ICSE Class 9 English Literature Sample Question Paper 2 with Answers

Section – A Drama
The Merchant of Venice : Shakespeare

Question 1.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :
Morocco : O hell! what have we here ?
A carrion Death, within whose empty eye
There is a written scroll. I’ll read the writing.
All that glisters is not gold;
Often have you heard that told?
Many a man his life hath sold But my outside to behold:
Gilded tombs do worms enfold.
Had you been as wise as bold,
Young in limbs, in judgment old,
Your answer had not been inscroll’d.
Fare you well; your suit is cold.
Cold, indeed; and labour lost:
Then, farewell, heat, and welcome, frost !

(i) What is in store for Morocco when he opens the casket?
(ii) What is the proverb that he reads in the beginning and what does it mean?
(iii) How does Morocco bid farewell to Portia?
(iv) ‘Farewell heat, and welcome, frost/ What do these words mean?
(v) Give the significance of this extract.
(i) Morocco is bewildered to find a skull with a scroll in its empty eye socket inside the golden casket. He realises of his wrong choice of that casket and accordingly will have to lead a cold life of celibacy.

(ii) Having opened the casket, Morocco read the proverb, “All that glisters is not gold” written in the scroll. It means that outward attractive appearances may sometimes be deceptive. They are unreliable. So consequently, Morocco lost and went back to his kingdom.

(iii) Morocco says that he will have to bid farewell to a warm relationship with Portia as well as stick to the stipulation of not proposing marriage to any lady. According to the rule for the losers, he bids farewell to Portia with a sad heart, which makes him leave abruptly without waiting to bid a formal farewell.

(iv) Heat means the warmth of love and frost means the coldness of celibacy. Having made a wrong choice, Morocco has to bid farewell to Portia and go back and never speak to a lady in the matter of marriage. –

(v) The song is significant as it helps Bassanio to make the right choice. It is appropriate to the situation as it adds to the entertainment value of the drama. It also shows how clever Portia is; as while ensuring not to break the rules her father made, through the song she helps Bassanio to make the right choice. Her sharp brain is at work here which is a prelude to her role as a lawyer in the Trial Scene later.

ICSE Class 9 English Literature Sample Question Paper 2 with Answers

Question 2.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :
Shylock : Signor Antonio, many a time and oft
In the Rialto you have rated me
About my moneys and my usances:
Still have I borne it with a patient shrug,
For sufferance is the badge of all our tribe.
You call me misbeliever, cut-throat dog,
And spit upon my Jewish gaberdine,
And all for use of that which is mine own.
Well then, it now appears you need my help:

(i) What are the insulting things Antonio has spoken about Shylock in Rialto and where does the scene take place?
(ii) According to Shylock, what are the miseries faced by the Jews ?
(iii) How much of reality is Shylock speaking here?
(iv) How does Antonio treat Shylock and what do you understand by it?
(v) For sufferance is the badge of all our tribe/ Explain.
(i) According to Shylock, Antonio had insulted him by calling him a worthless Jew, a non-believer and an usurer, who charged high rate of interest for money, lent to the poor. He also called Shylock a ruthless dog and spat on his face as well as the gabardine worn by him. The characters are standing on a street in Venice.

(ii) According to Shylock, the Jews are persecuted, mocked and treated as inferior to Christians. They are spat upon, called names and made fun of. Their very faith is questioned and they are not included in their circle of friends.

(iii) Shylock is speaking the truth as anti-Semitism was prevalent in olden times. Christians believed people of other faith to be pagans, and especially looked down upon Jews. Christians followed the New Testament and Jews who believed in the Old Testament hated their ways. Antonio being a Christian was against usury, whereas Shylock did not see anything wrong in it. Ultimately it was a case of racial prejudice that they both suffered from.

(iv) Antonio does not like or respect Shylock, the Jew, as he is a ruthless moneylender and also nurtures the general prejudice of the English for the Jews. He treats the usurer with contempt and has insulted him many times out of anger. But Antonio is ready to eat the humble pie and to ask for help from Shylock in a time of need.

(v) Shylock refers to the stoic nature of his tribe that has suffered so much, under the contempt and cruelty of the Christians. They have cultivated endurance as a virtue and, now, hold it as a flag of their identity. He says that they are used to the insults and the ill-treatment done by the Christians.

