ICSE Class 9 English Literature Sample Question Paper 4 with Answers

Section A – Drama
The Merchant of Venice : Shakespeare

Question 1.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :
Morocco : This first, of gold, who inscription bears :
‘Who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire’.
This second, silver, which this promise carries :
‘Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves’.
This third, dull lead, with warning all as blunt:
‘Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath’,
How shall I know if I do choose the right ?

(i) Where is Morocco ? What has brought him there ?
(ii) What was the motto carved on the golden casket ? What did it contain ?
(iii) What was the motto borne by the silver casket ? What did it contain ?
(iv) What was the motto borne by the lead casket ? What did it contain ?
(v) What are the views of the different suitors who are concerned with the caskets’ incident ? What do you think about their views and remarks ?
Answer:
(i) Morocco is in a room in the Portia’s house. He has come to try his luck with the lottery of caskets, to win the hand of Portia.

(ii) The motto carved on the golden casket was that the man who opens it will get what many men desire. It contained an empty human skull with a”roll of paper in which it was written that whoever happens to be guided by the glitter of things is invariably deceived.

(iii) The motto borne by the silver casket was that the suitor who opens it will get what he deserves. It contained the portrait of a blinking idiot presenting a scroll in which was written that those who do not think carefully before taking any step in any matter will always be befooled.

(iv) The motto borne by the lead casket was that the suitor who would choose it would have to sacrifice whatever he has. It contained the portrait of fair Portia, and a roll of paper on which it was written that whosoever had chosen it, should feel contended with Portia and he must not think of any other woman in the world.

(v) The Prince of Morocco looks upon the caskets as a matter of ‘chance’. The Prince of Arragon looks upon the selection of caskets as a matter of fortune. Even Bassanio, the successful suitor says, “But let me to my fortune and the caskets”. The remarks and views of various persons would lead us to think that destiny is all powerful and she guides all human actions. Portia rightly remarks, ‘When they choose, they have the wisdom by their wit to lose’.

ICSE Class 9 English Literature Sample Question Paper 4 with Answers

Question 2.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :
Launcelot: Well, well: but, for mine own part, as I have set up my rest to run away, so I will not rest till I have run some ground. My master’s a very Jew : give him a present ? Give him a halter ! I am famished in his service; you may tell every finger I have with my ribs. Father, I am glad you are come : give me your present to one Master Bassanio, who indeed, gives rare new liveries.

(i) What has old Gobbo just said, which makes Launcelot say, “Well, well” ?
(ii) Give the meaning of : “As I have set up my rest to run away, so I will not rest till I have run some ground.”
(iii) What does the expression “a very Jew” tell about Shylock and about jews in general ?
(iv) What is a ‘halter’ ? Why does Launcelot suggest that his father gives Shylock a halter instead of a
present ?
(v) “I am famished in his service.” What do you come to know about the character of Launcelot and Shylock from this expression?
Answer:
(i) Launcelot says “Well well” when his father announces that he has brought a gift for Shylock. Launcelot does not approve of it, as he has decided to leave the miserly Shylock.

(ii) As Launcelot has decided to run away, he cannot wait to get going. He has decided to leave Shylock and find work with someone else.

(iii) Launcelot says his master, Shylock, is a typical Jew. He means all Jews are miserly and care only for money. They will do anything to spare money and will not show kindness and consideration for relatives or servants.

(iv) Launcelot says his master is a total Jew. Instead of giving him a present, his father should give him a noose to hang himself as he is not fit to live. Shylock had starved him to death and one can see his ribs so will that one can count them.

(v) We come to know that Shylock is a miserly master who does not even provide propel food or clothing to his servants, even when he exacts hard work from them. Launcelot, on the other hand, has served his master well, but cannot endure his master’s cruelty any more and therefore he has decided to quit his service.

ICSE Class 9 English Literature Sample Question Paper 4 with Answers

Question 3.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :
Solanio : Now, by two-headed Janus;
Nature hath framed strange fellows in her time :
Some that will evermore peep through their eyes,
And laugh like parrots at a bag-piper;
And other of such vinegar aspect
That they’ll not show their teeth in way of smile,
Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable.

