PAST WAEC/NECO EXAM QUESTIONS IN ENGLISH LITERATURE…PAPER 2… (DRAMA AND POETRY) (AFRICAN AND NON-AFRICAN) (15)

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Literature-In-English Paper 2, May/June 2007

1.Discuss the theme of racial discrimination in the play.

2.Comment on the use of comedy in the play.

3.Discuss the use of irony in the play.

4.Examine the relationship between James and his two children Maanan and Aaron.

5.How is corruption exposed in the play?

6.Examine the use of mistaken identity in the play.

7.How does Thomas More demonstrate moral uprightness in the play?

8.Examine the role of the common man in the play.

9.Discuss the theme of love in Senghor’s “I will pronounce your name”.

10.Comment on the theme of conflict of cultures in Kobena Acquah’s “In the navel of the soul”.

11.Comment on Frost’s use of symbolism in “The Road Not Taken”.

12.How does Houseman present the theme of death in the poem “To an Athlete Dying Young”?

USEFUL SUGGESTION-THESE PAST QUESTIONS WILL BE MORE USEFUL IF READ ALONG WITH THE TWO POSTS BELOW.THANK YOU

24 POINTERS FROM PAST QUESTION PAPERS FOR INTERPRETING WHAT NIGERIAN EXAMINERS WANT! (13)

GOOD NEWS TO LITERATURE STUDENTS IN NIGERIAN SECONDARY SCHOOLS!…WE HAVE PRODUCED A TABLE TO MAKE YOUR STUDIES EASIER…IT’S SIMPLE AND FREE! (14)

General Comments
The standard of the paper compares favorably with those of previous years in both content and requirements. The questions were all straight forward and unambiguous.Candidates, however, performed poorly and very much below standard. Most candidates came up with plots and narration of all the texts in all the questions attempted- even where it was uncalled for.This is an offshoot on over-reliance on short notes and other narration to texts rather than a thorough study of the actual prescribed texts.
Candidates’ Weaknesses/Recommendations
Candidates were not able to show through their answers, that they  actually studied the prescribed texts.Poor command of  English Language limited the candidates’  understanding of the demands of the questions.
All the points above coupled with poor handwriting made it impossible for candidates to buttress their points with echoes from the texts as expected of students of Literature.
Candidates should endeavor to study the texts and strive to improve on their knowledge of the English Language.Stakeholders in education should reiterate the importance of studying selected texts in preparation for examinations.Qualified teachers should be allowed to prepare candidates for examinations.
Candidates’ Strengths
A few of the candidates were able to exhibit some knowledge of the content of some poems especially African ones.Some candidates who wrote quite legibly were able to enhance their scoresCandidates were more at home with African texts. Some responses to the question on the theme of racial discrimination were commendably responded to.
Now that the texts have been examined for a couple of sessions, the candidates are becoming more conversant with the demands of some of the questions though they still lack the wherewithal to answer them adequately.

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24 POINTERS FROM PAST QUESTION PAPERS FOR INTERPRETING WHAT NIGERIAN EXAMINERS WANT! (13)

GOOD NEWS TO LITERATURE STUDENTS IN NIGERIAN SECONDARY SCHOOLS!…WE HAVE PRODUCED A TABLE TO MAKE YOUR STUDIES EASIER…IT’S SIMPLE AND FREE! (14)

QUESTION-BY-QUESTION OBSERVATIONS
1.The major characters in the play are symbols of racial discrimination. Blacks are denied employment without work permit, their movements are restricted and their rights are denied them by the Whites.Racial discrimination is the main theme of the play and it mirrors the life of the Black man through that of Outa Jacobs who lives in unbearable conditions and dies a wretched man.
The question was quite popular. Most candidates merely narrated the ills of racial discrimination generally without relating it to the specific text.

2.Comedy is used in the play both as a satirical tool to ridicule the racist regime and also as an antidote to the oppressive system. Mimicry is copiously used on both blacks and whites to douse the tension caused by racial discrimination. The language is funny and loaded with invectives.Very few candidates were able to identify the comedy in the play.

3.Irony abounds in the play. James’ view on choice of a profession is ironic. Bonu a lawyer who is expected to uphold the moral standard of the society is ironic.Aunt Fosuwa who pushes Mannan towards Lawyer Bonu ironically believed that James would approve of the relationship. Awere who is hitherto seen as a bad influence later proves to be a source of inspiration to Aaron.Most candidates who attempted the question limited themselves to only one aspect of irony in the play.

4.James is autocratic and very rigid when it comes to taking decisions on his children’s choice of a career.Unlike Hannah, James is very strict with the children and so, they hardly relate with him. He recommends flogging as the solution to Aaron’s not changing his mind about painting. He later changes his views when he realizes that one can become famous through painting.The question was quite popular among the candidates because it was specific.