ICSE Class 9 English Literature Sample Question Paper 2 with Answers

Question 3.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :
Launcelot: Ergo, Master Launcelot. Talk not of Master Launcelot, father; for the young gentleman (according to fates and destinies and such odd sayings, the sisters three and such branches of learning) is, indeed, deceased; or, as you would say in plain terms, gone to heaven.
(i) What does “Ergo” mean ? Why does Launcelot use this word ? What makes Launcelot call old Gobbo “father” in the second line of the extract ? Is Launcelot really a “master” ? Give reason for your answer.
(ii) Give the meaning of the following: “according to fates and destinies and such odd sayings, the sisters three and such branches of learning.”
(iii) Why does old Gobbo feel deeply the death of his son?
(iv) How does Launcelot finally establish that he was old Gobbo’s son?
(v) Why does old Gobbo think that Launcelot has a fine beard?
(i) Ergo is a Latin word for ‘therefore’. Launcelot wants to play a game with his father, so he uses high-sounding words in order to confuse his father and disguise his identity. He wants his father to think that he is the master and not a servant. Also, he calls Gobbo, his father in a formal way to keep up the pretense for some time and gradually prove, he is the old man’s son.

The truth is, the speaker is really a servant who is planning to leave Shylock to seek a job with Bassanio. Launcelot uses high-sounding words in his conversation with Gobbo to convince him that he possesses classical learning and is a gentleman. Shakespeare wants to convey to the audience the habit of some vain people of his time, who pretended to be what they were not. ’

(ii) Launcelot lies that the young gentleman, i.e., himself is gone to heaven. He has submitted himself to the three sisters who influence the fate of man and rule the destiny and other branches of learning. In other words, he declares himself as dead.

(iii) Old Gobbo is shocked to hear about the death of his son whom he states has been his only support in his old age.

ICSE Class 9 English Literature Sample Question Paper 2 with Answers

(iv) When Gobbo asks Launcelot to tell him whether his son is really dead or not. Launcelot confesses that he is Gobbo’s son but Gobbo does not believe him. Then Launcelot mentions the name of his mother, Margery, as a proof to’show that he is really Gobbo’s son. Hence, Gobbo gets convinced about the truth.

(v) In a humorous situation where Launcelot is asking for his father’s blessing, he kneels in front of his father. His father feels his beard and says that Launcelot has more hair on his face than their cart-horse has on his tail.

Section B – Poetry
A Collection of Poems

Question 4.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :
“Great praise the Duke of Marlbro’. won,
And our good Prince Eugene.”
“Why, ’twas a very wicked thing!”
Said little Wilhelmine.
“Nay… nay… my little girl,” quoth he,
“It was a famous victory.
“And everybody praised the Duke
Who this great fight did win.”
. “But what good came of it at last?”‘
Quoth little Peterkin.
“Why that I cannot tell,” said he,
“But ’twas a famous victory.”

(i) What was the Duke praised for ? Was it a praiseworthy act ?
(ii) What does Peterkin expect to come out of the war ?
(iii) Who were praised for their successes in the war ?
Did the little understand why the winners were praised ?
(iv) How does the grandfather deal with the queries of the grandson and granddaughter?
(v) What was Peterkin’s final question? What answer was his grandfather able to give.?
(i) While narrating the events and results of the war, old Kaspar also mentions the great victory that came after the war. He describes how the Duke of Marlbro was praised and honoured by the people of his country because of his role in the war. The nature of his act depends upon the perspective of a person. For those who belonged to his country, the Duke had done a great job in the war and brought his country, a glorious victory. And for those not from his nation, he was a mass murderer who was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of soldiers and civilians.

ICSE Class 9 English Literature Sample Question Paper 2 with Answers

(ii) When his grandfather tells him and his sister about the situation of the war and its consequences, Peterkin keeps on asking more questions to his grandfather. Old Kaspar does not have much information to give. He tells them only those things that he has heard from others. When Peterkin hears his grandfather glorify the war, he expects something good to come out of it. But to his disappointment, his grandfather has no answer as to what good came out of the war.

(iii) While narrating the situation of war and its consequences, Kaspar tells the children about the events that followed the victory. He tells them how the Duke of Marlbro and Prince Eugene, two important figures of the war, were loved and praised by all. The children wondered why anyone would praise people who went around killing hundreds of people and ruining their property. They were surprised to learn that the criminals of war who did such a wicked thing were praised by everybody.

(iv) In the poem, the poet describes the conversation between the grandfather and his grandchildren about war. The grandfather narrates the situation and the consequences of the war. He also describes how glorious was their country’s victory in the war. Neglecting the ill-effects of the war, he gives the children incomplete information and repeatedly says that it was a great victory. All his information is from hearsay and this is the only information he has to transfer to the children.