(i) Contextualize the extract. Who is Janus ? Why is he referred to as ‘two-headed’ ? To what is Janus compared to in the extract ? What are the terms of comparison ?
(ii) What conclusion does Solanio come to when Antonio remarked that he was not sad because of love ?
(iii) Describe in your own words the two types of strange fellows that nature has framed.
(iv) Give the meanings of:
(a) framed strange fellows
(b) peep through their eyes
(c) of such vinegar aspect.
(v) Why are some people compared to parrots in the extract ?
Answer:
(i) When Solanio and Salerio are discussing the reasons why Antonio felt melancholic, they say there are some people who are sad just because they are not merry. Humans differ in their attitude. Then they refer to Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and endings, the two faced god who looks to the future and to the past. Likewise, there are people whc laugh even on silly things and those who refuse to laugh even if the situation is ticklingly funny.

(ii) Solanio says that Antonio is sad because he is not merry. He says to Antonio that it is as simple as to laugh and dance around and say that he is in a good mood. He could just say that he is not sad.

(iii) Solanio says that some people will laugh at anything, and others are so grouchy that they will not even crack a smile when they hear something hysterically funny.

(iv) (a) Framed strange fellows – Nature has created humans with strange behaviour.
(b) Peep through their eyes – laugh so much that tears flow out from their eyes.
(c) Of such vinegar aspect – of serious and sombre nature.

ICSE Class 9 English Literature Sample Question Paper 4 with Answers

(v) Solanio contrasts the sad Antonio to those people who are silly enough to laugh like Parrots at the melancholic sounds made by bagpiper.

Section B – Poetry
A Collection of Poems

Question 4.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :
The most important thing we’ve learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set-
Or better still, just don’t install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we’ve been,
We’ve watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone’s place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they’re hypnotised by it,
Until they’re absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.

(i) What important rule does the poet give with regard to children ?
(ii) In what different ways does television cause physical harm to children ?
(iii) What, according to the poet, is a usual sight in most houses with television ?
(iv) How has the poet described the children who are intoxicated by television ?
(v) What is the poet’s opinion on children getting addicted to television ? Is he right ?
Answer:
(i) In the poem Television’, the poet says that parents should follow a hard and fast rule in regard to children and that rule is to keep their young children far away from the television. The poet feels that children should be kept far from the TV or better still the television set must be thrown out of the house.

(ii) The poem emphasises on the various harms that the television causes to children due to excessive watching. It keeps the children bound to their spot in the house in front of the TV. They find it tiresome to go out and play while mostly they loll around in the house They become extremely lazy and their body becomes unhealthy. Continuous watching of TV may also affect their eyes severely.

ICSE Class 9 English Literature Sample Question Paper 4 with Answers

(iii) While mentioning the state of most households, the poet describes how the situation of almost every house is the same. The children everywhere are stuck in front of the TV set all day long and that makes them lazy and inactive. Their physical health is severely harmed which will cause them trouble in the future as well. The children stare at the screens as if their eyes are glued to it and it seems that their eyes will pop out from the sockets due to the stress.

(iv) Children who watch television continuously and excessively are addicted to it. The poet says in the poem that the children who are intoxicated by the television, often seem to be dizzy. They go on staring at the screens all day long and it seems that it is their only drug. They are hypnotised by it and seem to be completely in its clutches. They appear drunk in the intoxication caused by the television.

(v) The poet Roald Dahl strongly criticises the presence of television in a house that has young children. He suggests that a bookshelf should be installed in the place of the television set. He opines that when there is television at home, children tend to become addicted to it. And once they are addicted, they waste all their time on it. It ruins their thinking process and makes them unimaginative as well as lazy and unhealthy. The criticism of the poet is very true because the television indeed is a very harmful form of entertainment.

Question 5.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :
What does he plant who plants a tree ?
He plants, in sap and leaf and wood,
In love of home and loyalty
And far-cast thought of civic good 
His blessings on the neighborhood,
Who in the hollow of His hand .
Holds all the growth of all our land 
A nation’s growth from sea to sea
Stirs in his heart who plants a tree.

(i) What do we get from trees, according to the poem ? What virtues does a tree give us ?
(ii) The hollow of whose hand is mentioned in the lines ? What all does that hand hold in it ?
(iii) What is the intention behind the capitalization of ‘His’ in the final lines ? What does it denote ?
(iv) The poet has related one’s love for one’s nation to planting of trees. Explain how ?
(v) What would be your message to human beings if you were a tree and you could speak in human language ?
Answer:
(i) Trees provide us With innumerable benefits some of which are essential for our survival. In the poem, material’ and spiritual benefits have been mentioned to bring the reader’s attention to the greatness of trees. Among the things we get from trees that the poet has mentioned are sap, leaf, wood, etc. According to the poet, trees also inculcate in us the love of our home and loyalty to it.

