Welcome To Myschoollibrary! In this section of our studies, we will be providing answers to previous questions on Literature In English. For this particular period, we will be looking at 2018 WAEC questions on Literature In English. Most candidates preparing for the 2020/2021 WAEC exams will find this useful as it will guide them on how to supply right answers to the right questions. Do have a great moment studying with us!
Note: The Theory aspect of Literature In English WAEC exams usually comes in three sections. The drama, poetry, and prose. Below are the answers to 2019 literature in English WAEC questions.
Literature In English 2019 WAEC Questions And Answers
PROSE, DRAMA, AND POETRY
PAPER II: PROSE
SECTION A – AFRICAN PROSE
1. EXPLAIN KABRIA’S PRESENCE IN THE HAIRDRESSING SALON OF AGBOGBOSHIE.
Answer; Agbogboshie market is where Kabria shops for her vegetables. On the monday following the discovery of Baby T”s body behind a hairdressing salon, she and fofo get acquainted under curious circumstances; disguised as a boy, the girl has attempted to steal Kabria”s purse
She is moved to rescue the ‘ boy’ as a matter of conscience when ‘ he’ is about to be lynched by the crowd that apprehend ‘ him’ , and ‘he’ restores Kabria”s purse.
Earlier at the office of MUTE, the foursome officials
– Dina, Vickle, Aggie and Kabria have discussed Fofo and Baby T and reached a consensus that Kabria ought to honour her appointment with Fofo at Agbogbloshie market to get to the bottom of the death of Baby T and Fofo’s predicament.
All the above scenarios trigger Kabria’s visit to the hairdressing salon, Kabria therefore goes to the salon at Agbogbloshie not to have her hair done, but to primarily conduct investigation to unravel the mystery surrounding the death of Baby T, therefore, Kabria’s presence in the hairdresser’s salon is purely in their private capacity as an ‘ investigative reporter”.
Unfortunately for Kabria, her visit to the salon is initially a disappointment. She is unable to obtain information of any substance from the hairdresser. She is terse: “To tell you the truth? ; and she shrugs. ‘ Actually i didnt come to meet the body.” Instead of information of any substance from the hairdresser. She is terse: ‘To tell you the truth, my sister, what at all am i supposed to know ?; and she shrugs
‘ Actually i didn’t come to meet the body.” Instead of information about the dead girl behind her salon, the hairdresser pours out her frustration about her broken marriage , which has saddled her with the responsibility to cater for the children of a runaway husband wins her Sympathy after telling her of a worse situation in her own marriage. She then directs her (Kabria) to see her senior apprentice for some details about the dead age.
Kabria approaches the hairdresser’s senior apprentice who makes interesting revelations: it appears Baby T is killed somewhere else and the body is dumped near the kiosk. The head of the Kayoyos says Baby T is not one of them. Three days after the corpse is dumped near the kiosk.
Pacification rites are performed at the spot by unknown person. These , among others, leave more questions unanswered on Kabria’s mind.
This however, gingers Kabria and her colleagues into more actions. Eventually, Kabria ‘s presence at the hairdresser “s salon leads to a host of investigative activities that trace the murder of Baby T to the door step of Poison and Onko.
Question 2. Comment On The Significance Of Sodom And Gomorrah In The Novel.
Answer; Sodom and gomorrah is the seat of the various forms of evil in the world of Faceless.it is that part of the city where people can be said to be faceless and without an identity. It is home for hardened thieves, prostitutes and children driven from home or ones without a home. It is an area that is covered in filth and squitor. At the name implies , the place breeds all sorts of evil in the children who live there Fofo, Odarley and the others do not leave home already depraved. It is the life at Sodom and Gomorrah that makes them so.
The goings -on in sodom and gomorrah are debasing. The best word to describe the morality of sodom and gomorrah is ” depraved “, the habits of the juvenile inhabitants who engage in acts of debauchery by ” drinking bottles of akpeteshie and watching adult films ” are deplorable , youngsters steal and engage in prostitution for a living in the evil environment. Bullies like poison and Macho terrorise the children , deprive them of their money and even attempts to, and do rape the young helpless girls. There is no way of protecting these vulnerable young people. The early mention of Sodom and Gomorrah in the novel establishes its significance. It is a phenomenon that has ” catapulted from the pages of the Old testament to superimpose itself at Agbogbloshie.”
Sodom and Gomorrah is significant in a number of ways. When Kabria goes ” to visit Agbogbloshie market for some garden eggs and tomatoes”, she meets a petty. she saves the life of the pick- pocket who would have been subjected to instant mob justice (lynching)
Another aspect of Sodom and Gomorrah which is significant is its sustenance by those who profit from it. The coming of children into the streets and their living in Sodom and Gomorrah appear unstoppable This is because of the activities of the likes of Maami Brani and Poison, Sodom and Gomorrah depicts the hopelessness of the situation of children who are driven into the streets and have no prospects for the future. As the children are driven into the street, there are ready receivers who ensure that they stay, and they supervise their abuse. Sodom and Gomorrah is also significant in as far as no steps seem to be taken by the powers that be to intervene. Sodom and Gomorrah cries for cleansing but the state machinery does not hear or seem to care. The police are silent about, and invisible in, the affairs of the street children .no action is taken when crimes are reported to the police.