(v) On gaining detailed information about the war from their grandfather, the children are appalled at the destruction and the loss caused by wars and their immediate consequences. They learnt that thousands of people died and hundreds of homes were burnt down to the ground. After all this, the children had an obvious query as to what was the benefit that was gained from the war. Subsequently, Old Kaspar was left speechless and he did not have any answer for what became of all that killing and destruction. All that he was able to say was that it was a great victory and that he did not know of true benefit gained from war.

ICSE Class 9 English Literature Sample Question Paper 2 with Answers

Question 5.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude; 
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

(i) In what mood does the poet often remember the flowers ?
(ii) What is the ‘inward eye’ that the poet mentions ?
(iii) Does the poet relish his loneliness ?
(iv) What happens to the poet’s heart on thinking about the daffodils ?
(v) Why do elements of nature like trees, flowers, and birds make our hearts glad and peaceful ?
(i) The poet often recollects the field of daffodils when he is in a sober or pensive mood. He mentions that often when he is lying on his couch with varied thoughts coming and leaving his mind, he thinks about the field of daffodils he had once seen while strolling near the bay. The poet expresses the joy with which his heart is filled on thinking about the flowers even though he may be in a sad mood.

(ii) In the poem, ‘Daffodils’, the poet has mentioned an ‘inward eye’ through which he imagines the beauty of the flower. The inward eye that the poet is referring to is the imagination of the mind. The poet has the scene of the daffodils stored in his memory and he often recollects it to bring calmness and pleasure to his heart.

(iii) In the poem, it does not seem that the poet enjoys his loneliness. Humans are social animals and they often find solitude suffocating. The poet says that often when he is in a pensive mood, he lies down on his couch and thinks about the daffodils. When he recollects the scene of the field of daffodils, it gladdens his heart. In a way, the pleasure that he gets from imagining the field of flowers is primarily because he imagines them when he is lonely and free to think.

(iv) In the poem, the poet has described the effect that flowers have on the human psyche. He describes his personal experience when he had seen a field of daffodils. The poet’s heart is filled with pleasure and joy when he thinks about the daffodils and when he is in a pensive mood, the thought of the flowers gladdens his heart and brings peace to his mind.

(v) The poem describes how we are intrinsically connected to the natural world. We feel happy and peaceful in the company of nature because we are a part of nature and this is the same situation like the one where a child finds the most peace and comfort in the arms of the mother. We came from nature and when we are close to it, we become relaxed and calm. The vast oceans, the ruffling rivers, the chirping of birds, the bright flowers, are all the things that excite our senses.

ICSE Class 9 English Literature Sample Question Paper 2 with Answers

Question 6.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :
The rich man just sat back and thought
Of the wealth he had in store
And how to keep what he had earned
From the lazy shiftless poor.
(i) What were the thoughts of the rich man ? What was he saving and from whom ?
(ii) What opinion did the rich man have of the poor ? Did his wealth benefit him at the end ?
(iii) Why did the rich man resent the poor ?
(iv) What were the thoughts of the rich man in his final moments ?
(v) What good act was the rich man supposed to do ? How would it have benefitted him ?
(i) Of the six people trapped in the cold, one was a rich man. Like everyone else in the group, the rich man had a log of wood to himself. He was busy thinking about the wealth he had accumulated. When it was his turn to put in his log and keep the fire burning, he took his steps back because he saw that a poor man was also sitting in the group. The rich man had long harboured hatred in his heart for the poor and now when he saw that the poor man too would benefit from his log of wood, he did not approve of it. He was saving his wood from the poor.

(ii) The rich man seems to have long felt dislike and resentment for the poor. He believed that he was rich because of his hard work and struggle. If the poor man too would have worked hard, he would have become rich. But the poor are lazy and not ready to adjust, that is why they are poor. The rich man’s log of wood did not come of any help to him; he kept his wealth to himself.

(iii) The rich man in the group did not put his log of wood in the fire to keep it burning because he did not approve of the poor man in the group. The rich seems to believe that the poor are shiftless and they are poor because of their laziness. In his opinion, a hardworking person cannot be poor. Only the lazy and comfort-loving are left poor because they don’t work for their own betterment and prosperity.

(iv) As the rich man was not prepared to sacrifice his Log of wood for the warmth of the group, he kept holding his firewood in his hands. He did not wish to share his wood for the benefit of the poor person in the group whom he believed to be lazy and useless. In his final moments, the rich man was thinking about all the wealth he had accumulated in his life. His wealth and his rich status had affected him so much that, even in his last moments, his mind was concentrating solely on his accumulated wealth.