(ii) The poet talks about a person who grows trees using the honorary ‘He’ and he mentions the hollow of the person’s hand who has planted a tree. The poet says that anyone who plants a tree and believes in increasing their number holds the growth of his country in the hollow of his hand. The hollow of the hand is an indication of power. People who work for the growth of trees, they are actually working for the growth and betterment of their motherland.

(iii) The capitalization of His’ indicates the all-powerful attribute of the person who grows trees. The poet says that the person who grows trees has in the glory and growth of his country in the hollow of his hand. The extent to which a person can benefit by growing trees has caused the poet to use the capital ‘His’ to denote the powers that such a thoughtful person posseses with regards to the development of his country.

(iv) Trees have innumerable benefits and they are essential to human survival on Earth. The presence of trees in a country directly affects the national health situation and in some ways it also helps the economy develop. When a person plants trees and tend to them, they are directly working for the betterment of their country. So, the more a person loves their nation, the more they would plant trees.

(v) If I were a tree and also could speak to humans in their language, I would request them to consider the importance of trees in their lives. As trees are dependent on humans for their cultivation, so are humans dependent on trees for their survival. Both need each other. Humans should grow more and more trees and consider greatly the consequences of deforestation. It is for their own good that they should grow trees and take care of them as well. There is enough space on Earth for trees and humans both and humans don’t need to cut trees to make space for themselves.

ICSE Class 9 English Literature Sample Question Paper 4 with Answers

Question 6.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :
Some are like fields of sunlit corn,
Meet for a bride on her bridal morn,
Some, like the flame of her marriage fire,
Or, rich with the hue of her heart’s desire,
Tinkling, luminous, tender, and clear,
Like her bridal laughter and bridal tear.
(The Bangle Sellers- Sarojini Naidu)

(i) What is the colour of the bangles that are suitable for a bride ? How has the poetess described the
colour ?
(ii) What beautiful things does the poetess mention about marriage and a bride ?
(iii) What are the desires of a newly-wed bride ?
(iv) What colour does the marriage fire refer to ?
(v) What is the importance of bangles for a traditional Indian bride ?
Answer:
(i) The colour most appropriate for a bride’s bangles is red. In India, red is the colour associated with a bride and her happy married life. The poetess has mentioned the significance of bangles coloured in red and its associated shades. She describes the dark orange colour with the example of com that is brightly coloured by sunlight. The poetess also makes use of fire to describe the colours of bridal bangles.

(ii) The poetess suggests different bangles for different kinds of women. In one stanza, she writes about marriage and a bride. She says that the bangle sellers have sunlit orange bangles for sale that are perfect for a bride on the morning of her wedding. The poetess has mentioned how a bride gets to laugh and cry as well to her heart’s content on the day of her wedding.

(iii) The heart of a newly-wed bride is full of desires and aspirations. The poet has described how a girl is full of hopes and dreams when she becomes a wife. She is at the threshold of a completely new life. She has her own reservations about her new home and new family whereas she is also excited about starting a new life where she will be the source of future generations.

(iv) The poetess has used various references to describe the wonderful bangles that are on sale in the market. The bangle sellers call out to the people in the market while describing their wares. The sellers explain how they have different kinds and colours of bangles for woman of different ages and life stages. While talking about the bangles for a bride, the poet mentions a bangle that has the colour of the marriage fire in it. This is a reference to the shades and hues between orange and red.

ICSE Class 9 English Literature Sample Question Paper 4 with Answers

(v) In the traditional Indian culture, a lot of emphasis is put on the adornments of women. Adornments have in fact been the marks of identification in earlier times to denote whether a woman is unmarried, married or widowed. It is unimaginable that an Indian bride will be without forearms full of bangles on her wedding day and even months after that. The importance of bangles for Indian women has surpassed the limitations of religions and castes.

Section C – Prose
A Collection of Short Stories

Question 7.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :
There was a pontoon bridge across the river and carts, trucks, and men, women and children were crossing it. The mule-drawn carts staggered up the steep bank from the bridge with soldiers helping push against the spokes of the wheels. The trucks ground up and away heading out of it all and the peasants plodded along in the ankle deep dust. But the old man sat there without moving. He was too tired to go any farther.
(Old Man at the Bridge- Ernest Hemingway)
(i) What is a pontoon bridge ? What is happening at the bridge ?
(ii) What is the contrast drawn between the busy traffic and the old man ? Why doesn’t the old mem move ?
(iii) Who is the speaker in the above extract ? Why is he there ?
(iv) Explain how the story brings out the conflict at two levels.
(v) What does Hemingway want to convey through the story ?
Answer:
(i) A bridge that is made of large hollow containers filled with air is called a pontoon bridge. Men, women, children, cars, and trucks, were crossing over, They are escaping from enemy attack during Spanish Civil war.

