UNEB UCE Literature Past Papers for Year 2002

UNEB UCE Literature Past Papers for Year 2002

Uganda National Examinations Board Past Questions


Sub – section (i)

Choose one of the passages1 to 4, read it carefully and then answer the questions following it as concisely as possible.

Either 1. WOLE SOYINKA: The Trials of Brother Jero

[Two or three neighbors arrive, but keep a respectful distance.]

AMOPE: kill me. You’ll have to kill me. Everybody come and bear witness. He’s going to kill me so come and bear witness. He’s going to kill me so come and bear witness. I forgive everyone who has ever done me evil. I forgive all my debtors especially the prophet who has got me into all this trouble. Prophet jeroboam, I hope you will pray for my soul in heaven…..

CHUME: you have no soul, wicked woman.

AMOPE: brother jeroboam, curse this man for me. You may keep the velvet cape if you curse this foolish man. I forgive you your debt. Go on, foolish man, kill me. If you don’t kill me you won’t do well in life.

CHUME: [suddenly.] shut up!

AMOPE: [warning up as more people arrive.] bear witness all of you. Tell the prophet I forgave him his debt but he must curse this foolish man to hell. Go on, kill me!

CHUME: [who has turned away, fore headed knotted in confusion.] can’t you shut up, woman!

AMOPE: No, you must kill me…..

[the crowd hub – bubs all the time, scared as always at the prospect of interfering in man – wife palaver, but throwing in half – hearted tokens of concern.]

‘What’s the matter, eh?’ you too keep quiet.’

‘Who are they?’ ‘Where is brother Jero?’ ‘Do you

Think we ought to send for send for the prophet?’ these women

Are so troublesome! Somebody go and call brother Jero.’


a) What has led to the quarrel in this passage?

b) How does Amope help you understand the prophet’s character?

c) Describe Amope’s character from what happens in the passage

d) How does this passage affect what happens to Chume on in the play?

Or 2. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: The Merchant of Venice

PORTIA: there take it prince and if my form lies there

Then I am yours. [He unlocks the golden casket.]

MOROCCO: o hell! What have we here, a carrion death,

Within whose empty eye there is a written scroll;

I’ll read the writing.

All that glisters is not gold,

Often have you heard that told;

Many a man his life hath sold

But my outside to behold;

Gilded tombs do worms in fold:

Had you been as wise as bold, young in limbs, in judgment old,

Your answer had not been inscrolled,

Fare you well, your suit is cold.

MOROCCO: Cold indeed and labour lost,

Then farewell heat and welcome frost:

Portia adieu, I have too grieved a heart

To take a tedious leave: thus loser’s part.


PORTIA: a gentle riddance: draw the curtains, go.

Let all of his complexion choose me so.

Exeunt, flourish cornets.


a) What happens just before this scene?

b) What lessons can be learnt from this scene?

c) What parts of Morocco’s character are highlighted in this scene?

d) “Let his entire complexion choose me so”. According to this quotation what is Portia’s wish?

Either 3. ERNEST HEMINGWAY: The Old Man and the Sea

‘If you’re not tired, fish,’ he said aloud, ‘you must be very strange.’

He felt very tired now and he knew the night would come soon and he tried to think of other things. He thought of the Big Leagues, to him they were the Gran Ligas and he knew that the Yankees of New York were playing the Tigres of Detroit.

This id the second day now that I do not know the result of the Juegos, he thought. But I must have confidence and I must be worthy of the great DiMaggio who does all things perfectly even with the pain of the bone spur in his heel. What is a bone spur? He asked himself. Um espuela de hueso. We do not have them. Can it be as painful as the spur of a fighting cock in one’s heel? I do not think I could endure that or the loss of the eye and of both eyes and continue to fight as the fighting cocks do. Man is not much beside the great birds and beasts. Still I would rather be that beast down there in the darkness of the sea.

‘Unless sharks come,’ he said aloud. ‘if sharks come, God pity him and me.’

Do you believe the great DiMaggio would stay with a fish as long as I will stay with this one? He thought. I am sure he would and more since he is young and strong. Also his father was a fisherman. But would the bone spur hurt him too much?

‘I do not know,’ he said aloud. ‘I never had a bone spur.’


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

b) Why does the old man refer to DiMaggio at his point in the novel?

c) What feelings does this situation in the context arouse in you ?

d) What happens to the old man immediately after this?


‘Be quiet,’ Xuma said softly and sat starting in front of him without seeing anything.

The room was suddenly quiet and strange. And the world was so too, and empty and strange place.

