ICSE Class 9 English Literature Sample Question Paper 5 with Answers

Section A – Drama
The Merchant of Venice : Shakespeare

Question 1.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :
Morocco : Mislike me not for my complexion,
The shadozv’d livery of the burnish’d sun,
To whom I am a neighbour, and near bred.
Bring me the fairest creature northward born,
Where Phoebus’ fire scarce thaws the icicles,
And let us make incision for your love,
To prove whose blood is reddest, his or mine
Hath fear’d the valiant: by my love, I swear
The best regarded virgins of our clime
Have lov’d it too: I would not change this hue,
Except to steal your thoughts, my gentle queen.

(i) What is the Morocco referring to? Where does the scene take place ?
(ii) How strong are the feelings of Morocco towards Portia ?
(iii) Is there a sense of pride or vanity in the Prince for being attractive ? Explain.
(iv) To the Morocco, Portia is a conquest to be won. Give reasons your answer.
(v) How does the Prince’s analysis make him choose the casket ?
Answer:
(i) Morocco is referring to the colour of his skin. Being born and brought up in the tropical region, he is dark. The scene is taking place in Portia’s mansion in Belmont. They are in the room where caskets are kept for display.

(ii) Morocco is strong in feelings when he says his blood is as red as the blood of the fairest person on Earth, and so, can stand the test of love for Portia, but his later words and choice of casket proves the hollowness of his feelings.

(iii) Yes, the prince appears to be vain when he says that all the ladies of his land fall for his looks and valour. He seems to be a proud prince in the .exaggerations that he lays.

(iv) Yes, Morocco wants to prove to others that he is good enough to claim the most beautiful and rich lady in the world. He considers Portia as a prize to be won to satisfy his ego and prove to the world that he is good enough to marry the fairest lady, whom noble princes from all over the world, die to own.

(v) Morocco finds the lead to be too threatening, as one who chooses it should risk all he has. The silver casket says the chooser will get what he deserves and so he fears that it may not include Portia; so he settles for gold which says, “Who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire.” Portia is desired by many men from every corner of the world. Moreover, he feels that such a great lady’s portrait cannot be contained in the base lead or mediocre silver but only in the richest metal, gold.

ICSE Class 9 English Literature Sample Question Paper 5 with Answers

Question 2.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :
Bassanio : In Belmont is a lady richly left,
And she is fair, and, fairer than that word, 
Of wondrous virtues : sometimes from her eyes
I did receive fair speechless messages:
Her name is Portia, nothing undervalued
Renowned suitors, and her sunny locks
Hang on her temples like a golden fleece;
Which makes her seat of Belmont Colchis’ strand,
And many Jasons come in quest of her.

Antonio : Thou know’st that all my fortunes are at sea;
Neither have I money nor commodity
To raise a present sum, therefore go forth
Try what my credit can in Venice do :
That shall be rack’d, even to the uttermost,
To furnish thee to Belmont, to fair Portia.

(i) What is Bassanio arriving at and what are his indirect requests ?
(ii) How does Bassanio praise Portia and express his wishes ?
(iii) What is Antonio’s response and what does it say of him?
(iv) “Thou knowest that all my fortunes are at sea; neither have I money nor commodity to raise a present sum.” What do these words of Antonio mean?
(v) In what way does this scene become the cornerstone of the play?
Answer:
(i) Bassanio has apparently met and fallen in love with Portia in his travels and would like to woo her in style and this requires money. He has come to Antonio knowing very well that his friend would not let him down. Bassanio describes Portia to the heights and making her unattainable unless he impresses her with his wealth, which he lacks. He hints at Antonio that he would also win his rivals in winning Portia’s hand if he is fortunate. Antonio does, in all earnestness, falls for his bait and offers him money even if it means taking it on credit in his name.

(ii) Bassanio has found the girl of his dreams with the added benefit of wealth and beauty. He is sure that she has expressed her interest through silent messages spoken with her eyes. Shakespeare reminds that romantic gestures are so worldwide. She is rich and famous as the daughter of Cato and wife of Brutus. Suitors come from far and wide to win her hand in marriage. Bassanio praises her golden hair and wishes for money to woo and win her.

