UNEB UCE Literature Past Papers for Year 2001

UNEB UCE Literature Past Papers for Year 2001

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: but the police, Tinka, the POLICE!

TINKA: what of them?

WAMALA: six months in, and a heavy fine, remember?

TINKA: (confidently) a quarter bottle and they’re back to the station.

WAMALA: but Tinka……

TINKA: I said leave that to me.

WAMALA: But why today? You’ve never done this in the house.

TINKA: (ignoring the question) you haven’t seen my tube around have you?

WAMALA: Tinka, you’re going to put me in trouble.

TINKA: My tube, my tube. Have you seen it?

WAMALA: how could i?

TINKA: Any luck with Mr. Teacher?

(She checks behind drum etc.)

WAMALA: He is an understanding man.

TINKA: I wonder where I could have put it.

WAMALA: He was most helpful. Have you tried the children’s room?

TINKA: Now isn’t it silly of me to forget?

WAMALA: He said if it was going to help……..to make a difference………


a) Why is Wamala afraid of the police?

b) From Tinka’s response what do you get to know about the police?

c) From Tinka’s response to her husband’s warning, what kind of woman is she?

d) What does Wamala mean when he says that Mr. Teacher “was most helpful”?

Or 2. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: The Taming of the Shrew.

BAPTISTA: Gentlemen importance me no farther,

For how I firmly am resolved you know;

That is, not to bestow my youngest daughter

Before I have a husband for the elder.

If either of you both love Katherina,

Because I know you well and love you well,

Leave shall you have to court her at your pleasure.

GREMIO: To cart rather. She’s too rough for me.

There, there, Hortensio, will you any wife?

KATHERINA: (to Baptista)

I pray you, sir, is it your will

To make a stale of me amongst these mates?

HORTENSIO: Mates, maid, how mean you that? No mates for you

Unless you were of gentler, milder mould.

KATHERINA: I’ faith, sir, you shall never need to fear.

I wish it is not halfway to her heart.

But if it were, doubt not her care should be

To comb your noddle with a three – legged stool,

And paint your face, and use you like a fool.

HORTENSIO: From all such devils, good lord deliver us!

GERMIO: And me too, good lord!

TRANIO: (aside to Lucentio)

Husht, master, here’s some good pastime toward.

That wench is stark mad or wonderful forward.

LUCENTIO: (aside to Tranio)

But in the other’s silence do I see

Maid’s mild behavior and sobriety.

Peace, Tranio.

TRANIO: (aside to Lucentio)

Well said, master, Mum! And gaze your fill.

BAPTISTA: Gentlemen that I may soon make good

What I have said- Bianca, get you in.

And let it not displease thee, good Bianca,

For I will love thee ne’er the less, my girl.

KATHERINA: A pretty peat!! It is best.

Put finger in the eye, and she knew why.

BIANCA: Sister, content you in my discontent.

Sir, to your pleasure humbly I subscribe.

My books and instruments shall be my company,

On them to look and practice by myself.


a) What happens just before this?

b) Is Baptista right in insisting that Katherina gets married before Bianca?

c) How does Katherina feel towards Bianca and why?

d) With reference to the passage show why men preferred Bianca to Katherina.

e) “Sister, content you in my discount.”

What does Bianca mean by this?

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

Nyambura’s rested in his broad breast. She wanted to say ‘yes’. She longed to say this. It would cost her nothing. Only her breath. Slowly she came to her senses

She disengaged herself from him. She was no longer crying.

‘Tell me, oh, tell me, ‘implored Waiyaki, hope and fear mixing together. There was another silence.

‘No,’ she said at last faintly.

It cost her a lot effort to whisper this. But she knew she had to. It was impossible to marry him. Unless she rebelled. She didn’t want to rebel like her sister. Waiyaki felt hurt.

‘Why? Don’t you love me?’

‘I do, I do,’ her heart said. ‘But can’t you see we cannot marry? Can’t you?’


a) (i) Who was Nyambura’s sister?

(ii) What rebellious act did Nyambura’s sister commit?

b) “‘I do, I do,’ her heart said. ‘But can’t you see we cannot marry? Can’t you?'” who says this and to whom does she say it?

c) Why can’t they marry?

d) What happens immediately after this?

Or 4. ALAN PATON: Cry, the Beloved Country.

– I know you, Umfundisi, he said.

