KCSE Past Papers 2021 English Paper 2 (101/2)

KCSE Past Papers 2021

English Paper 2 Questions

Soon after I started work on Robben Island, I was told I’d be filling in for someone on night shift in the censor’s office. I had to start at 4 p.m. and wouldn’t finish until 7 the next morning. We were on alert all night in case of emergencies, such as an attempted break-out or a medical crisis. In addition, the dog-handlers patrolled through every section of the prison on a three-hourly basis.

At night, there were also killer dogs running on chains all the time. The dogs were mostly Rottweilers, really vicious. They would be systematically provoked to make them even madder. They could not be handled; they had to be controlled at the end of long metal poles.

The censor’s office was considered the heart of the prison, set right in the centre of the main building, on the second floor, with a view over the whole of B section. But there was no heart in that place. Instead, it was this department that meted out some of the worst cruelty to prisoners, namely the holding back or destruction of their letters, their all-important link to loved ones, and the ruthless censoring of daily news to make them believe their stand against apartheid, was nothing, the sacrifice of their freedom pointless.

Instead of the real news, all the prisoners would get to hear about was the boring, uncontroversial stuff such as the deaths of prominent people, government appointments or road traffic accidents, or examples of the government’s military successfully taking out ANC strongholds. Any show of solidarity from the outside world would be hidden from them, or destroyed.

There were more personal cruelties, too. Mandela had had his 60th birthday the year before I came to the island. When I started work in the censor’s once, I asked what was in the boxes and boxes piled up there, with still more arriving every week. I was told that tens of thousands of birthday cards had arrived for him, mostly from abroad. Each card was removed from its envelope, read carefully and then neatly clipped back on to the outside of the envelope. They were sorted according to the country they came from.

Any letters or cards not given to prisoners for any reason were supposed to be put with their property and stored until their release. But it was too much trouble to keep Mandela’s birthday cards.

They were taken out and burned on the fire in our boiler-room. Years later, I wanted to tell him about them, as I felt bad for him. But he told me: “Mr. Brand, I already know about that”. Some prisoners who had been at the dumping site on the island had found charred scraps and given them to him.

(Adapted from Mandela. My Prisoner My Friend by Christo Brand with Barbara Jones. Cape Town: 2013).

(a) How did the authorities ensure that security was tight at the prison on Robben Island?(3 marks)

(b) Why do you think the security at this prison was tight? (2 marks)

(c) What does the author have against the way the prisoners were treated at this facility? (6 marks)

(d) In about 65 words, summarise how the way Mandela is treated stands out from how other prisoners are treated. (6 marks)

Rough draft

Fair copy

(e) Explain the meaning of each of the following as used in the passage: (3 marks)

(i) Melted Out

(ii) solidarity

(iii) Charred

2. Henrik Ibsen, A Doll’s Howe

Read the excerpt below and then answer the questions that follow.

Servant : {at the hall door} Excuse me, ma’am — there is a gentleman to see the master, and as the doctor is with him —

Nora :Who is it?

Krogstad : {at the door) It is I, Mrs. Helmer. (Mrs. LINDE starts, trembles, and turns to the window.)

Nora : (takes a step towards him, and Speaks in a strained, low voice) You? What is it? What do you want to see my husband about?

Krogstad : Bank business — in a way. I have a Small post in the Bank, and I hear your husband is to be our chief now —

Nora : Then it is —

Krogstad : Nothing but dry business matters, Mrs. Helmer; absolutely nothing else.

Nora : Be so good as to go into the study then. {She bows indifferently to him and shuts the door into the hall; then comes back and makes up the fire in the stove.)

Mrs. Linde : who was that man?

Nora : A lawyer, of the name of Krogstad.

Mrs. Linde : Then it really was he.

Nora : Do you know the man?

Mrs. Linde : I used to — many years ago. At one time he was a solicitor’s clerk in our town.

Nora : Yes, he was.

Mrs. Linde He is greatly altered.

Nora : He made a very unhappy marriage.

Mrs. Linde : He is a widower now, isn’t he?

Nora : With several children. There now, it is burning up. {Shuts the door of the stove and moves the rocking-chair aside)

Mrs. Linde : They say he carried on various kinds of business.

Nora : Really! Perhaps he does; I don’t know anything about it. But don’t let us think of business; it is so tiresome.

Doctor Rank: {comes out of HELMER’s study. Before he shuts the door he calls to him.) No, my dear fellow, I won’t disturb you; I would rather go in to your wife for a little while. (Shuts the door and sees Mrs. Linde.) I beg your pardon; I am award I am disturbing you too.