(iii) Antonio immediately expresses that his ships and fortune are at sea and presently he does not have that huge amount Bassanio is aiming for. In spite of his own critical situation, he tells Bassanio to borrow money from anyone on credit and he is willing to vouch for it. This shows that Antonio is a generous person who is willing to go out of the way to help his friend.

(iv) Bassanio has gone, asking for help, to Antonio despite knowing that his friend might not be in the position to loan him the huge amount of money. Antonio expresses his state of affairs of how his ships, his fortunes are all at sea and presently he has nothing to give to Bassanio. Bassanio, who has debts all around the town, takes advantage of the generous nature of his friend though he knows the truth.

(v) The extravagant and excessive nature of Bassanio and the generous and magnanimous attitude of Antonio can be considered as some of the main reasons that cause Antonio to approach Shylock, the Jewish moneylender. The finance would facilitate Bassanio to meet Portia and the incidents that triggered in succession caused the involvement of all the chief characters in the play. This scene reveals that the need of one can become the greed of another leading to a conflict and final restitution.

ICSE Class 9 English Literature Sample Question Paper 5 with Answers

Question 3.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :
Jessica : Farewell, good Launcelot.
Alack, what heinous sin is it in me
To be ashamed to be my father’s child!
But though I am a daughter to his blood
I am not to his manners. O Lorenzo,
If thou keep promise, I shall end this strife,
Become a Christian and thy loving wife.

(i) What is Jessica planning to do at the moment and where does the scene take place ?
(ii) What is the sin that Jessica is talking about and how has it affected her ?
(iii) Is there any apprehension on the part of Jessica in her love for Lorenzo ?
(iv) How does she want to end the conflict ?
(v) Launcelot and Jessica have planned to give upon whom and why ?
Answer:
(i) The scene takes place at Shylock’s house. Jessica is annoyed by her father’s behaviour and she tells Lorenzo that if he keeps his promise then she will elope with him; marry him and become a Christian.

(ii) Jessica feels she is a sinner as she happens to be the daughter of a Jew, who thinks only about money and who does not help those in need. She has lost all love and respect for her father as well as his faith.

(iii) Like any other girl who decides to elope, Jessica also has apprehension. This is evident when she says, “If thou keep promise.” But she is determined to run away with Lorenzo and be freed from her father.

(iv) Jessica wants to marry Lorenzo, become a Christian and put an end to the confusion in her mind. Annoyed and ashamed of being Shylock’s daughter, Jessica wanted to run away with Lorenzo and be freed from her father.

ICSE Class 9 English Literature Sample Question Paper 5 with Answers

(v) Launcelot and Jessica have decided to give upon Shylock; the former, because he can no longer work under a miserly master who keeps showering him with abuse and the latter because she is ashamed of her father and wants to marry a Christian and become one as well.

Section B – Poetry
A Collection of Poems

Question 4.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

(i) How does the poet relate the continuity of the stars to the daffodils ?
(ii) How does the poet describe the stretch of the field ?
(iii) Is there any relation between the poet’s loneliness and the daffodils ?
(iv) How were the flowers dancing ?
(v) What is the speciality of the field of daffodils ?
Answer:
(i) The poet has narrated in the poem the scenery that he had witnessed while he was out one day on a walk. He says that he was wandering alone when he came across a field of daffodils which had an enchanting effect on him. While describing the scene, he says that the continuous line of flowers grown along the bay seemed like a continuous row of stars in the sky. The reference to the stars is made to indicate the infinite seeming field of daffodils.

(ii) In the poem ‘Daffodils’, the poet has expressed his pleasure on finding a field of daffodils which bloomed and danced near the bay. The poet says the flowers looked extremely beautiful in such large numbers. He also uses the example of the never-ending line of twinkling stars that are seen shining in the night sky. He says that the flowers growing along the bay appear like the innumerable stars shining in the sky.

(iii) The narrative in the poem shows how the poet relates his happiness and pleasure to the daffodil flowers. The poet brings to thought, the visual of the field of daffodils which he had witnessed way back in time. The collective beauty of the hundreds of daffodils had excited his fantasies and he often recollects the same whenever he is lonely or in a pensive mood. The thought of the flowers gladdens his heart and gets him some relief and peace.