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24 POINTERS FROM PAST QUESTION PAPERS FOR INTERPRETING WHAT NIGERIAN EXAMINERS WANT! (13)

GOOD NEWS TO LITERATURE STUDENTS IN NIGERIAN SECONDARY SCHOOLS!…WE HAVE PRODUCED A TABLE TO MAKE YOUR STUDIES EASIER…IT’S SIMPLE AND FREE! (14)

5.All the characters in the play are embodiments of corruption. The man is an epitome of corruption and all his officials are physically filthy and symbolically decadent. The merchants also exploit the system for their own selfish ends just like Hlestakov.The question was also a popular one, the candidates understood the word “corruption” which, they narrated about in societies generally but, they mixed up the Russian names of the characters in the text.

6.The entire play revolves around the use of mistaken identity.The panic caused among the corrupt government officials upon the knowledge that a government inspector was on its way incognito from St. Petersburg is utilized by smartly dressed Hlestakov. Hlestakov is mistaken for the inspector, he does not attempt to correct the mistake but, milks the corrupt officials and leaves before the arrival of the real inspector. The mistaken identity also creates humor and satirizes the corrupt system.Very few candidates attempted the question but only narrated the story and not point out the other themes highlighted by mistaken identity.

7.Thomas More believes that a man’s conscience should guide his actions as opposed to men like Cromwell and Norfolk who believe that a man should not have any view contrary to the dictates of the state.More sees the King’s views as a personal wish which becomes immoral when it dabbles into the church. He therefore maintains his stance throughout his arrest, trial imprisonment and finally execution without compromising.Many candidates attempted the question, though they merely narrated the story, they were able to stumble on some salient points in the process.

8.The common man plays several roles in the play. He represents that which is “common to all ages”. He is used as a commentator, actor and also performs the dual role of being both inside and outside the play at various stages.He is a steward, boatman, inn-keeper, jailer, foreman of the jury and the headsman. The few instances of humor in the play is also a result of the witty statements of the common man.Very few candidates attempted the question. They could not even identify the common man.

USEFUL SUGGESTION-THESE PAST QUESTIONS WILL BE MORE USEFUL IF READ ALONG WITH THE TWO POSTS BELOW.THANK YOU

24 POINTERS FROM PAST QUESTION PAPERS FOR INTERPRETING WHAT NIGERIAN EXAMINERS WANT! (13)

GOOD NEWS TO LITERATURE STUDENTS IN NIGERIAN SECONDARY SCHOOLS!…WE HAVE PRODUCED A TABLE TO MAKE YOUR STUDIES EASIER…IT’S SIMPLE AND FREE! (14)

9.The poet expresses love and admiration for his lover Naett. As a proof of the poet being besotted to Naett, he repeats her name many times in the poem.Naett is also likened to many pleasant images that appeals to the senses,
“hard clap of lightning”
sight – “shining coal”
smell – “mild cinnamon”
To the poet, Naett is the symbol of African beauty.
Candidates while attempting the question merely narrated the poem. This earned a weak pass at most.

10.The Westerners use scientific and laboratory test, claims to being “experts” while the Africans depend solely on intuition.The main example in the poem is ascertaining the presence of pregnancy in a woman.The conflict is further accentuated when the “experts” refer to the traditionalists as “mad”.The question was not well treated by the candidates. They were not able to pinpoint the conflict as emanating from divergent views between the two cultures

11.The title itself is symbolic as it represents an undertaken journey with all its attendant risks and excitements. The divergence of the roads symbolize obstacles and options which is the bane of human life. This is complete with all its attractions, distractions and opportunities which are inherent in choice making. The persona himself symbolizes man on earth.Candidates performed poorly in this question. They did not grasp the demands of the question.

12.The theme of death is central in the poem. It focuses on the inevitability of death and compares the two major states of life and death.Houseman treats death as a transition from a transient world to one of permanence. Death is also viewed as a means of welcome escape from the travails of the world. The living are disillusioned because they are “Runners whom renown outran”. Candidates who attempted the question merely discussed death in general without relating it to the poem.

USEFUL SUGGESTION-THESE PAST QUESTIONS WILL BE MORE USEFUL IF READ ALONG WITH THE TWO POSTS BELOW.THANK YOU

24 POINTERS FROM PAST QUESTION PAPERS FOR INTERPRETING WHAT NIGERIAN EXAMINERS WANT! (13)

GOOD NEWS TO LITERATURE STUDENTS IN NIGERIAN SECONDARY SCHOOLS!…WE HAVE PRODUCED A TABLE TO MAKE YOUR STUDIES EASIER…IT’S SIMPLE AND FREE! (14)

SOURCE OF QUESTIONS AND OBSERVATIONS:WAEC

PAST WAEC/NECO EXAM QUESTIONS IN ENGLISH LITERATURE...PAPER 2... (DRAMA AND POETRY) (AFRICAN AND

CLARKE-ACHEBE-SOYINKA

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