak for the civilized

Will you hear me?

Everett Standa (Kenya)

a) What are the speaker’s feelings about:

i. Town people,

ii. Village people?

b) Explain the following phrases as used in the poem in your own words:

i) ‘swells and pants like a frog’

ii) ‘wisdom of the bush’

iii) ‘the faith of the indifferent’

iv) ‘you speak for the civilized’

c) What has the poet used to make his message vivid and interesting?

Or 24. Select one poem about village life from Growing up with Poetry and use it to answer the following questions?

a) What is the name of the poet and the title of the poem?

b) Compare the kinds of life in the poem.

c) If you were to write a poem on town life, what key ideas would you include?

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