Literature In English Examination Questions for Secondary School Students (SS3 Students)

Literature In English Examination Questions for Secondary School Students (SS3 Students)


SUBJECT: Literature In English



Instruction: Answer all questions in this section.

  1. The reptiles of a consonant sound in quick succession for sound effect is

(a) Alliteration (b) Pun (c) Onomatopoeia (d) Assonance

  1. A play in which the acts succeed one another without probable or necessary sequence is

(a) Episodic (b) Simple (c) Linear (d) Convoluted

  1. A technique by which a previous scene or action can be recalled in a play to shed light on the present action is

(a) climax (b) flashback (c) interlude (d) catharsis

  1. Criticism is a literacy activity which seeks to

(a) find faults in a literacy work (b) analyze and evaluate a literary work (c) compare and contrast novels (d) Discover the beauty of literacy work

  1. A situation where an actor addresses the audience without the other actors hearing him is called

(a) soliloquy (b) chorus (c) aside (d) solo

  1. A band of singers and dancers in a drama who act  as a link between the play  and the audience is the

(a) chorus (b) down (c) playwright (d) cast

  1. “We all make decisions, sometimes it is wrong, sometimes it is right”. The speaker in the line above is

(a) afraid (b) excited (c) pessimistic (d) reassuring

  1. Aesthetics in literature has to do with the creation of

(a) imagery (b) lines (c) beauty (d) themes

  1. Unity of time in a tragedy implies that all actions should take place

(a) simultaneously (b) intermittently (c) in a single revolution of the sun (d) within the same locals

  1. Which of the following are literacy genres?

(a) poetry, farce and faction (b) Fiction, poetry and drama (c) Drama, faction and biography (d) Poetry, orthography and fiction.

  1. What is an Epic?

(a) A story that exalts a historical character (b) An epoch making exalt (c) A descriptive poem celebrating the achievements of a character (d) A narrative prose describing a character

  1. Persona refers to the

(a) central character in a play (b) voice of the character (c) the image of the character presents (d) the personality character

  1. The three main untied in drama are those of

(a) Action, time and place (b) Time, space ad action (c) Place, time and space (d) Space, action and time

  1. An elegy is a poem that mourns for the

(a) deceased (b) bereaved (c) accused (d) king

  1. When the statements or comparisons are apparently contradictory, we have an example of

(a) Irony (b) Paradox (c) Contrast (d) Parallelism

  1. A melodramatic play is based on

(a) a melodious manipulation of events (b) ingredients that mellow down events (c) sensational plot and characters (d) the playwright’s didactic overtones

  1. In drama, a conspicuous weakness in the character of the protagonist contributing to his downfall is referred to as

(a) an anagnorisis (b) a tragic flaw (c) a catharsis (d) a catastrophe

  1. Romantic poetry emphasizes

(a) the beauty of nature (b) intimate relationships (c) the love in human nature (d) the romance in human aspirations

  1. ‘The woman whose breasts I sucked is gone to the worms’. These lines illustrate the use of

(a) sadism (b) sophism (c) satire (d) euphemism

  1. A work which takes place in a non-existent world or which concerns an incredible character is

(a) Romance (b) Fantasy (c) Parody (d) Superstition

  1. A travelogue is

(a) The account of the travails of a character in a novel (b) A record of the writer’s experiences during a journey (c) A variant of a novel written in a free style on a writer’s journey (d) The account of the experiences of an individual during a journey.

Read the poem and answer questions 22 – 26

Here stood our ancestral home

The crumbling wall marks the spot

Here a sheep was led to the slaughter

To appease the gods and atone

For faults which our destiny

Has blossomed into crimes

There my cursed father once stood

And shouted to us, his children

To come back from our play

To our evening meal and sleep

  1. The mood of the poem is

(a) Hopeful (b) Joyful (c) Nostalgic (d) Exciting

  1. The sheep was led to the slaughter

(a) to prepare their evening meal (b) because it was a troublesome sheep (c) because their father was butcher  (d) as a sacrifice to their gods

  1. “To appease the gods” implies

(a) Seeking the favour of the gods (b) offering meals to the gods (c) accusing the gods for their misfortune (d) Reciting incantations to the gods

  1. The underlined means that

(a) They were living in a house with a high wall (b) Their building is no longer where it used to be (c) The children had caused the wall to crumble (d) Their father made them pull down the wall

  1. The image used in line six is taken from (a) war (b) the moon (c) flowers (d) prison
  1. A mountain of fufu was placed before the hungry visitors. The device used above is

(a) Hyperbole (b) Euphemism (c) Alliteration (d) Assonance

  1. “Tell me not, sweet, I am unkind” illustrates (a) Inversion (b) Paradox (c) Humour (d) Mood
  2. A long narrative poem which deals with heroic deeds is (a) Lyric (b) Epic (c) Ode (d) Euphony
  3. The art of giving human attributes to non-human objects is (a) Personification (b) Allegory (c) Anecdote (d) Allusion
  4. When characters talk to each other, it is referred to as (a) soliloquy (b) monologue (c) dialogue (d) recitation

Read the extract and answer questions 32 and 33

Here lies our sovereign lord and king whose word no man relies on who never said a foolish thing. And never did a wise one.