(ii) In contrast to the rapid movements of the others on the bridge, the old man is sitting on the bridge as though he does not want to go anywhere or escape from danger. He was too tired to go any farther because he had already walked twelve kilometers since he left his hometown, San Carlos.

(iii) An unnamed narrator, an army scout is the speaker. He could most probably be the writer himself, when he worked as a journalist during those times. He was on a mission to cross the bridge and find out how far the enemy had advanced.

(iv) The story has two levels of conflicts between : man and his inner self, and man and the outside world. The conflict between man and his inner self is evident in the character of the old man. He is guilty of leaving his animals behind, and escaping to save himself from the artillery.
Man against man is another conflict in the story. In times of war, man causes pain and suffering to another being. He fights with his own race for what he thinks is for greater good.

(v) The Spanish civil war brought untold misery and destruction and Hemingway, who was a pacifist, wanted to convey how in times of war, man acts inhumanly to his own race. War causes death and destruction, and this is highlighted through the condition of the old man who can be seen as the symbol of civilian victims of war. The old man finds a meaning in life by taking care of his animals, but the war takes away even that comfort from him. He sits alone by the side of the road; helpless and a victim of fate; he cannot escape and is too old and tired to save himself. The story has a universal appeal, as it depicts the helplessness of civilians, anywhere in the world, who are the real victims of wars.

ICSE Class 9 English Literature Sample Question Paper 4 with Answers

Question 8.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :
Muni sat at the foot of the statue, watching his two goats graze in the arid soil among the cactus and the lantana bushes. He looked at the sun; it had titled westward no doubt, but it was not the time yet to go back home; if he went too early his wife would have no food for him. Also he must give her time to cool off her temper and feel sympathetic, and then she would scrounge and manage to get some food.
(A Horse and Two Goats- R.K. Narayan)
(i) Who is Muni ? What do you know about his background ?
(ii) Where is he now ? Why is he there ? How long has he been there ? Why is he not going home ?
(iii) Describe the statue of the horse. What changes has time made on it ?
(iv) Who comes at this point of time ? In what sort of vehicle does he come ? What does Muni think about the profession of this newcomer ? What wish does the newcomer express a little later and how does Muni react to it ?
(v) What are the factors that appeal to you, in the story, ‘A Horse and Two Goats’ ?
Answer:
(i) Muni is an old man of seventy years, who lives in the village of Kritam, Tamil Nadu. He used to own a flock of forty goats, but is now in an impoverished condition owning only two goats. Drumsticks that grow on a tree nearby is a delicacy for him now and the leaves of the tree are his staple diet these days. Sometimes he gets some provisions from a store, by humouring the shopkeeper. He spends his day taking his goats to grazing and returns in the evening to some meagre meal somehow managed by his wife.

(ii) Muni is in the outskirts of his village ‘Kritam’, grazing his goats. As usual, he is sitting on the pedestal of a horse statue, watching the vehicles pass along the highway. He has been there for almost the whole day. Although it is nearly evening, but it is not time for him to return home, as his wife would not be ready with the food. Moreover, he wants to give time to cool off her temper and so that she feels sympathetic enough to cook for him.

(iii) The horse is nearly life size, moulded out of clay, baked, burnt, and brightly coloured. Proudly holding its head up, it cuts a dynamic picture, with its forelegs in the air, and tail flourishing in a loop. Over the years, the white colour has changed into a muddy brown. It has lost the splendour of red and black brocade decorating its back. The multicoloured sash of the warrior beside it, is also gone. The villagers hardly look up to the work of art.

ICSE Class 9 English Literature Sample Question Paper 4 with Answers

(iv) A red-faced American comes in a vehicle which is a cross between a motor car and a bus. Muni at first thinks the newcomer to be a policeman or a soldier. A little later the man expresses the wish to take the statue of the horse home but Muni feels he is bargaining for the goats.

(v) The simplicity, light humour and compassionate approach shown by the author, make the story appealing. The comedy that arises out of misinterpreting the spoken languages bring about rich situational comedy.

An English speaking American meets an illiterate South Indian villager who knows only Tamil. Both the men are equally baffled by the words and behaviour of each other. Taking the man in khaki to be a policeman, Muni thinks of running away but restrains himself thinking that it will make the man chase him. In reply to his greeting, Muni replies that his name is Muni, and the two goats belong to him and no one can deny that.