But for Kabria ‘s encounter with Fofo , the NGO MUTE would not have come to the rescue of the girl. The support of harvest FM gives impetus to the MUTE effort. The questions, as to whether this single intervention of the non- governmental organization is all there can be and whether it suffices , require critical answers. The enquires about the murdered girl found in the gutter receive lukewarm attention from the police..
3. ” No Woman’s Life Is Ever Complete Without A Man.” How Is This Applicable To Yaremi In The Novel
Answer; Yaremi, a beautiful widow in her early fifties in kufi, has recently lost her husband , Ajumobi. Their children , all grown up including Alani, the only son, have left home.
Women in Kufi, by tradition, are only considered complete when they are part of a couple , even if they are the second or third wife. In the unfortunate event of the death of a husband, a woman is expected to re- marry.
Yaremi, being the strong – willed woman she is, decides against re- marriage to any of the available suitors .Nine months after the death of her husband , Yaremi is still without another husband, to the chagrin of the men in Kufi, who she tells she is “neither a napkin nor a rog to clean up mess with” , hence , she rejects all the cops of the three suitors who want to marry her..
With that firmly established, she then directs her energy towards filling the void left by Ajumobi”s death She decides to work hard, doing manual jobs to fill in the long hours of her lonely days under the hot sun. She does the farm work, cleans the family compound , dries maize grains , uproots cassava tubers for the goats, cooks, fetches water and firewood and does other household chores alongside her main job of buying and selling taffeta cloth in the market .Even so, there are certain jobs for which she requests assistance from the village men like Uncle Deyo. She still needs her husband to eat the food she prepare , she also needs , she realises, a husband to eliminate the termites, red ants and rats around the house..
Yaremi also longs for her husband “s touch and his deep manly voice. In her loneliness , she dreams about him often and imagines he has come to visit her. She misses their quarrels and prays for him to return as it is impossible for her to forget certain events.
She tells Segi:” Your father was to me like the mighty Boobab, king of savannah, towering above ten thousand lesser trees around , protecting me under its cool shade… But death was cruel. It came like the harmattan blaze , to strip me of my only dress ,my Boobab, leaving me to stand alone in mournful nakedness “.
Thus, despite Yaremi” s determination to stand against tradition in her refusal to re- marry , she realises that desirability of being part of a couple, as long as her husband is Ajumobi.
Quedtion 4. Examine The Author’S Narrative Technique In The Novel
Answer; The author tells his story from the third person point of view. With this omniscient perspective , he demonstrates his skill in observing people and events very closely and passing appropriate comments on them.
One remarkable feature of the author”s technique is his drawing very deeply very deeply from the African oral tradition in his narrative. This is evident in yaremi”s folk tales about such animals as the tortoise that often overreaches itself in its own wiles and cunning , the antelope that often falls on its own pride and gluttonous baboon that dies from its rapacious greed. There is also the use of incantation as shown by both Ajumobi and Yaremi to neutralise the evil machinations of their perceived enemies.
The Author employs flashback as Yaremi , on a good number of occasions , recalls the halcyan days with her late husband and eulogises his sterling qualities as a husband and his prawess as a hunter..
Another feature employed in the narration is dialogue instances are the exchange between Yaremi and Woye, Yaremi and Ajumobi , Yaremi and her Suitors, the widows on their way from the river, etc indeed the use of figurative language permeates the entire work. References can be made to the cap- picking ceremony where the suitors” personalities, etc, are delineated.
Also significant is the use of words or expressions drawn from the local language , Often, these put emphasis on tradition and failure , thereby adding colour to the setting. There is also the use of traditional songs..
SECTION B- NON- AFRICAN PROSE
Question 5. Discuss The Role Of The Black Clergy In The Novel
Answer; Rev Hammond is a black clergyman of Bigger”s mother’s church , hence , he represents the black clergy and religion in the novel.
He visits Bigger in his cell.. As soon as Bigger recognises him, he is an guard against him, Bigger fears the pastor will make him feel remorseful and wants to tell him to go but cannot speak.
Reverend Hammond kneels on the concrete floor to pray for the salvation of Bigger”s soul. He repeatedly refers to Bigger as ‘ poor’ boy’ , seeing words of the pastor”s prayer register themselves in Bigger”s consciousness , they make him remember His mother”s voice telling of suffering , hope and love beyond the world. This Makes Bigger feel condemned and guilty.
Bigger hates the clergyman”s creed and wishes he will stop praying. He cannot repeat any of the preacher”s words, but they make him( Bigger) feel like leaping up to strike him. Before he leaves , Reverend Hammond gives Bigger a wooden cross, trying to make him believes that life is all suffering This, Bigger rejects in his heart
The visit and the prayer of the black clergyman expose the hypocritical attitude of the black church and its attitude of capitulating to the situation of its members. It is ironical that the church cannot even engage the services of a lawyer for Bigger , which is what he needs at this time , This Reverend Hammond knows as he tells Jan that if anybody needs help , then Bigger does.
The clergy contrasts Jan, not only in race and occupation , but in his belief in what man needs in life Jan forgives Bigger and engages a lawyer to defend him now.. But Reverend Hammond thinks of the hereafter , Bigger”s case needs prompt and immediate attention , but the clergyman offer s freedom of the soul, whilst Jan offers immediate and prompt attention.
