2023 WAEC LITERATURE IN ENGLISH QUESTIONS
DRAMA AND POETRY
Instruction: Answer four questions in all; one question from each section.
Develop not less than five points in your answers
Answer one question only from this section.
JOHN, K. KARGBO: Let me Die Alone
1. Consider Lamboi and Musa as conspirators.
2. Discuss the use of foreshadow and soliloquy in thc play.
WOLE SOYINKA: The Lion and the Jewel
3. Examine the encounter between Lakunle and Sidi in Morning.
4. Show why Baroka opposes the construction of the railway.
Answer one question only from this section.
JOHN, OSBORNE: Look Back in Anger
5. Does Jimmy love Helena?
6. Comment on the role of Cliff Lewis in the play.
AUGUST, WiLSON: Fences
7. What does Troy’s perception of death portray about him?
8. Show why Bono is committed to his friendship with Troy.
Answer one question only from this section.
9. Examine the changes in mood in A Government Driver on his Retirement.
10. Consider the use of alliteration, assonance and repetition in Black Woman.
Answer one question only from this section.
11. Comment on the poet’s diction in Do not go Gentle into that Good Night
12. Examine the use of imagery in Caged Bird.
Consider Lamboi and Musa as conspirators.
The play explores the spate of cabal or conspiracy which is a secret agreement between two or more people to perform an unlawful act. The conspirators in this play includes Lamboi and Musa. One of their selfish aims or objectives is not only to take charge of the chiefdom but also to kill and maim at will.
Firstly, Lamboi together with Musa, the seer and medicine man nurses a plan to poison and have chief Gbanya murdered for passing the Chiefdom to Yoko, a mere woman. Lamboi then compels Musa to poison chief with Alligator gall when Yoko is not available in the courtyard. Part of Lamboi bitterness is the fact that he advised Gbanya not to undertake the Caulker campaign, but Yoko told him she needed more slaves to work on the farm he’d given her, so they had to go to war which was not their own. Consequently, many of their finest fighters, young men died just to satisfy the want of a woman. The fear of Yoko turning the chiefdom and leading Senehun astray makes them come with their plan to eliminate Gbanya.
In addition, as soon as Lamboi’s plan to take over from Gbanya yield no fruit.
This time around, they intend to kidnap and kill Ndapi’s daughter, Jeneba, bury her in a shallow grave. They will therefore trick and manipulate the people to believe Yoko used her as a sacrifice for more power and authority.
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Discuss the use of foreshadow and soliloquy in the play.S
Foreshadowing is a device used in literature to hint at events that will happen later in the story. Shakespeare’s play ‘Hamlet’ is full of foreshadowing, and these subtle hints are used to build tension, create suspense, and foreshadow the tragic ending of the play.
One of the most powerful examples of foreshadowing in the play occurs in Act 1, Scene 5, where Hamlet speaks to the ghost of his father. At the end of the scene, the ghost warns Hamlet not to harm his mother, as she will be punished by God for her sins. This foreshadows the tragic ending of the play, as both Hamlet and his mother meet their fate at the hands of the vengeful Laertes.
Another example of foreshadowing is the appearance of the players in Act 2, Scene 2. These actors will later perform a play that Hamlet has written, which will mirror the events of the play and help him to reveal Claudius’s guilt. This scene foreshadows the eventual downfall of the villainous king, even as he plots to destroy Hamlet.
Soliloquies are another powerful literary device used in the play. Shakespeare uses soliloquies to give insights into the characters’ minds, and to reveal their deepest thoughts and feelings. One of the most famous soliloquies in the play is Hamlet’s ‘To be or not to be’ speech. This powerful soliloquy reveals Hamlet’s inner turmoil and his struggle with the idea of suicide.
Another notable soliloquy occurs in Act 3, Scene 1, when Hamlet confronts Ophelia. In this emotional speech, Hamlet expresses his frustration with Ophelia’s inability to understand his pain. This soliloquy reveals Hamlet’s deep-seated misogyny, and his belief that women are incapable of understanding the complexities of his mind.
In conclusion, the use of foreshadowing and soliloquies in Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ helps to create a richly complex and layered work, full of tension, emotion, and hidden meanings. These literary devices allow the audience to delve deeper into the minds of the characters, and to anticipate the tragic ending of the play.
Examine the encounter between Lakunle and Sidi in Morning.