The suffering in the old man’s face smote him, so that he said, sit down, Umfundisi. Then the old man would be able to look at the ground, and he would not need to look at Jarvis, and Jarvis would not need to look at him, for it was uncomfortable to look at him. So the old man sat down and Jarvis said to him, not looking at him, there is something between you and me, but I do know what it is.

– Umnumzana.

– You are in fear of me, but I do not know what it is. You need not be in fear of me.

– It is true, Umnumzana. You do not know what it is.

– I do not know but I desire to know.

– I doubt if I could tell it, Umnumzana.

– You must tell it, Umfundisi. Is it heavy?

– It is very heavy, Umnumzana. It is the heaviest thing of all my years.

He lifted his face, and there was in it suffering that Jarvis had not seen before. Tell me, he said, it will lighten you.

– I am afraid, Umnumzana.

– I see you are afraid, Umfundisi. It is that which I do not understand. But I tell you, you need not be afraid. I shall not be angry. There will be no anger in me against you.

– Then, said the old man, this thing is the heaviest thing of all my years, is the heaviest thing of all your years also.

Jarvis looked at him, at first bewildered, but then something came to him.

You can mean only one thing, he said, you can mean only one thing. But I still do not understand.


a) Why does Umfundisi visit Umnumzana?

b) Why is the old man afraid?

c) What is the importance of Jarvis’ treatment of Rev. Kumalo in this passage?

d) What feelings does this passage arouse in you towards Rev. Kumalo?

Sub – section (ii)

Answer one question on one book only.

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.

JOHN RUGANDA: The Burdens.

Either 5. According to the play The Burdens, what drives Tinka to kill Wamala?

Or 6. If you were asked to act in the play The Burdens, name the character you would want to be and give reasons why you would choose to be this character.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: The Taming of the Shrew.

Either 7. How appropriate is Gremio’s reference to Katherine as a ‘fiend of hell’?

Or 8. How suitable is the title The Taming of the Shrew to the play?

NGUGI WA THIONG’O: The River Between.

Either 9. Do you agree with Waiyaki that education was the only solution to all the problems that his people faced?

Give reasons for your answer.

Or 10. How do Miriam and Nyambura help to bring out the theme of betrayal in the novel The River Between?

ALAN PATON: Cry, the Beloved country.

Either 11. With clear reference to the novel, say how appropriate the title Cry, The Beloved Country is.

Or 12. Compare reverend Kumalo and James Jarvis. What is your opinion of each of them?


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

MEJA MWANGI: Carcase for Hounds

Either 13. What was the contribution of pine wood forest to the liberation war in Carcase for Hounds?

Or 14. Why did Kingsley find it hard to stamp out the activities of the Mau Mau in Laikipia district?


Either 15. Justify Bigger’s behavior throughout the novel Native Son.

Or 16. What causes the fear in Bigger Thomas and how is it expressed?

FRANCIS IMBUGA: Betrayal in the City

Either 17. Describe Tumbo’s character and show how it helps us understand the nature of the society he lives in?

Or 18. What role do any two of the following characters play in Imbuga’s play betrayal in the city?

(i) Doga

(ii) Nina

(iii) Kabito

(iv) Mulili.

EFUA SUTHERLAND: The Marriage of Anansewa

Either 19. Describe the scuffle between Akwasi and Akosua, pointing out what we learn from it about the traditions of their community.

Or 20. Comment on Ananse’s decision to marry off his daughter to a rich man.

WOLE SOYINKA: The Lion and the Jewel.

Either 21. Describe how Lakunle is treated by the villagers of Ilijunle and give reasons for this treatment.

Or 22. How does Sadiku use her position to win Sidi for Baroka?

Either 23. Read this poem and answer the questions that follow.


Take my face and give me yours!

Take my face, my unhappy face.

Give me your face,

With which you return

When you have died,

You lie down and return

Let me resemble you, because you have joy,

You return evermore alive,

After you vanished from sight.

Did you not promise us once

That we too should return

And be happy again after death?

Bushman (Botswana)


a) What message do you get from this poem?

b) What does the persona mean by the following phrases?

(i)’let me resemble you……..’

(ii) ‘You lie down and return.’

(ii) ‘Give me your face with which you return when you have died…..’

c) Suggest another suitable title of your own for this poem.

d) Would you share the persona’s view on life after death? Give reasons.

Or 24. Select one poem on death from David Rubadiri’s “growing up with poetry” and use it to answer the following questions.

a) From the person you have chosen, what is the relationship between life and death?

b) In what ways is life after death part of your own beliefs?

c) If you were to write your own poem about death and the ancestors. What three ideas would you include?

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