Question 6. What Have You Learned About Black Life From The Conversation Between Bigger And Gus At The Entrance To The Pool Room?
Answer; Bigger leaves home that fateful morning to avoid his mother”s incessant nagging about the family’s poor living condition and his not able to be any help She warns him against his continued involvement with the gang and prophesies doom for him if he disregards her warning. He heads for the pool room where he feels more at ease. He Meets Gus , a member of the gang at the entrance and they are into a conversation..
Their conversation reveals much about the living condition of the black people. It exposes their exclusion from participation in the political , military and commercial life of white America , as well as their bottled up frustration which stir up anger in some of them..
We learn for instance , that blacks live under very poor conditions. As Bigger and Gus observe and appreciate nature , i.e … The warm day, both reflect on the poor heading system in their homes. Through their landlords don’t give much heat, they always demand rent..
They reflect also on their segregated lives, which bother them a lot . Bigger observe that whites live ” over across the line , over there on Cottage Grave Avenue”. Explaining the source of their bitterness , he intones: ” We live here, and they live there , we black and they white. They get things and we ain’t. They do things and we can”t ” . According for his feeling , he says , “. I feel like i” m on the outside of the world peeping in through a knot- hole in the fence.
Bigger and Gus refer also to the power structure in American society from the presidency to the military. Business and commerce. Their stimulation of a telephone conversation between the president of a United States and his secretary of state on the one hand, and J.P . Morgan , a business mogul and someone else is also revealing. It is revealed that the president”s secretary of state is more ready to attend a cabinet meeting about ” the niggers raising sand all over the country ” than one involving Germans. And J.P. Morgan is prepared to ” sell twenty thousand shares of US steel , a mind – boggling figure. That kinds of business transaction is way beyond blacks to do. These show the extent to whites suppress to put blacks in their place.
Blacks are also prevented from aspiring to do anything worthwhile, ” They get the chance to do everything”. but ” they don’t let us do anything.” Whereas they want , the blacks are restricted in their movements
The Conversation reveals two contracting attitude of the blacks towards their situation in the novel same blacks , like Gus , are resigned to their fate Others, like Bigger , breed anger in themselves against the system.
Thus, the conversation gives a microscopic view of black life in the novel.
Question 7. Comment On The Significance Of Conrad”S Death In The Novel.
Answer; Conrad”s death is significance both in its contribution to plot development and also to character delineation.
Conrad, son and heir of Manfred , dies when he is mysteriously crushed by a gigantic stone helmet. He does not really appear as a character in the novel but is very important and his death has a direct influence on the major actions in the novel.
Conrad is supposed to marry Isabella, daughter of Frederic. Frederic is, in actual fact, the real heir to the castle of Otranto .Manfred arranges the marriage between Conrad and Isabella in order to unite the two factions claiming rights to Otranto , conrad’s death puts paid to Manfred “s attempts to consolidate his own position through his son. Thus, he turns his attention to other means to attain his goal. This sets into motion a chain of events which culminate in his downfall and the restoration of the Castle of Otranto to Theodore who is declared as the true heir of the castle. The prophecy that the castle will be restored to its rightful heir ” whenever the owner should be grown too large to inhabit it”is thus fulfilled.
Conrad”s death also contributes to the delineation of Manfred”s character. It exposes Manfred”s depravity and his capacity for evil machinations.
Conrad”s death leaves him with only one option as he sees it to considerate his hold on the castle when his attempt to obtain Isabella”s consent to marry him by manipulation and subterfuge falls, he resorts to violence His lechery and unscrupulous are accentuated by Conrad”s removal from the scene , and he is exposed for what he really is. With the introduction of Theodore immediately after Conrad”s death , a formidable opponent to Manfred”s evil plans emerges.
Question 8. Examine The Relationship Between Manfred And Hippolita?
Answer; Manfred , the prince of Otranto , is married to Hippolita , a lady he later points out to be a distant relation of his..
They have two children , Matilda , their eighteen-year- old daughter and Conrad , their fifteen year old son
Hippolita is described as “an amiable lady” and is presented in the novel as a subservient wife who treats her husband with utmost respect, Her love for and dedication to her husband is not reciprocated. This is so because Manfred “s attitude towards her is one of utter disdain , through he himself says of her, ‘ true , i honour Hippolita” s virtue , i think her a saint..”
In the first place, he does not take her suggestions into consideration, when Manfred hatches the plot for the marriage between Conrad and Isabella , Hippolita calls his attention to the fact that Conrad , their ailing son, is too young to marry , manfred responds by blaming her inability to give him more than one heir. The marriage plan ends disastrously with the mysterious death of Conrad on the wedding day
Manfred”s inhumane treatment of his wife only intensifies after Conrad”s death. Hippolita on recovering from the initial shock at the news, demands regular updates on her ” lord “- the way she refers to Manfred, on the other hand, does not even mention his wife or daughter , as the first words he utters to the ladies in the chapel after the incident are ” Take Care of the lady Isabella”… Hippolita send Matilda , their daughter to see how Manfred is coping with his loss. When Matilda attempts to do so. She cannot find words to explain to her mother the ‘ bitter’ reception she has received from her father , an her return to Hippolita
Hippolita , on her part, registers her disappointnent that Manfred has not requested to see her when she says mournfully :” But will he not let me see him? Will he not permit me to blend my tears with his, and shed a mother’s sorrow in the bossom at her lord?”