The play opens in the morning, near the village center on the edge of the market. The ‘bush’ school, that is, the village school Lakunle, the school teacher is nearly twenty-three years old, dressed in an “old style and worn-out English suit, rough but not ragged, but clearly “a size or two too small”. Sidi carried a pail of water on her head and Lakunle complains bitterly about such an act because she is at risk of shortening her neck and also because she has exposed her shoulders for everyone in the village to feast his lustful eyes on. Sidi defends such an action when she says at she decides to fold the wrapper high so that she can breathe, and Lakunle insists that she could have worn something on top as most model do. Sidi becomes furious and reprimands Lakunle to desist from being a village gossip and also calls him “the mad man/of llunjunle. because of his meaningless words, but Lakunle is undaunted because he feels that women’s brain is naturally small, women are the weaker sex, only weaker breeds pound yams, bend to plant millet. He foresees that one, two years to come when machines will do those things and he also hints at his intention to turn llunjunle around for good. Sidi becomes fed up with the meaningless dialogue and demands her pail back angrily but debunks the payment of bride price.
Part of Lakunle’s meeting with Sidi is to make known his intention to marry her and she insists that her bride price must be paid according to their custom and tradition and that marrying him without a price would make people think that she is no virgin and that would bring shame to her family.
But Lakunle resists the idea and describes it as a savage custom that is barbaric and uncivilized. He goes further to educate Sidi on the implication of payment of the bride price and his plan. Lakunle calls Sidi a bush and uncivilized girl who does not want to appreciate and accept civilized romance and ideology.
The introductory part of this play between Sidi and Lakunle shows the cultural gap versus modernity.
Show why Baroka opposes the construction of the railway.
SolutionIn the play “The Lion and the Jewel” by Wole Soyinka, Baroka opposes the construction of a railway due to his personal interests.
In the play “The Lion and the Jewel” by Wole Soyinka, Baroka opposes the construction of a railway due to his personal interests.
Firstly, Baroka, the traditional leader of the village, does not want the railway to be constructed because he believes it will bring an end to his reign. The railway would bring in modernity and development into the village, which would threaten Baroka’s outdated and traditional rule. He is afraid that with modernization, his authority would be challenged, which is why he opposes the railway wholeheartedly.
Secondly, Baroka also opposes the construction of the railway because he believes it would disrupt the traditional way of life of the villagers. The railway would bring in new people and new ideas, which would challenge the traditional customs and beliefs that Baroka holds dear. He fears that the railway would bring change, which would cause chaos and conflict in the village.
Additionally, Baroka is a shrewd politician and businessman. He sees the construction of the railway as a potential loss to his business interests. As the chief producer of palm oil in the village, Baroka knows that the railway would bring in competition, which would negatively impact his business. Therefore, he opposes the railway to protect his business interests.
In summary, Baroka opposes the construction of the railway in the play “The Lion and the Jewel” by Wole Soyinka because it threatens his traditional authority, the traditional way of life, and his business interests.
Does Jimmy love Helena?
The love between Jimmy and Helena is portrayed as complicated and filled with tension. Their relationship is marked by conflicts, power struggles, and unhealthy dynamics. Jimmy’s love for Helena may be genuine, but it is also intertwined with anger, resentment, and societal frustrations. The play delves into the complexities of love and relationships, portraying the nuances and contradictions that can exist within them.
While Jimmy’s behavior towards Helena is often harsh, resentful, and even abusive, there are moments in the play that suggest a deep, albeit troubled, love for her. Here are a few factors that shed light on Jimmy’s feelings for Helena
Despite his anger and mistreatment of Helena, Jimmy appears emotionally dependent on her. He seeks her company, wants her attention, and becomes jealous when she interacts with other men. This suggests that he has a deep emotional connection to her.
Moments of Tenderness: Amidst their conflicts, there are instances where Jimmy displays moments of tenderness towards Helena. He shows concern for her well-being, demonstrates vulnerability, and occasionally shares intimate moments of affection. These moments indicate that he does have genuine feelings of love for her.
Jimmy’s anger and bitterness often mask his vulnerability and insecurities. It is suggested that Helena is one of the few people with whom he allows himself to be vulnerable. His need for her presence and emotional support indicates a level of emotional attachment and love.
Jimmy’s self-destructive behavior and his tendency to push away those closest to him, including Helena, can be seen as a reflection of his fear of intimacy and emotional connection. His actions may be driven by a combination of love and a subconscious desire to protect himself from being hurt.
Question 6Comment on the role of Cliff Lewis in the play.
Comment on the role of Cliff Lewis in the play.
Cliff is Jimmy’s flatmate and close friend, and their contrasting personalities create an interesting dynamic throughout the play. Jimmy says that he is the only friend of his that still stays around especially after Hugh went abroad.
Cliff Lewis plays a significant role as one of the main characters. Cliff serves as the voice of reason and the counterpoint to the protagonist, Jimmy Porter. Cliff is of the same age as Jimmy. But unlike Jimmy, Cliff is short, dark and big-boned. In Act I, he wears a pullover and grey new but very creased trousers. He is teased by Cliff and Alison for not being able to take care of his new trousers. This is indicative of his lower class background which is supposed to be crude. Cliff is relaxed, easy and lethargic.