Nora :No, not at all. (Introducing him.) Doctor Rank, Mrs. Linde.

Rank :I have often heard Mrs. Linde’s name mentioned here. I think I passed you on the stairs when I arrived, Mrs. Linde?

Mrs. Linde : Yes, I go up very slowly; I can’t manage stairs well.

Rank : Ah! some slight internal weakness?

Mrs. Linde : No, the fact is I have been overworking myself.

Rank : Nothing more than that? Then I suppose you have come to town to amuse yourself with our entertainments?

Mrs. Linde :I have come to look for work.

Rank : Is that a good cure for overwork?

Mrs. Linde : One must live, Doctor Rank.

Rank : Yes, the general opinion seems to be that it is necessary.

Nora :Look here, Doctor Rank — you know you want to live.

Rank : Certainly. However wretched I may feel, I want to prolong the agony as long as possible. All my patients are like that. And so are those who are morally diseased; one of them, and a bad case too, is at this very moment with Helmer —

(a) Briefly explain what has just happened before this excerpt. (3 marks)

(b) Nora says, “What do you want to see my husband about?” From your knowledge of the play, why is Nora afraid of Krogstad seeing Helmer (4 marks)

(c) Identify and explain any two instances of irony in this excerpt. (4 marks)

(d) With examples, identify any two character traits of Dr. Rank brought out in this excerpt.(4 marks)

(e) Describe the mood in this excerpt. (3 marks)

(f) Identify two characters in this excerpt who can be described as morally diseased and say why. (4 marks)

(g) Explain the meaning of each of the following expressions as used in the excerpt: (3 marks)

(i) Small post

(ii)Greatly altered

(iii) dry business matters

3.Read the oral narrative below and then answer the questions that follow.

Once upon a time there lived a very beautiful girl known as Karia in Kirumi village One day, Karia and her mother went to dig in their garden which was in a distant village. fn that Village. there were many ogres which could talk and even sing. In the evening, tire mod d *. her daughter who waa bathing in the stream, “Maria, let us go home now. It is late and there are aiany ogres along the way”. Karia caine hurriedly and took her luggage which her mother had already packed and they went home.

On caching home, Karia noticed that she had leB her beautiful necklace in She had removed it when she was bathing in the She had been given this osAeq her grandmother, and she was supposed to take care of it and pass it on to her first daughter. She was very depressed when she realised that she had left it beside the str She asked her mother whether she could go back for it. Her mother, who was very fond of her only daughter, refused.

(a) What kind of narrative is this? Explain your answer.(2 mark)

(b) Why was Karia worried about losing the necklace? (1 mark)

(c) Identify and illustrate three character traits of Karia’s mother.(6 mark)

(d) What is the role of Karia’s grandmother in the narrative? (2 mark)

(e) Identify two instances of irony in the oral narrative? (4 marks)

(f) Identify and illustrate three things we learn about the culture of the community from which this narrative is drawn, (3 marks)

(g) Explain the message of this story? (2 mark)

4. (a) Rewrite the following sentences according to the instructions given after each.Do not change the meaning (3 mark)

(i) My problem is your wrong attitude. (Begin: What… )


(ii) lt is not necessary to argue about it. (Begin: You need…)


(iii) Jane has been repairing your car. (Begin: Your car …)


(b) Fill in the blank spaces with the correct form of the words in brackets. (3 marks)

(i) His ………….. …………… (pronounce) did not make sense to the audience.

(ii) The …………………………. (collide) of the two lorries could have been avoided if the drivers had been more careful.

(iii) God’s power is (Compare).

(c) case the correct alternative from the brackets to complete the sentences. (3 marks)

(i) Everyone was there except (you and I, you and me)

(ii) Jane, as well as …………………………… (you and I, you and me) has been shortlisted.

(iii) Between …………………………… (you and I, you and me) that project is bound to fail.

(d) Complete the second sentence in each case without changing the meaning of the first one. (3 marks)

(i) There is something suspicious about that deal. I smell ……………………………….

(ii) My neighbour plays very loud music late at night. He really gets on …………………

(iii) You should have more confidence in yourself. Do not sell ………………………………..

(e) Fill in the blanks with the correct preposition.(3 marks)

(i) The teacher congratulated him ………………..his good performance in English.

(ii) They disgareed who should be chosen the leader…………

(iii) Mwenda dipped the bucket …………..the well.


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