She is also worried that Conrad”s tragic death must have affected Manfred very badly and demands that she be taken to see him, when she says to her maids; “Raise me, my maidens; I will see my lord. Bear me to him instantly : he is dearer to me than my children.”
It is heart- rending that Manfred does not care or ask to see his wife but sends to summon Isabella instead. Hippolita , in her innocence , thinks that Manfred is apprehensive of meeting herself and Matilda and that, that is why he chooses to send for Isabella instead. She tells Isabella, ” Console him, dear Isabella and tell him I will smoother my own anguish rather than add to his, “.
When Isabella , on hearing the proposa, flees the castle, Manfred is in hot pursuit of her. Recognising Manfred” s footsteps on the stairs, Hippolita hastly goes out anxious to meet him for the first time after son”s death. He pushes her ” rudely off” demanding to know Isabella”s whereabouts and even mentions Hippolita is jealous of Isabella. Hippolita , though surprised at this utterance , being the obedient wife she is, carries out Manfred”s orders to send her chaplain to him. Hippolita later tells Manfred that the” gigantic leg’ is just a figment of the imagination Manfred is relieved but his attitude towards his wife does not improve ; in fact , it gets worse.
Relying on Hippolita’s submissiveness, Manfred plots to divorce her and Marry isabella. When friar jerome comes with information on isabella, Manfred sees the opportunity to get him to dissolve his marriage to Hippolita so he could marry Isabella his once proposed daughter- in- law. When he insists that Hippolita should not be part of the discussion , she quickly obeys.
Manfred, as villainous as he is , pleads with the friar to dissolve their marriage on the grounds that it was ill- contracted as Hippolita is his relative , but the friar refuses to do. Hippolita comes up with a proposal to end the deadlock that fails to materialise. When Isabella protests about such a proposal, she says to her.
” Hold, you must not in my presence , young lady, mention Manfred with disrespect : he is my lord and my husband”.
Hippolita is there till the very end to support Manfred when he is expelled from Otranto
It is evident that the relationship between Manfred and his wife is strange and appears to be an unhappy one for Hippolita.
DRAMA AND POETRY
SECTION A: AFRICAN DRAMA
Question 1. What do you learn about the culture of Mando land in the play?
Answer; Mando land is portrayed as a simple community of peace- loving people, The play reveals much about the people”s culture.
This culture is one that is undergoing change and faces severe challenges from outside. With the arrival in the midst of the people of the white man, the peace and tranquility of the community is seriously threatened.
It is seen in the play that the people of Mando and respect their ancestral beliefs. They are very much alive to the threat posed by the coming into their midst of a stranger. Kindo embraces this firmly and he is proved right. The consequences of permitting Whitehead entry into Mando land show that the people’s fear of the threat is not mere superstition. Wara holds the priesthood in genuine child like Awe. She does not succumb to Kindo”s pressure to desecrate the shrine lest the spirits are offended Maligu exploits the cultural belief to enrich himself He, too, warns that it is dangerous to incur the displeasure of the spirits— but for his own ends. In Maligu “s admiration of Kindo not to challenge the virgin sacrifice, he finds a collaborator in King Santigi Mando V, who is ill- advised and obviously under the influence of gin and the strange tobacco. He , therefore , fails to listen to the alternate reasoning that Kindo presents
The people of Mando land are ordinarily hard- working and morally recent. With the coming of the white man , however , they neglect work, are idle and become debauched. Kindo is angry that the men are ” singing. dancing and drinking ” and “the women are giving themselves to men everywhere…. running about naked like children”. The culture of hard work and moral decency is thus undermined.
We also learn that the people have great respect for human life. Despite his agitation for the virgin sacrifice , Soko has actually never even carried out such a sacrifice. The people” s regard for human life is such that anyone who kills another in peace time must be banished. This is carried out to the extreme with the banishment of Kindo. It is greatly ironical that Whitehead should suggest the killing of a goat, for the killing of a virgin is not within the experience of Soko, the Chief Priest, as Soko confesses to Wara. Tagged on to the regard for human life is the culture of severe punishment for a serious crime, Santigi”s verdict that his only son must be banished is very firm, and he is passionate about it, Beside, sending Kindo away from the land, santigi disowns his warrior son and heir apparent.
Mando land, above all, is a male- dominated society Women are not seen much of Soko’s major worry is that the position of chief Priest will leave his line when he passes away, since women have no place in the priesthood
Points to note:
(1) Beliefs in ancestral wisdom
(2) Hard work and moral decency of the people
(3) Sanctity of human life/ severe punishment for bloodshed in the land.
(4) Male domination in the society
Question 2. Examine Wara’s role in the development of the plot Frank Ogodo Ogbeche Harvest of Corruption.
Ans: Wara is the main female character in the play. She is portrayed as attractive and a seductive dancer. We meet her early in the play when Kindo attempts to drag her into the sacred cave for sex and the resists the attempt. But for her, Soko would have come upon them in the cave. Both could have been charged with sacrilege. That they were not found out at this point advances the plot.