  1. The extract is an example of a/an(a) Dirge (b) Epigram (c) Oxymoron (d) Parody
  1. The tone of the extract is one of(a) anger (b) pity (c) sarcasm (d) indifference
  1. ________ is fundamental to a play or novel

(a) mime (b) conflict (c) flashback (d) epilogue

  1. In poetry _______ is made up of stressed and unstressed syllables(a) an iambus (b) an anapaest (c) trochee (d) dactyl
  1. In drama, comic relief often occurs in(a) Comedies (b) Tragedies (c) Historical Plays (d) Romantics plays
  1. An expression from which one derives mental picture is(a) Paradox (b) Exaggeration (c) Imagery (d) Photography
  1. A person’s life story written by another is(a) a commentary (b) a biography (c) an autobiography (d) an epistolary
  1. A character whose actions or qualities serve to heighten those of the hero through contrast is (a) an adversary (b) a protagonist (c) an antagonist (d) a foil
  1. The form used to depict the freedom of a poet with language is (a) Poetic diction (b) Bathos (c) graphology (d) poetic license
  2. A stanza of four lines is a (a) couplet (b) quintet (c) septet (d) quatrain
  3. _______ in drama operates against a character who is unaware of a situation which the audience know about (a) Verbal Irony (b) Dramatic Irony (c) Satire (d) Parody
  4. What is the dominant device exemplified in this sentence “I came, I saw but was conquered”. (a) Allusion (b) Blank verse (c) Free verse (d) Irony
  5. When two words opposite in meaning stand shoulder to shoulder in a remark, a figure of speech known as _______ has been used. (a) Enjambment (b) Oxymoron (c) Melodrama (d) Hyperbole
  6. Bank verse has no (a) meter (b) rhyme (c) rhythm (d) imagery
  7. An epilogue (a) introduces a play (b) develops characters (c) sums up a play (d) introduces characters
  8. The king has joined his ancestors’ is an example of (a) Euphemism (b) Eulogy (c) Malapropism (d) Trilogy
  9. “The pen is mightier than the sword” is an example of (a) symbol (b) metaphor (c) metonymy (d) oxymoron
  10. In a play, unfolding events reach their peak in one (a) Climax (b) Denouncement (c) catharsis (d) conflict
  11. One of the following makes use of gesture only (a) comedy (b) lampoon (c) mime (d) satire

Unseen poetry and prose–Read the extract and answer questions 51 – 55

Bent-double, like old beggars under sacks,Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we curse through Sludge,

Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,

And toward our distant rest began to trudge,

men marched asleep, many had lost their books

But limped on, blood-shed. All went lame, all blind;

Drunk with fatigue: even deaf to the hoots

of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

  1. The extract conveys a mood of (a) Dejection (b) Desperation (c) Resentment (d) Resignation
  2. The dominant figure of speech in the first stanza is (a) Hyperbole (b) Simile (c) Euphemism (d) Pun
  3. The expression Drunk with fatigue illustrates (a) metaphor (b) synecdoche (c) litotes (d) irony
  4. The rhyme scheme of the first stanza is (a) aabb (b) abab (c) abcd (d) abba
  5. Sludge in the extract means (a) water (b) fire (c) snow (d) mud
  6. A narrative in which characters and events are invented is (a) Fiction (b) Epistolary (c) Autobiography (d) Biography

Use the following lines to answer 57 and 58

Truth may bend but will never break: It will ever rise above falsehood as oil above water

  1. The alliteration in the first line (a) Draws attention to the key ideas (b) Draws attention to the rhythm of the line (c) Makes the idea sound more true (d) makes the line sound more pleasant
  2. The simile in the second line (a) Expresses the idea more vividly (b) Tells one that oil is heavier than water (c) Makes a comparison between oil and water (d) Expresses the idea in a complex manner
  3. The types of literacy work are (a) Eras (b) Episodes (c) Genres (d) Cantos
  4. The choice of words to create special effects is called (a) fallacy (b) atmosphere (c) diction (d) mood


Instruction: Answer any four (4) questions from this section. One from each segment.



1a.     Discuss the relevance of the poem to contemporary realities in Africa (5 marks)

  1. Discuss the theme of pain and misery in the poem (5 marks)

2a.     Give a detailed account of the poem (6 marks)

  1. Closely examine the background and setting of the poem as they relate to its contents (4 marks)


  1. How does “The Dining Table” by Gbanabom Hallowell echo the travails and trauma of war? (10 marks)
  2. Give a detailed account of the poem (10 marks)
  3. Discuss “The Dining Table” as a criticism of war (10 marks)

4a.     Discuss the setting as well as structure of the poem (5 marks)

  1. What is the meaning of “When the playground is emptied of children’s toys/who needs road blocks”? Justify your interpretation using the poem’s content. (5 marks)


1a.     From the poem, consider fully what happens as one ages (5 marks)

  1. Discuss the background and setting of the poem (5 marks)
  2. What is sarcasm? Show that the poet is sarcastic in the poem (10 marks)
  3. Give a detailed stanza by stanza account of the poem (10 marks)


  1. Examine the structure of the poem, How does the poet succeed in making his point I. (10 marks)
  2. Give a detailed account of the poem. (10 marks)
  3. How does the poem portray the circumstances of Africans in the modern era? (10 marks)


  1. Discuss “Birches” as a poem celebrating the beauty and vitality of nature (10 marks)
  2. Identify and comment extensively on the dominant theme in the poem. (10 marks)
  3. Comment on the language and diction of the poem. (10 marks)

Shall I compare thee to summer’s day?

1a.     Using your knowledge of the form and structure of the sonnet as your guide, discuss “shall I compare thee to a summer’s day”? (6 marks)

  1. Discuss the poetic devices used in this poem (4 marks)
  2. Identify the central theme of the poem and discuss it extensively (10 marks)

3a.     Attempt a metaphorical interpretation of the poem (15 marks)

b.       Give a summary of the story embedded in this poem