(iv) The poet has described the brightly beaming and happily dancing daffodils that he had once come across. The scene was visually so enchanting that he hadn’t forgotten it even after a long time. The flowers seem to be tossing their heads and dancing along the breeze. The description of the poet creates a picture where the flowers are enjoying their blooming time and they are reflecting their joy and happiness on everything around them. The visual is a reflection of the happiness that one feels on looking at the flowers.

(v) It is common in most flowers that they are a pleasant sight to behold and fragrant when smelt. But some flowers surpass others in beauty. For example, the poet has mentioned the daffodils in this poem which are in large numbers and look beautiful together. Their collective beauty is far greater than their individual beauty. The poet is mesmerised by the long and wide stretch of the flowers growing along the bay. To him, the daffodils looked far more pretty and beautiful when beheld in large numbers.

ICSE Class 9 English Literature Sample Question Paper 5 with Answers

Question 5.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching ’round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it’s Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and-
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How the Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There’s Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole-
Oh, hooks, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!

(i) What does the poet mention about the cannibals in the books ?
(ii) What are the stories of the camel getting his hump and the monkey losing his rump ?
(iii) What fictional characters does the poet speak of ?
(iv) Which author does the poet suggest for the young children ?
(v) What were the children doing long ago ? How was it beneficial to them ?
Answer:
(i) The poem describes how there was a common habit of reading among the children. There used to be books all around the children and they used to spend most of their free time with books. The poet has also mentioned some of the books that were popular at that time. He tells about a story where some cannibals are crouching around a pot stirring something hot in it. There is a character named Penelope in the pot whom the cannibals are cooking.

(ii) While referring to the reading habits of children in the past, the poet mentions a number of books of fiction that used to be popular and favourite among children. He talks about some of the classics of children’s literature like the works of Nobel Prize winner Rudyard Kipling. His famous stories ‘How the camel got his hump’ and ‘How the monkey lost his rump’ have been mentioned among the beloved stories.

(iii) The poet has mentioned a number of fictional characters whose books were read by children and were hugely popular amidst them. The list of characters includes, Penelope, Mr. Todd, Squirrel Nutkin, Piggling Bland, Mrs. Tiggy Winkle, Mr. Rat, Mr. Mole, etc. Some of the latter characters were creations of Miss Beatrix Potter.                                                                              ,

(iv) The poet, Roald Dahl, has made a strong statement about reading and has made his dislike for television very clear. He talks about the times when books were the only and the most beloved pastime for the children of all ages. He has enlisted a number of classics which were hugely popular in those times, like the works of Rudyard Kipling. He has narrated how the youngest ones among children used to read the works of Beatrix Potter whose variety of funny characters had kept generations of children entertained.

(v) In the poem, it is described how, in the early times, when there was no television and the favourite pastime of the children was reading books. They spent most of their time reading interesting and informative books which educated as well as entertained them. It had a great effect on their understanding and knowledge. The children were well equipped with varied information about the world around them. The habit of reading had opened up their minds and made them imaginative. When they had to imagine the visuals of their books on their own, the horizons of their thinking were broadened.

ICSE Class 9 English Literature Sample Question Paper 5 with Answers

Question 6.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :
Their logs held tight in death’s still hands
WAS proof of human sin.
They didn’t die from the cold without
They died from the cold within.

(i) What is said to be a proof of the six men’s sin ?
(ii) What human sin does the poem talk about ? Did the last man survive ?
(iii) In whose hands are their logs said to be ? Why does the poet say so ?
(iv) What does the ‘cold within’ refer to ? Where was it ?
(v) What according to you is the message of the poem ? What social evil does it condemn?
Answer:
(i) The six men caught in the storm had the opportunity to save their lives by burning their individual logs of wood from which they could generate enough heat to bear the bitter cold. Five of them foolishly refused to use their logs because they didn’t approve of someone or the other in the group. They finally died of cold with the logs in their dead hands. The poet says these logs in the hands of death were a proof of their sinful hatred.

(ii) The six men who were trapped together in a storm, died due to severe cold as they didn’t use the logs of wood they had for fire. The reason why none of them used their logs of wood was their dislike or hatred for some or the other person from the group. All of them died holding their logs in their hands. The poet discloses the human sin of hatred was the reason behind all the deaths.