As Kindo’s girlfriend , wara is naive about the intrigues of the King”s court . while Kindo jealously protects her, she is , at the same time, exposed to the machinations of Maligu and Soko in their attempt to get at Kindo.
The plot is further complicated when whitehead appears, lusts after her and attempts to rape her after Maligu, parker and Soko abduct her . she beats off Whitehead’s charge on her and runs away, Her escape from Whitehead, later helped by Soko , averts an early and inevitable confrontation between Whitehead and Kindo.
Wara also plays the role of the sacrificial lamb that never was. Though targeted for sacrifice by Soko and Maligu because she qualifies as a stranger and, presumably, a virgin , she lives.
The plot unravels when Kindo asserts that Wara is not a virgin and the body on the sacrificial stone is not Wara” s but Parker “s whom he has Killed. Kindo also kills Whitehead who has attempted to mar his relationship with Wara, as well as destroy Mando land’s customary practice s .
Wara, in the end, proves that people can manipulate custom for their own interests by revealing to kindo that she is not a stranger in Mando land.
Points to note:
(1) Wara”s attractive personality, her skill as a seductive dancer and her relationship with Kindo
(2) The cave scene and her presence of mind which enables her to extricate herself from the charge of committing sacrilege.
(3) Whitehead’s lechery and her escape from being raped. Which ddlays and complicates the play’s denouement.
(4) Her being offered as a sacrificial lamb that never was, being viewed as a stranger, a virgin and Kindo’ s woman.
(5) Her proof that she”s an indigence of Mando land , which shows how people attempt to exploit custom for selfish interests.
Question 3. Justify the title of the play?
Answer; The play is about the corrupt acts of public servants and their collaborators, in the play we see how people thrive on corruption and suffer the consequence of their acts.
Chief Haladu Ade- Amaka is corruption personified, He collaborates with others to carry out the corrupt activities in the play. Chambers, like Madam Hoha, Ochuole and Aloho are willing tools in his hands, he also as the Commissioner of Police and justice Odili. There are also a string of boys who are paid to work for Chief Ade- Amaka from time to time.
His exalted position as the Minister of External Relations notwithstanding , chief Ade- Amaka engages in criminal acts, such as the falsification of Financial figures, authorisation for payment of capital items not purchased and the exploitation of girls. Worse, still is his involvement in drug trafficking, an illicit business for which he recruits young , understanding girls like Aloho to carry it out.
Question 4. Assess The Character of Ogeyi in the play
Ogeyi is a very bold and honest girl. She demonstrates this when she stands out as a crusader for social justice. She exposes Chief Ade- Amaka’s anti- social behaviours. She reports him to the police regarding his affair with Aloho which leads to Aloho’s death. She seeks redress in court as a prosecution witness against Chief Ade- Amaka who is finally jailed. When Aloho gets pregnant and Contemplates aborting the pregnancy, Ogeyi dissuades her, advising her to deliver the baby, she stands by Aloho in all her travails, supporting her to return to her family and have her baby..
It is due to Ogeyi’s persistence that Aloho escapes being tagged a murderer. It is also the information she gives to the police that brings Chief Ade- Amaka to book.
Points to note:
(1) Ogeyi as a university graduate and a born- again Christian..
(2) Her employment as a receptionist at ABC company and her humility and modest habits.
(3)Her friendship with Aloho and her kindheartedness in accommodating her jobless friend, Aloho and tolerating the latter” s rebellious spirit.
(4)Her securing justice for Aloho and ensuring the arrest and successful prosecution of the criminals in the book.
SECTION B: NON- AFRICAN DRAMA
Question 5. Examine the Youngers as a close- knit family
Answer; The home setting of the youngers throws upon them as a close- knit family. Though they share family with neighbours and are cramped in, mama .their pillar of unity believes in the importance of family and this drives her to ensure that all the members toe the line, one way or the other. As individuals , they have dreams but in the background is a well- bonded family and no one is left out of the fold.
Ruth does her bit by maki ng sure the family wakes up early to use the shared bathroom on time before others encumber it. Travis’s hope is restored when his father ( Walter) satisfies him with the fifty cents for school. Travis also gets an extra fifty cents for fruits from his father. This shows that there is always someone who cares for the rest, even Travis , in times of need.
The Youngers’ closeness as a family is expressed in the way Mama uses her discretion and goodwill in putting the ten thousand dollar- insurance money to use to make everyone happy.
Beneatha’s dream of attending medical school as well as Walter” s longing to own a store are all catered for by the cheque. Buying a bigger house at Claybourne Park is also a dream come true as it keeps the family time. Mama is happy that she gets a gift of gardening tool s and a hat even though it isn’t Christmas time. But the unity of the Younger family is brought under severe stress and strain as the family is brought under rejects Mr. Karl Lindner’s offer to buy them off their this act they prove that together , they can fight the racial bigotry and prejudices of their white counterparts.
Points to note:
(1) The Younger”s background and setting.
(2) Mama as the pillar/ anchor/ fulcrum on/ around which the family rest/ revolve.
(3) Their togetherness in spite of their individual differences and aspirations.