The man offers him a smoke and Muni says ‘Yes, No/ the only words he knows in English. Muni implores not to ask any question about murder, as he knows nothing about it. Ignoring the blabber, the foreigner asks about the horse and Muni insists that he does not know anything about the crime.

The American talks about his travel plans and Muni says, ‘Yes, No.’ When being complimented on his teeth, Muni talks about thefts. When the man expresses his wish to buy the horse statue, and offers him hundred rupees, Muni thinks he wants to buy his goats. The man asks him to assist him in lifting the horse and Muni hurries home leaving his goats.

The rural background, the simplicity of the protagonist and the confusion that rises out of the conversation with him are touching but at the same time make us chuckle.

ICSE Class 9 English Literature Sample Question Paper 4 with Answers

Question 9.
Answer the following questions with reference to Chief Seattle’s Speech.
(a) In what circumstances was the famous speech of Chief Seattle given ? What proposal was put forward to the Red Man by the Great Chief ? What would be the impact of the proposal on the Red man and in what light would the world see the White man ?
(b) How does Seattle compare Christianity and the religion of Great Spirit ?
(c) What is the gist and overall message of the speech ? How is the order of nature referred to by the Chief ? How does he hint that justice will be done at the end ?
Answer:
(a) Chief Seattle gave a powerful and eloquent speech as a reply to the government who offered to buy two million acres of land occupied by the Native Americans. His speech is described as one of the most inspiring ones ever argued in favour of environment and human rights.

The proposal was that the natives should surrender their land to the Whites. In return of this, the Whites would protect them from foreign attack of the Haidas and Tsimshians. The Whites were willing to allow them enough land to live comfortably.

The impact of the proposal meant the Native Americans to leave their revered land where their ancestors were resting in eternal peace. They would lose their land which was full of memories with stirring events connected with their lives. The land that they were asked to sell was sacred for them.

The Whites were unjustly exercising authority over the Native Americans. Having a powerful army and navy, they were expecting the Red Indians to bow down to their super strength. The world would see it as symbolic of master-slave relationship; sheer exploitation by imperial powers.

(b) The White men follow Christianity written by the iron finger of their god, symbolising strict adherence to rules and principles. The God of this religion is partial and has forsaken his Red children. Seattle says that this God loves only his paleface children and makes them stronger everyday. So soon they will fill all the land. He does not love the Red children thus they seem to be ebbing away.

Seattle says that for a Red Man, the ashes of his ancestors are sacred and their resting place is hallowed ground. They love to stay in the land where their ancestors’ memories are alive, whereas the Whites wander far from their ancestors’ graves. They forget their native land and never return.

The religion of the Red Man is the tradition of their ancestors. The dreams of their old men, given them in solemn hours of the night by the Great Spirit, and the visions of their schemes, are written in the hearts of their people.

(c) One cannot fail to notice the overall irony reflected throughout the speech. The speaker thanks the friendship and goodwill shown by the White Chief and appreciates it. ‘It’s kind of him.’ However, in every single word, the Chief makes it clear that it is the power of money and millitary strength that makes rich nations subdue the less powerful, and in the garb of friendship, they cheat the real holders of their land.

Chief Seattle is upset but at the same time, is aware that he and his men are cornered and will have to consider the proposal. But before that, he gives a few warnings and suggestions which are to be heeded by all. God, land, water and plants are close-knit family and require more respect and reverence than white men are giving. There is an order in Nature and if that balance is upset, everything will be lost. Tribe follows tribe; nation follows nation. No one is above the other.

ICSE Class 9 English Literature Sample Question Paper 4 with Answers

By sheer strength of the army, some may be able to conquer the others, but not for long. In the zeal to build and possess, they may lose all they have. There will come a time when they will realise that the ultimate destiny of man is the same. Some may prolong their existence; some may perish early, like the Red Indian minority. When the powerful nations accept this truth, they will realise that all are brothers and have equal rights.

The Chief also makes it clear, that the tribe should be able to visit the tombs of their near and dear ones whenever they want and no restrictions should be imposed. He also promises that their dead would throng the shops and streets, highways and countrysides along with the living Whites; the memories of the vanished tribe will haunt their present, giving them company, and solace in solitude.

Whether the speech lost its authenticity in translation or not, what matters is that Seattle’s words inspire in a most compelling truth about man’s relation with a man and his environment.

ICSE Class 9 English Literature Question Papers with Answers

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