(v) The rich man was supposed to keep aside his prejudices for the poor and use his firewood for keeping the fire alive. If he had put his log of wood in the fire, it would have generated enough warmth for all the remaining people in the group. By giving them the critically important warmth; the rich man could have saved his life while saving the others. If he lived, it would have been possible for him to return to his accumulated wealth which was on his mind all the time.

Section C – Prose
A Collection of Short Stories

Question 7.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :
The Simla Bazaar, with its cinemas and restaurants, was about three miles from the school, and Mr. Oliver, a bachelor, usually strolled into the town in the evening, returning after dark, when he would take a short cut through the pine forest. (A Face in the Dark- Ruskin Bond)
(i) Who is Mr. Oliver ? Which school is being mentioned in the passage ? What type of students studied there ?
(ii) What is said about the reputation of the school? What did the students wear to school ? What did it symbolise ?
(iii) Who did Mr. Oliver meet on his way through the pine forest ? What was his initial reaction? How did he react later ?
(iv) What strange thing happened soon after ? What did Oliver do at this point of time ? Who did he encounter a little later ?
(v) To what genre does the story belong ? What is your comment on the ending of the story ?
(i) Mr. Oliver is a school teacher. A school running on English public school lines, on the outskirts of the hill station of Simla, is mentioned in the passage. Most of the boys who studied there were from wealthy Indian families.

(ii) The school was given a tribute by Life magazine, calling it the ‘Eton of the East’. The boys wore blazers, caps and ties, true to its English tradition. It symbolised the aristocratic attitude of Indians towards the British way of life and education.

(iii) Mr. Oliver met a lonely boy sitting on a rock in the pine forest. Initially, he was shocked and then angry because no boys were expected to be out after dark. Later, he thought something was wrong as the boy seemed to be crying. He felt uneasy at the strange, soundless weeping and felt concerned.

(iv) Oliver, in his concern, asked what troubled the boy and insisted that he look up. At this, the boy lifted his face only to reveal a smooth round head with no eyes, ears, nose or mouth. Oliver ran away in fright. And as he was running blindly, he stumbled up to the watch man who lifted his lamp to reveal no features, not even an eyebrow.

(v) This belongs to the genre of horror stories but it does not jar our senses as other stories of this genre do. True to Ruskin Bond’s style, it reveals a strange but realistic encounter that any one may come across in life. Yes, the story does generate an eerie feeling but not the type that haunts our minds or disturbs our sleep. It arouses a curiosity as who the faceless people are and how they came to this state. The readers keep wondering if they were ghosts, or is it the blurred light that made the teacher hallucinate. The author leaves us in suspense. The story is fascinating despite its brevity; it is able to portray the elements of the bizarre.

ICSE Class 9 English Literature Sample Question Paper 2 with Answers

Question 8.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :
Neighbours went hastily to the old tumble-down hut, in which she had secured little more than a place of shelter from summer heats and winter cold: some with grave-clothes for a decent interment of the body; and some with food for the half-starving children, three in number.
(An Angel in Disguise- T.S. Arthur)
(i) Why did the neighbours go hastily to the tumbled down hut ?
(ii) What did they carry in their hands ?
(iii) What do you know about the three children ?
(iv) What happened to the two elder ones ultimately ?
(v) Why was the third one left out and who took her home ? What does this episode show of human character ?
(i) When the neighbours discovered the woman dead at the threshold of her own door in the presence of her three children, they rushed to her tumbled down hut. The dead woman was despised, mocked and condemned by almost every member of the village. But when she died, everybody gathered around her house. They were more worried . about the wretched children than her and so, in spite of being angry with her, they pitied her.

(ii) The people of the neighbourhood came with grave clothes for the decent burial of the body and some came with food for the half-starving children. Women in the neighbourhood showed compassion towards Maggie because of her innocent looks and brought discarded clothes and dressed her in clean clothes.

(iii) There were three children in all who were orphaned after the mother’s death. They were nearly half-starving. Of these, John, was the oldest boy of twelve years. He was a stout lad who was able to earn his living with any farmer. The second child named Kate was between ten and eleven. She was bright and active and could turn out to be very useful if in good hands. The youngest among them was the poor little Maggie who was hopelessly diseased.

(iv) After the mother’s death, the chief question was “What is to be done with the children?” The dead mother would be buried soon and she would be free from all the care or concern of the villagers, but humanity was something that could not leave the children to starve. After considering the matter and having discussed with his wife, farmer Jones decided to take John with him. Mrs. Ellis who was looking out for a bound girl did charity on her part by choosing Katy, although she was too young to be useful for her. But only Maggie was left.