(4) The family ‘s ability to resist offer to keep them out of Clybourne Park.
Question 6. How are Mama, Ruth and Beneatha portrayed in the play?
Answer: Mrs. Younger, Mama, is portrayed as a traditional woman. Mama belongs to the class of woman that believe that men should always be in charge. Thus, she never fails to tell who her husband was and how she submitted to him.
After her husband’s death, she is the matriarch of the family , the one that the rest of the family looks up to. She is initially disappointed that Walter Jr. is unable to take up his role as the family head. Thus, when the cheque arrives she decides first what to do with it— buy a house at Clybourne Park and move the family into a more decent accommodation and environment, Walter”s disagreement notwithstanding. With the cheque, she is able to satisfy her children’s dreams , including Ruth’s and even Travis’s By allowing Walter her faith in her son: ” it ain’t much but it’s all i got in you to be the head of the family from now on like you supposed to be.”
Ruth represents a different class of women who will stand up to men they are wrong. Thus It is not all that Walter, her husband , says that she takes . for instance, when walter responds to her question, ” what kind of eggs you want?” With’ not scrambled “. She immediately begins scrambling the eggs . Another example is her defying her husband’s opposition to her intended abortion. Thanks to Mama. Ruth changes her mind.
Beneatha alone stands for Change. Her desire is to pursue education and become a doctor. This challenges the conventional role of the African American woman who is not expected to aspire to professions reserved for men. Even when men try to exert power on Beneatha and belittle her, she remains resolute. The hair incident is an example , when George tells her to ‘drop the Garbo routine ‘ because he does not want to hear all about (her) thoughts; she refuses to be belittled and asks him ‘ Then why read books? Why go to school?
She is aghast at his answer”…you need books….to get grades—- to pass the course—- to get , a degree.
That” s all—- It has nothing to do with thoughts”.
Beneatha mulls over this and decides that George is a fool and will not waste her time on a fool.
Beneatha, like her mother and Ruth, cannot believe that Walter has staked the rest of the insurance money on a deal that goes wrong . unlike them, however, she pours contempt on him —- i look at you and I see the final triumph of stupidity in the World, ” adding that Walter is not a man ;’ he is nothing but a toothless rat”. But when her mother admonishes her, saying that ” the time to love somebody the most… is when he’s at his lowest and can’t believe it himself . .
Beneatha readily takes that to heart. Later, after Walter tells Mr. Lindner through much fumbling on his part, that the family has refused Lindner’s offer and will move into their house, Beneatha is the first to support Walter . when a stupefied Lindner says to the family “I take it then that you have decided to occupy ” it is beneatha who quickly responds ‘ That”s what the man said . Walter , whom she earlier said was not a man is the very ‘Man’ she confidentely refers to, because she sees him rise to his duty ‘” like a rainbow after the rain’.
Points to note;
(1) The characterisation of Mama as matriarch of the family. Her taking over responsibility as head after her husband”s death ; her offer of love even when there are cracks in the family fold; her use of the insurance money to buy a house at Clybourne Park; her ceding control over the family to Walter after he has come into his own.
(2) Ruth”s portrayal as a not so conventional woman in her relationship with Walter ; her ability to express her feeling openly to Mama , her acting Mama’s confidant ; her pleasure in moving out of misery to Clybourne Park.
(3) Beneatha “s portrayal as the unconventional black American woman, educated and aspiring to become a doctor. Her intolerance of mediocrity in men who would put her down and her emotional and psychological affinity to men like Asagai. She too is happy to move to Clybourne Park..
Question 7. Compare the relationship between Tony and Constance with that between Young Marlow and Kate
Answer; Tony Lumpkin is Mrs, Hardcastle”s son from her first marriage. Constance Neville Tony’s cousin who lives with her aunt—-Mrs. Hardcastle.
Tony and Constance are being manipulated into marriage by Mrs. Hardcastle whose interest is in retaining Constance”s jewels in the family. However, both Tony and Constance have other ideas. Tony wishes to marry his girlfriend ” big Betty Bouncer” while Constance refuses to be separated from Hastings.her admirer.
Mrs. Hardcastle courts Constance for Tony and therefore dotes on him.However, upon the arrival of Hastings in the company of Young Marlow , Constance resolves to let Mrs Hardcastle ” suppose that i am in love with her son, and she never once dreams that my affections are fixed on another.
So, one can infer that no intentions- to-marry relationship exists between Constance and Tony, except that which Mrs. Hardcastle imposes on them and which they both resist.
Constance herself capture this in…. ‘ i’m sure(Tony) would wish to see me married to anybody but himself.”
On the other hand, Kate and Young Marlow are brought together by ties of friendship. Mr. Hardcastle assures Kate thus…”I expect the young gentleman I have chosen to be your husband from town this very day “. Kate” s interest in Marlow aroused following her father”s description of Marlow as a man of excellent understanding ….very generous …young and brave …a bred scholar and very handsome”.
Interestingly, Kate becomes undeterred even after learning that Marlow is bashful and reserved. Her resolve to ” cure him of his timidity ” leads her to act as a maid bringing herself down to the level that Marlow is comfortable with.