The stage direction also states that Cliff has the sad natural intelligence of the self-taught. This means that though Cliff might not have been educated like Jimmy, he still tries to ‘better himself’ as can be seen in his seriousness at reading newspapers in the play. Cliff is the foil of Jimmy in the play.
Cliff’s role in the play is multifaceted. He serves as a bridge between the working class and the middle class, embodying a more moderate and accepting attitude towards life. Cliff has a job, is content with his position, and has aspirations of running a sweet stall, which contrasts with Jimmy’s constant dissatisfaction and desire for something more.
In many ways, Cliff represents the ordinary, everyday person who tries to find happiness and contentment within the limitations of their circumstances. His presence highlights the contrast between Jimmy’s turbulent nature and the possibility of a more balanced and accepting approach to life.
Cliff Lewis plays a crucial role as a grounding and moral figure, providing a contrasting perspective to the play’s central themes of anger, frustration, and disillusionment.
What does Troy’s perception of death portray about him?
In the play “Fences”, written by August Wilson, Troy’s perception of death serves as a significant reflection of his character and experiences. Troy’s views on death are shaped by his life experiences, struggles, and the barriers he has faced.
Troy views death as a powerful force that is ultimately inevitable and unyielding. He often speaks of death with a sense of acceptance and resignation, believing that it will come for everyone eventually. This perspective is rooted in his own experiences with hardship and disappointment, which have led him to adopt a pragmatic and somewhat fatalistic outlook.
Troy’s perception of death is also influenced by his own personal battles and the sense of confinement he feels in his life. He sees death as a way to escape the limitations and struggles of his existence. This viewpoint is particularly evident in his conversations with his friend Bono, where he expresses a longing for release and a desire to be free from the burdens of responsibility and disappointment.
Troy’s experiences of racial injustice and his dashed dreams of a career in baseball have instilled in him a sense of bitterness and resentment. His perception of death is tinged with a belief that life is inherently unfair and that it ultimately leads to disappointment and unfulfilled dreams. This outlook is exemplified in his conversations with his son Cory, where he discourages Cory from pursuing a career in sports, projecting his own unfulfilled aspirations onto his son.
Through Troy’s perspective on death, The playwright explores themes of resilience, the weight of personal history, and the ways in which individuals grapple with their own mortality in the face of adversity.
Show why Bono is committed to his friendship with Troy.
Bono is portrayed as a loyal and committed friend to the protagonist, Troy Maxson. Bono’s dedication to their friendship can be attributed to several reasons such in a way that firstly Bono and Troy have a long history together, spanning many years. They have been friends since their time in prison, and this shared experience has created a bond between them. Bono values their history and the trust they have built over time, which strengthens his commitment to their friendship.
Secondly, on their mutual support as Bono is a constant source of support for Troy, and vice versa. They lean on each other during difficult times, sharing their triumphs and hardships. Bono often acts as a sounding board for Troy’s struggles and offers advice and guidance when needed. This mutual support creates a sense of camaraderie and deepens their friendship.
Thirdly, Bono has a deep understanding of Troy’s flaws, shortcomings, and complexities. Despite Troy’s sometimes difficult and abrasive nature, Bono accepts him for who he is. He recognizes Troy’s humanity and respects his experiences, allowing for a genuine connection based on acceptance and understanding.
Further more Bono is fiercely loyal to Troy. He stands by him through thick and thin, even when Troy’s actions or decisions may be questionable. Bono remains steadfast and committed, demonstrating his unwavering loyalty to their friendship.
Additionally, Bono and Troy share certain values and beliefs. They both have a strong work ethic and a sense of responsibility. They understand the importance of providing for their families and the struggles faced by black men in a racial and more also these shared values further solidify their bond and commitment to each other.
It’s clear that Bono sees beyond Troy’s flaws and remains dedicated to their friendship, embodying the qualities of a steadfast and loyal friend.
Examine the changes in mood in A Government Driver on his Retirement.
The poet presents the reader with contrasting emotions throughout the poem. It contains different moods.
The initial two stanzas depict the circumstances leading to the appointment of the “Government Driver” who had diligently served for thirty years and was now retiring.
“…today retires he home…” lines 3
In the following stanza, the poet introduces the reader to the jubilation and delight felt by the driver due to his retirement and the recognition he receives for his dedicated service.
“…more joy to send him home”
“a brand new car in his name…” lines 17-18
The poet initially portrays the government driver’s anticipation and excitement about his retirement. However, there is a sudden shift in mood as the driver’s exhilaration intensifies upon receiving the car gift. This change in mood fuels his rejoicing even further.