(v) Maggie was the dead woman’s third child. Two years ago, she had fallen from a window and injured her spine because of which, she was bedridden. Since then she had not been able to leave her bed except when lifted in the arms of her mother. She was crippled for life and nobody wanted to take her home as she would turn out to be a burden for anyone. Her innocent looks attracted everyone but no one was ready to take her. It was decided that she should be sent to the poorhouse.

ICSE Class 9 English Literature Sample Question Paper 2 with Answers

Finally, Mr. Thompson took pity on her and felt it forbidding leaving her alone and took her home. This shows that howsoever one may be hostile towards someone but death changes and touches the inner self of the person.

Question 9.
Answer the following questions with reference to R.K. Narayan’s short story, ‘A Horse and Two Goats’.
(i) Depict the life of Muni and his wife at the beginning of the story.
(ii) Describe the horse statue. What is the significance of it in the story ?
(iii) The way of life and language of Muni and the red-faced man differed and due to this, their conversation creates a lot of humour. Elaborate.
(i) Muni and his wife lived in a tiny village named ‘Kritam’. The name, in Tamil, means coronet or crown. The village had less than thirty houses, and only one of them was built(i) Muni and his wife lived in a tiny village named ‘Kritam’. The name, in Tamil, means coronet or crown. The village had less than thirty houses, and only one of them was built with cement and brick; painted in yellow and blue with gorgeous carvings, it was known as the Big House. Muni’s mud-house was thatched with bamboo, and straw. Muni had forty sheep in his good days, but it dwindled down to two. All day he would graze his animals, sitting on the pedestal of a horse statue.

Muni’s wife would cook the meagre supply of millet and salt, for breakfast and lunch. Occasionally, he would have drumsticks, but mostly they did not have the ingredients to make a sauce for them. At times, he would humour the local shopkeeper and buy things on credit, which he may never repay. Although, the lady of the house would scold him, somehow she conjured up some food for the evening out of the money she made by working in the Big House or somewhere else. Muni looked seventy and his only worry was what his wife would do once he was gone.

(ii) The village could boast of a life size horse statue, ‘moulded out of clay, baked, burnt and brightly coloured’. It was a dynamic one, as though in motion, with its head held proudly, springing its forelegs in the air and flourishing its tail in a loop. Beside the horse, there was the figure of a warrior with curved moustachios, bulging eyes and a sharp nose. Initially, the horse had been pure white and had a colourful brocade cover on its back, but with time, it became a shadow of its former self. The statue was big enough for Muni to creep under its belly for shade.

When the foreigner came to visit the village, he was enamoured by the statue and wanted to buy it. Muni, who hardly knew English, could not understand the man. When the man gave him money, Muni thought it was for his goats. The man took away the horse to America, and Muni was happy to get the money. Thus, the horse stands testimony to the misunderstanding which language can cause. Also, it shows how foreigners appreciate local art and how the locals pay no attention to such works.

ICSE Class 9 English Literature Sample Question Paper 2 with Answers

(iii) There is a huge cultural difference between Muni and the foreigner. Muni is a poor villager in an obscure place in India while the red-faced man is an American who has come to see the local culture of India. He speaks English but Muni knows only Tamil and his knowledge of English is limited to two words- ‘Yes’ and ‘No’.

Right from the initial greetings, this difference in culture and language makes the interactions of the two hilarious. The lack of connection through language results in verbal and situational humour. Just the sight of the khaki-clad man sent shivers of fear through the old man. He felt that the red-faced man was a police officer and when he offered his card, Muni thought that it was a warrant.

He immediately denied any knowledge about the village murder and tried to change’ the conversation to theft in the village. While he talked about his childhood; the foreigner talked about his holiday plans. He talked about buying the horse statue, but Muni talked about selling of his goats. Misunderstandings arose from both sides and the confusion created out of them was simply hilarious.

Cross culture differences leading to humour can also be seen at the ending of the story. Muni thought that he had sold his goats and made a profit. The traveller thought that he had purchased the statue at market price. Humour is enhanced by the fact that Muni understood the significance of the statue, and yet could not understand that he had played a crucial role in the transaction.

ICSE Class 9 English Literature Sample Question Paper 2 with Answers

The red-faced traveller imagined the statue “in his living room,” but failed to understand how it was a landmark for the locals. In the resolution to this misunderstanding, cultural differences in the form of language prevented either one from understanding the other. Yet, both got what they wanted. Muni got the money he so coveted and the foreigner got the statue he desired. Thus, in a way, the lack of cultural understanding manages to provide an ending that brought contentment for both.

ICSE Class 9 English Literature Question Papers with Answers

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