Ma plank kept looking at one place without seeing that place. She did not know what she had expected him to do but she knew she had not expected him to sit there quietly, staring at one place without seeing it.

‘I am sorry,’ she said softly.

Xuma did not hear her. She got up and dished him a plate of food.

‘She asked me to cook for you,’ ma plank said, but Xuma did not hear her.

She gave him food. He ate, mechanically, without knowing or caring. Ma plank had expected him to ask her more questions but there he was, eating and staring and seeing nothing and tasting nothing. People did not behave like that. When they were hurt they did things. They cried or they shouted or they did not eat or they drank or they were angry or their bodies were stiff. They were not just ordinary, as always.


a) What has led to this incident?

b) Describe xuma’s feelings in this passage. Do you share his feelings or not? Why?

c) What do we learn about ma plank’s character in this passage.

d) What happens immediately after this?

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 now select a play.

WOLE SOYINKA: The Trials of Brother Jero.

Either 5. How is brother Jero shown as a false prophet?

Or 6. Explain the ways in which Wole Soyinka makes fun of the church in the play The Trials of Brother Jero.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: The Merchant of Venice

Either 7. In what ways is shylock responsible for what befalls him in the play The Merchant of Venice?

Or 8. Describe the scene of the judgments passed on Antonio and say how it affects you.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: The Old Man and the Sea

Either 9. Show how the old man is portrayed as a determined and enduring person.

Or 10. What do you admire about the old man in the novel, the old man and the sea?


Either 11. What does the life of the miners reveal about the relationship between the whites and the blacks in South Africa?

Or 12. Leah says that Xuma is a “fool with people”. To what extent is the right?


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

OBI B. EGBUNA: The Anthill

Either 13. Describe how Tommy and the Prisoner die and explain whose death affects you most?

Or 14. Explain what the anthill stands for in the play The Anthill.

EFUA T. SUTHERLAND: The Marriage of Anansewa

Either 15. Referring closely to what happens in your community and in the play is it right for parents to get partners for their children. Discuss.

Or 16. In what ways do you find the play, the marriage of Anansewa, humorous?

V. S. NAIPAUL: Miguel Street

Either 17. Why does V. S. Naipaul call his novel Miguel Street?

Or 18. What quality of education does the author portray in the Miguel Street community?

CHINUA ACHEBE: No Longer at Ease

Either 19. When he returns from England, obi finds the corruption in his country disgusting. Describe three incidents of corruption in the novel and say how far you share obi’s sense of disgust.

Or 20. “The Umuofia progressive union made and destroyed Obi Okonkwo.” Give your reaction to this statement.

NGUGI WA THIONG’O: Weep Not, Child

Either 21. What is the relationship between Njoroge and mwihaki? How is this relationship affected by what happens in the novel?

Or 22. What circumstances led to the armed struggle between the whites and blacks in the novel Weep Not, Child?

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


Once upon a time, son,

They used to laugh with their hearts

And laugh with their eyes;

But now they only laugh with their teeth,

While their ice – block – cold eyes

Search behind my shadow.

There was a time indeed

They used to shake hands with their hearts;

But that’s gone, son,

Now they shake hands without hearts

While their left hands search

My empty pockets.

‘Feel at home,’ ‘come again,’

They say, and when I come

Again and feel

At home, once, twice,

There will be no thrice-

For then I find doors shut on me.

So I have learned many things, son.

I have learned to wear many faces

Like dresses – home face, office face,

Street face, host face, coctailface

With all their comforting smiles

Like a fixed portrait smile.

And I have learned too

To laugh with only my teeth

And shake hands without my heart.

I have also learned to say ‘Goodbye’

When I mean ‘Good riddance’,

To say ‘Glad to meet you’,

Without being glad; and to say ‘it’s been

Nice talking to you’ after being bored.

But believe me, son

I want to be what I used to be

When I was like you. I want

To unlearn all these muting things.

Most of all, I want to relearn

How to laugh, for my laugh in the mirror.

Show only my teeth like snakes’ bare fangs!

So show me, son

How to laugh; show me how

I used to laugh and smile

Once upon a time when I was like you.

Gabriel Okara (Nigeria)

a) What upsets the speaker about the behavior of the ‘they’?

b) How has the speaker changed?

c) What does the speaker long for about the past?

Or 24. Select one poem about separation that you have enjoyed a lot in the anthology growing up with poetry. Use it to answer the following questions.

a) Show how the person suffers a sense of separation.

b) What difficulties does a person face (suffer) in starting life a fresh?

c) In a paragraph, write how you were once overcome by a sense of separation.

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