(iii) Five of the six people trapped in the storm died due to severe cold. All of them had logs of wood but none was ready to share its fire with someone or the other from the group whom they disliked. Due to their hatred for each other, they ended dying as well killing the others. Their foolish beliefs led them to their tragic end. The poet says that the logs of wood, though held by them were not in their hands. They were in the hands of death because eventually, death won over them.

(iv) The poet says that the people who were trapped in the storm didn’t die of the cold that was outside their place of shelter. In fact, they died because of the coldness in their heart. The hatred, prejudice, dislike in their hearts has been called as the cold within. They couldn’t help themselves survive because of this cold which they bred in their hearts and minds.

ICSE Class 9 English Literature Sample Question Paper 5 with Answers

(v) The poem gives a strong message that if we keep on harbouring prejudices and hatred for each other based on religion, sect, race and wealth, we will all end up destroying ourselves. The survival of no one is possible in a place where everyone dislikes the other for some or the other reason. The poem implies that due to our hatred for others, we end up causing harm and loss to our own selves. The major problem of today’s world is discrimination and this poem talks about it. The message is clear. In times of difficulty, we need love and understanding. Intolerance will lead to the destruction of the human civilization.

Section C – Prose
A Collection of Short Stories

Question 7.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :
In all the Earth there is no place dedicated to solitude. At night when the streets of your cities and villages are silent and you think them deserted, they will throng with the returning hosts that once filled them and still love this beautiful land. The White Man will never be alone. — (Chief Seattle’s Speech)
(i) Bring out the context of the passage.
(ii) Why does the speaker say that there is no place dedicated to solitude ? What does this show of the nature of the Red Indians ?
(iii) Why does the speaker assure the White Man will never be alone ?
(iv) What does Seattle think of life after death ?
(v) What differences are pointed out by Seattle between the Red Man and the White Man ?
Answer:
(i) The excerpt is from ‘Chief Seattle’s’ speech, given on the occasion of the audacious offer made by the United States. Indians had to accept the proposal, as they were a minority and did not have the means to refuse the offer. In his impassionate speech, the Chief tells the Government that his people may perish and the whole land may be taken by the invaders, but each of them will return to his or her land in the form of spirits, as they believe there is no death as such.

(ii) It is the belief of the Red Indians that, in all the Earth, there is no place for solitude. The dead will return and give company to the future generations of the States, in the fields, stores, shops or highways or in pathless woods. This shows they are simple, humble people who value human ties with each other and with their motherland. They do not forsake their land, their ancestors, or the living even after death.

(iii) There is no place for solitude as the spirits of the natives are so tied to their beautiful motherland that they will throng every nook and comer, giving company to the white man. The shadow of the natives will haunt the minds of the settlers, as it is their land that the white people are occupying. Past can never be completely obliterated and the peace loving, nature loving, humane natives will visit, guide, console and comfort them.

(iv) Seattle thinks there is life after death. Death is just a change of the world. The spirits of the dead natives will visit the land that has given birth to them. They will come back to wander in the verdant valleys, majestic mountains, lakes and bays and will act as companions for the ones lost in the busy streets and lonely woods.

(v) First of all, Seattle says that the Red man’s God and White man’s God are not the same. The Red man takes the kind lessons given by the Great Spirit of Nature. The White Man has a strict God who has written, in stone, strict rules like the Ten Commandments. As per their learning, their values also differ. The pale-faced have a materialistic outlook, whereas the natives are steeped in naturalistic and spiritual outlook.

Their religion is the traditions of their ancestors which they have imbibed in the silence of the night, and carried in their hearts. Another difference, according to the Chief is, the dead of the settlers cease to love the living as well as their motherland. The same is the case when the living forget the dead. But the dead natives visit their land with its beautiful landscape.

Moreover, to the red faced, ashes of their forefathers are sacred, and their resting place is hallowed grounds. The whites wander far from the graves without regret. Finally, Chief Seattle subtly points out that, true to their peaceful nature, the reds retreat, surrendering their lands, and the whites advance to usurp their lands.