Thus, Mrs. Hardcastle”s attempt to force Tony on Constance fails woefully because the motive is selfish and materialistic. Kate and Marlow”s relationship endures because it is borne out of attraction. This is shown in the way she “stoops to conquer” Marlow.
It is interesting that both relationships are based on pretense—- Tony pretending to be in love with Constance and Young Marlow pretending not to be in love, until their circumstances change.
Points to note
(1)The relationship between Tony and Constance being one of cousins in a contrived courtship bound to fail because of their separate interests and which do not match Mrs. Hardcastle “s material interests.
(2) The relationship between Young Marlow and Kate being one based on ties of friendship in an equally contrived courtship which blossoms into love.
(3) Both relationship are based on pretense until the curtain is removed and the parties realize their objectives.
Question 8. How does Mr Hardcastle feel towards his step-son?
Ans; Mr Hardcastle is a typical upper class gentleman, He is indulgent and has a keen sense of tolerate his wife’s extravagances and pretentions, as well as bear with his mischievous; wayward stepson.
Tony Lumpkin is a pampered young man who unequivous, rejects the authority exerted by his mother and the restrictions she tries to place on him Mrs. Hardcastle thinks she is doing the best for her son, but Tony thinks otherwise. Such doting on her son, which he resents, is a source of amusement rather than annoyance for Mr. Hardcastle , who obviously does not harbour any ill towards the young man, Being clear in his mind that any misconduct on the part of the young man stems from his mother’s spoiling him, Mr. Hardcastle ‘s feeling towards his stepson is benign enough , indeed , through the sardonic commënts that he passes about Tony. It can be seen that he holds no ill- will against Tony
When the play opens , Mr. Hardcastle is seen trying to show his wife how much she is mistaken about her own son and her attitude towards him. His comment that Tony”s learning comprises ” a mere composition of trickd and mischief ” is quite harmless , he is not made angry by his wife”s defence of Tony”s pranks as “humour” Rather , he on his part, catalogies Tony’s mischiefs.” burning the footmen”s shoes, frightening the maid. and worrying the kittens.” These he thinks are not funny .” it was but yesterday he fastened my wig to the back of my chair” and when Mr. Hardcastle tries to bow to Mrs Frizzle, his baldness is uncovered as the wig comes off hanging on the chair.
Mr. Hardcastle good- naturadly mocks his wife’s assertion that Tony is sickly and explaind that the young man simply drinks too much. When Mrs Hardcastle says that Tony is consumptive Mr. Hardcastle disagrees, saying that Tony is only ‘growing too fat”.
Tony enters while this discussion goes on but will not stay to ” give Papa and I a little of your company” because he simply must be at ‘ the ate – house , the old place ‘ l thought so”. Mr Hardcastle is not opposed to ” a pair that only spoil each other”.
Throughout the play, Mr, Hardcastle “s attitude towards Tony Lumpkin is light- hearted. In the penultimate scene where the prankster takes his mother round and round the house to lease her, Tony notes that his mother has been spoiling him and so she must ” take the fruits on ” t” . Mr. Hardcastle’s comment is in character :” There “s morality, however , in his reply”. This is an unusual approval of Tony” s weird reaction to his mother’s love and doting. Even the question of Tony”s real age , as far as Mr.Hardcastle is concerned, Has been a settled matter all along.
Points to note:.
(1)Mr. Hardcastle ‘s view of Tony as a pampered child and blaming it all on Mrs. Hardcastle . tony”s mother
(2)Mr. Hardcastle ‘s good humored tolerance of Tony’s pranks .some of which affect him directly.
(3)His disposition that Tony has already come of age and needs to be on his own.
(4) His approval of Tony teasing his own mother.
Question 9. Relate the title of the poem Ambushto the theme of frustrated dreams.
Answer; The word ” Ambush” suggests a situation of being trapped and unable to escape. Throughout the poem, this feeling of entrapment or siege is strong. This entrapment is symbolically for oppression.
The land is likened to ” a giant whale” that thwarts fisherman”s endeavours. To ensure not only the hook, line and sinker, but also the bait. This is a poignant expression of the total hopelessness of the fisherman”s situation. In the end , the ” fishers turn home” in ” empty ships” with their desires or dreams unfulfilled. Their quest has been futile, made so by the destructive act of the ” giant whale”.
The metaphor does not end there. From this marine image the poet moves to one of land. The land , as metaphor for a crushing society is compared to ” a sabre- toothed tiger”. The man- eating animal frightens all without exception. All are eager to free from the roaring tiger to the security of self- preservation however, no one dare step out of doors , particularly when it is dark. The fear imposed by the tiger cripples the people”s desire to pursue their separate ambitions in the unfortunate circumstances, the remaining escape route is by air. Yet, even there, there is the threat of the ” giant hawk”. As it circles the land , the hawk, with its panoramic view, is said to court ” unceasing disaster “. hooting as it hovers.
Thus, the title of the poem, together with the treatment of the theme of frustration , appropriately underscore s the plight of a people whose own land denies and escape for them.
Points to note;
(a) An explanation and interpretation of the term ambush.
(b)The land as metaphor for an oppressive society
(c) The agents of the oppression —- giant whale, the hawk and the tiger.
(i) The sealed off avenues of escape— sea, land and air.
(d) The culminating effect of all these as they frustrate all dreams of escape/success..