…“Come friends and rejoice more, Joy till no more joy to joy…”
In the final stanza, the initial mood of excitement and fulfillment diminishes as the same excitement ultimately leads to the driver’s demise. This turn of events evokes a mood of “pity and shock” as the poem concludes.
The initial excitement that pervaded stanzas 1 to 5 dissipates as the driver indulges in alcohol, impairing his vision and sound judgment.
…”Booze boozed his vision and clear judgement, he boomed his brand new car and it sent him home to rest in peace…”
The poem begins with an exciting narrative, but as the story unfolds, it gradually transitions into a somber and gloomy atmosphere. These two prevailing moods permeate the entire plot of the poem.
Consider the use of alliteration, assonance and repetition in Black Woman.
Alliteration, assonance, and repetition are commonly used literary devices that can add emphasis and rhythm to a text. In the poem “Black Woman” by Georgia Douglas Johnson, they are used to great effect.
The poem’s opening lines use alliteration to evoke a sense of strength and resilience:
“The night is beautiful, / So the faces of my people.”
Here, the repetition of the “B” sound in “beautiful” and “faces” serves to emphasize the speaker’s pride and admiration for her community.
Assonance is used to similar effect later in the poem:
“Black queen of beauty, thy breath is rare / As the sweet perfume of the blossomed orange fair”
Here, the repetition of the “air” sound in “rare” and “fair” creates a musical effect that highlights the speaker’s adulation for the black queen she is addressing.
Finally, the poem’s refrain (“I am a black woman / Phenomenally”) makes use of repetition to drive home its message of empowerment and strength. By echoing these lines throughout the poem, the speaker reinforces her sense of identity and self-worth.
All in all, Johnson’s use of alliteration, assonance, and repetition in “Black Woman” helps to create a powerful and rhythmic poem that celebrates black womanhood and inspires its readers.
Comment on the poet’s diction in Do not go Gentle into that Good Night
“Do not go Gentle into that Good Night” is a powerful and poignant poem written by Dylan Thomas. The poet’s diction in this poem is striking and deliberate, creating a sense of urgency and emotional intensity.
The poet’s choice of words is vivid and evocative, allowing the reader to connect with the poem on an emotional level. The repeated use of the imperative phrase “Do not go gentle” throughout the poem emphasizes the poet’s plea for resistance and defiance in the face of death. The word “gentle” itself conveys a sense of surrender and acceptance, contrasting with the poet’s desire for his loved ones to fight against the inevitable.
Furthermore, the poet employs strong, resonant language to depict various stages of life and the emotions associated with them. He uses contrasting pairs of words to heighten the emotional impact, such as “light” and “dark,” “day” and “night,” and “life” and “grave.” These choices create a sense of tension and emphasize the importance of living fully and passionately, even in the face of death.
The poet’s use of vivid imagery is another noteworthy aspect of the poem’s diction. Thomas employs vivid metaphors and descriptive language to depict different types of people and their attitudes towards death. For instance, he describes “wise men” as “the good,” while “wild men” and “grave men” represent those who have lived passionately or with regret. This imagery adds depth and complexity to the poem, inviting readers to reflect on their own lives and the choices they make.
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Examine the use of imagery in Caged Bird.
The use of imagery in “Caged Bird” is central to its impact. Through vivid and contrasting images, Angelou effectively captures the stark difference between freedom and confinement, inviting readers to empathize with the bird’s plight. The poem begins with the lines:
“A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.”
In these lines, Angelou creates a vibrant image of a free bird soaring in the sky, engaging the reader’s senses and evoking a feeling of liberation. The bird’s ability to “leap,” “float,” and “claim the sky” conjures a sense of boundless movement and limitless possibilities. The imagery of the “orange sun rays” adds warmth and brilliance to the scene, enhancing the contrast with the subsequent description of the caged bird.
The poem then transitions to the caged bird’s perspective, exploring its restricted existence:
“But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.”
Here, Angelou uses imagery to depict the limitations faced by the caged bird. The bird is described as “stalk[ing] down his narrow cage,” which suggests a sense of confinement and frustration. The metaphorical “bars of rage” represent not only physical barriers but also the bird’s pent-up emotions and desire for freedom. By contrasting the bird’s clipped wings and tied feet with its defiant act of opening its throat to sing, Angelou highlights the indomitable spirit that remains despite the bird’s captivity.
The poem continues to employ vivid imagery throughout, illustrating the stark disparities between the free bird and the caged bird. The free bird is described as “named of the wind” and “trembling back to the sky,” invoking a sense of fluidity and grace. In contrast, the caged bird’s movements are restricted and confined: “his wings are clipped,” and he “beats his bars in vain.” These images create a stark juxtaposition between freedom and oppression, emphasizing the longing for liberation that permeates the poem.
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