ICSE Class 9 English Literature Sample Question Paper 5 with Answers

Question 8.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :
We will visit India this winter, it’s time to look at other civilizations.’ Next day she called the travel agent first thing and told him to fix it, and so here I am. Ruth came with me but is staying back at Srinagar, and I am the one doing the rounds and joining her later.”  — (A Horse and Two Goats- R.K. Narayan)

(i) Who is the speaker ? Who is the ‘she’ referred to ? Where were they before they visited India? What made them do that ?
(ii) How did Muni react to this ? What interrupted the words Muni was going to speak ?
(iii) What did Muni say about the village theft ?
(iv) What deal did the speaker want to make with Muni ? Did Muni understand the speaker ? Why or why not? What was the result of this transaction ?
(v) Why was Muni surprised to see one of his goats at his doorstep ? Why was he angry with the goat ? What does it show of his character ?
Answer:
(i) The speaker is the red-faced American, who approached Muni after alighting from his vehicle. ‘She’ is referred to his wife Ruth. They were in Connecticut before they visited India. One day, electricity failed and the man felt fed up of the heat in his office, on the fortieth floor of the Empire State Building, stuck for four hours with no elevator or air¬conditioning. On his way home, he decided to get away from all this and visit India for a change.

(ii) Muni did not understand what was said and, after his customary ‘Yes’ and ‘No’, he started talking about his young days. He could not finish’ what he started to speak, because he was interrupted by the remark made on his teeth, by the American. He was also asked how old he was.

(iii) Muni said that there was a lot of theft in his village. The thieves of the next village were responsible for them. Also, the village priest could identify the thief in the camphor flame lit for the purpose. Besides theft, the village lost cattle as jackals or cheetahs carried them off.

(iv) The speaker thought that the horse statue belonged to Muni which he wanted to buy. Muni did not understand as he knew only two words in English. So, when the foreigner gave a hundred rupees to Muni, he thought the other man wanted to buy his goats and happily allowed him to do so.

(v) Muni was happy to sell the goats to the American. He took the hundred rupees offered by the man. He did not know the American was interested in taking the horse statue home. So, when the goat came back, the Tamilian was surprised. He was angry with the goat as he thought it had run away from its buyer. This shows the simplicity of the villager and the integrity of his character that made him guilty of getting something he already had taken money for.

ICSE Class 9 English Literature Sample Question Paper 5 with Answers

Question 9.
Answer the following questions with reference to T.S. Arthur’s short story, ‘An Angel in Disguise’:
(i) The Story starts on a tragic note. What is the tragedy of the life of the children ?
(ii) What was the reaction of Mrs. Thompson when the handicapped child was brought to her home ?
(iii) Comment on the title of the story.
Answer:
(i) The tragedy in the life of the children in ‘An Angel in Disguise’ is beyond imagination. A poor mother died in front of her three frightened children: John, Kate and Maggie who 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 a bright and active girl and could turn out to be very useful if in good hands. The youngest among them was the poor little Maggie who washopelessly diseased. Two years ago, she had fallen from a window and injured her spine due to 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.

(ii) Joe’s wife, Mrs. Thompson, was childless, so she had no feelings. She was ill-tempered and it had become her usual nature. She had lost the purpose of living. When she saw Mr. Thompson carrying a piece of precious burden in his arms from the window, she sharply questioned him about the child.

Her tone was full of anger and astonishment and her face was in flame when she asked, “You haven’t brought home that sick brat”. Her tone scared little Maggie and she started shrinking in Thompson’s arms. He did not reply but carried Maggie to the small chamber on the first floor and laid her on a bed.

(iii) ‘An Angel in Disguise’ is the most appropriate title for the story. Maggie, the youngest of three children, brings joy and happiness in the lives of a childless couple, Mr. and Mrs. Thompson. She proves to be an angel for them. Mrs. Thompson’s attitude and behaviour show a drastic change.

From a rude, ill-tempered and self-afflicting woman, Mrs. Thompson is now transformed into a loving and caring figure. The sick and helpless child brings light and happiness to Thompson’s house. She is a blessing for them. For a long period of time, it has been dark, cold and miserable because Mrs. Thompson has no one to take care of or love.

ICSE Class 9 English Literature Sample Question Paper 5 with Answers

That is why she became sore, irritable, ill-tempered and self- afflicting. Now the sweetness of that sick child, who is also thirsty for getting someone’s love, has become honey to her soul as she carries her in her heart as well as in her arms. Maggie comes into the Thompson’s house and their hearts as an ‘angel in disguise’ and fills its dreary chambers with love.

ICSE Class 9 English Literature Question Papers with Answers

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