Question 10. Discuss the use of symbolism in Okara’s piano and Drums
Answer; The poem is about the clash of cutlass and the major symbolise are the drums , on the other hand, and the piano on the other, Each represents the African and the western culture respectively. The minor symbols are drawn from flora and fauna.
The persona recalls the jungle drums telegraphing the mystic rhythm” to symbolise the simplicity, not only of rural life, but also of authentic African culture. It is the sound of these drums that excites in hint nostalgic feelings of the good old days in the ” Mother”s laps a suckling “. The sound also evokes memories of the rustic village life of that time and age as captured by the pastoral image of the hunters crouching ” with’ spears poised”. The animal image of ‘ the leopard snaring about to leap” and the flora image of “green leaves and wild flowers”. evokes fear and beauty. The sound of the drums also enables the persona to recall the simplicity of that are when ” paths with no innovations ” were ‘ fashioned” with the ” naked/ warmth of hurrying feet”. The language associated with the drum symbol has warmth , vivacity and vitality , which reveals the persona’s bias towards African culture.
The other major symbol is the piano—— the wailing piano—– which stands for the new complex and allen culture and its mechanical sophistication phrases used to describe this are ” tear- furrowed concerto “. Coaxing diminuendo, counterpoint and crescendo “. The language associated with this symbol of the piano is doleful e.g wailing piano, and one the persona is unable to identify with.
Nevertheless, the two symbols — the ” jungle drums and the ” wailing piano”—- forge a new consciousness that the persona is unable to deal with. That is his labyrinth.
Points to note:
(1)Symbolism is representation of an abstract idea or thing by concrete objects piano and drums are the key symbols.
(2) The images associated with the drums are evoking, idyllic/pastoral setting.
(3) The Images associated with the piano invoking artificially , sophistication and even sorrow.
(4) The poet “s complex attitude towards both symbols.
NON- AFRICAN POETRY
Question 11. Comment on the use of pun in Herbert’s The Pulley.
Answer: “The Pulley ” is a poem about God”s love for mankind and His concern that man is never separated from Him.
According to Herbert”s narrative , which is interspersed with God”s own direct speech , God, at the beginning of creation , blessed man with the ” World”s riches” poured from his ” glass of blessings”.in that order, expect one , ” rest whose several meanings constitute the literary device called “Pun” , loosely defined as ” a play on words”. Indeed the first pun on “rest” gives it the meaning of contentment. From God’s Own perspective. If he should bestow “rest on His creature. Man, the latter ” s contentment alone will separate him from God and he will ” rest in mature, not the God of nature”, and thus “adore my gifts instead of me “, Here a related meaning of ” rest” is being played on, which is ” abide in”, alongside being ” content with”
The second pun on “rest invests the word with the meaning ” others(s) referring to the ” worldly riches” God has already bestowed on man. By withholding the gift of “rest God, nevertheless intends that man should enjoy ” the rest”—— His other gifts , yet ” rest” withheld generates restlessness in man its exact opposite. This time, the pun on ” rest” includes its opposite —– restlessness. The latter is reinforced by God”s choice of Modifier,——– ” repining ” to produce ” repining restlessness “. The implication or suggestion is that God goes to great length to draw man back to Himself (as a pulley does) by creating in the latter an ennui that is never satisfied. This is the result of the ” rest” that God withholds from man among the rest of the gifts bestowed . God”s arrangement then ensures that if man”s inclination to do good does not bring him close enough to God, ” weariness ” induced by ” repining restlessness ” will ” toss him to my breast “. It can be concluded then that pun plays a crucial role in unravelling the meaning of the poem.
Points to note;
(1) The interpretation of pun and its relevance to the theme
(2) Pun on ” rest” as contentment
(3) Pun on ” rest as remainder / other
(4) Relationship of “rest” to the thematic concerns of the poem
12. Examine the theme of endurance in Birches..
Answer; The Poem is about birches , trees that grow in temperate regions and are noted for their resilience , The poet describes a situation in which the trees are bent either by a boy swinging them, or by nature through the effect of snow and ice- storms , Details of the ravages brought upon the trees are provided as they click ‘ crash ‘ under the snow until summer when the warmth of the sun melts the snow and enables them to rise again. Even so, they are cut and loaded off as timber.
The emphasis throughout the poem is on the resilience of the trees , whether they are bent by humans or by nature itself And in spite of the fact that they never fall never to rise ‘ years afterwards”, as their trunks arch in the woods attractively, like girls hair tossed ” before them over their heads to dry”.
The poet even recalls a memorable incident of some boy that had taken to swinging birches , and taken care not to swing too low to lose hold as the trees swing back.” He remembers his own childhood experience too.
The very fact of the experience is not lost upon the poet. Indeed the resilience of the provides a lesson for his own determination to endure life the way birches do. Their supple frame enables them to endure what both man and nature do to them. And that is the lesson of endurance with swinging the trees.
Points to note;
(a) The havoc wreaked on the birch trees by snow and ice storms which bend them
(b)The resilience of the birch trees as they lie or bend
(c) The swinging of birch trees for sport by ” some boy” and the speaker , illustrating their ability to withstand abuse.
(d) The lesson the speaker learns about the birch trees through observation and experience.
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