JANE AUSTEN: Persuasion
1. “I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone forever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own, than when you almost broke it eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone I think and plan – Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? – I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice, when they would be lsot on others. – Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating in.
I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look will be enough to decide whether I enter your father’s house this evening, or never.”
a) Place the passage in context.
b) Discuss the main themes portrayed in the passage.
c) Describe the character of Captain Wentworth as portrayed in this passage.
d) What is the significance of this passage to the novel, Persuasion?
THOMAS HARDY: Under the Greenwood Tree
2. “Mr. Shiner, being churchwarden has persuaded the vicar – who, however, was willing enough before. Shiner, I know, is crazy to see you playing ever Sunday – I suppose he’ll turn over your music, for the organ will be close to his pew. But – I know you have never encouraged him?”
“Never once!” said Fancy emphatically and with eyes full of earnest truth. “I don’t like indeed. And I never heard of his doing this before. I have always felt that I should like to play in a church, but I never wished to turn you and your choir out – and I never even said that I could play till I was asked. You don’t think d=for a moment that I did, surely, do you?”
“I know you didn’t dear.”
“Or that I care the least morsel of a bit for him?”
“I know you don’t.”
The distance between Budmouth and Mellstock was ten or eleven miles and there being a good inn, “The Ship,” four miles out of Budmouth, with a mast and cross-trees in front, Dick’s custom in driving thither was to divide the journey into three stages by resting at this inn going and coming, and not troubling the Budmouth stables at all, whenever his visit to the town was a mere call and deposit, as to-day.
Fancy was ushered into a little tea-room and Dick went to the stables to see the feeding of Smart. In face of the significant twitches of feature that were visible in the ostler and laboring men idling around, Dick endeavored to look unconscious of the fact that there was any sentiment between him and Fancy beyond a tranter’s desire to carry a passenger home. he presently entered the inn and opened the door of Fancy’s room.
“Dick – do you know it has struck me that it is rather awkward my being here alone with you like this. I don’t think you had better come in with me.”
“That’s rather unpleasant, dear.”
“Yes – it is – and I wanted you to have some tea as well as myself too because you must be tired.”
“Well, let me have some with you then. I was denied once before if you recollect, Fancy.”
“Yes, yes – never mind. And it seems unfriendly of me now, but I don’t know what to do.”
“It shall be as you say then.” Dick began to retreat with a dissatisfied wrinkling of face, and a farewell glance at the cosy tea-tray.
“But you don’t see how it is, Dick, when you speak like that,” she said with more earnestness than she had ever shown before. “You do know that even if I care very much for you I must remember that I have a difficult position to maintain. The vicar would not like me, as his schoolmistress, to indulge in a tete – a – tee anywhere with anybody.”
“But I am not anybody!” exclaimed Dick.
“No, no: I mean – with a young man;” and she added softly, “unless I were really engaged to be married to him.”
“Is that all? – Then, dearest, dearest, dearest, why we’ll be engaged at once, to be sure we will – and down I sit! There it is – as easy as a glove!”
“Ah! but I suppose I won’t! And, goodness me, what have I done!” she faltered, getting very red. “Positively it seems as if I meant you to say that!”
“Let’s do it – I mean get engaged -” said Dick. “Now Fancy, will you be my wife?”
“Do you know Dick it was rather unkind of you to say what you did coming along the road,” she remarked as if she had not heard the latter part of his speech; though an acute observer might have noticed about her breast as the word “wife” fell from Dick’s lips a soft silent escape of breaths, with very short rests between each.
“What did I say?”
“About my trying to look attractive to those men in the gig.”
“You couldn’t help looking so, whether you tried or no. And Fancy, you do care for me?”
“And you’ll be my own wife?”
a) Place the passage in context
b) Describe the characters of Dick and Fancy as portrayed in the passage
c) Discuss the major themes depicted in the passage
d) What is the significance of this extract to the rest of the novel?
CHARLES DICKENS: Oliver Twist
3. During the silence, the Jew looked restlessly about the room, as if to assure himself that there were no appearances of Sikes having covertly returned. Apparently satisfied with his inspection, he coughed twice or thrice, and made as many efforts to open a conversation; but the girl heeded him no more than if he had been made of stone. At length he made another attempt; and rubbing his hands together, said, in his most conciliatory tone,
‘And where should you think Bill was now, my dear?’
The girl moaned out some half intelligible reply, that she could not tell; and seemed, from the smothered noise that escaped her, to be crying.
‘And the boy, too’, said the Jew, straining his eyes to catch a glimpse of her face. ‘Poor leetle child! Left in a ditch, Nancy; only think!’
‘The child’, said the girl, suddenly looking up, ‘is better where he is than among us; and if no harm comes to Bill from it, I hope he lies dead in the ditch, and that his young bones may rot there.’
‘What!’ creid the Jew, in amazement.
‘Ay, I do’, returned the girl, meeting his gaze. ‘I shall be glad to have him away from my eyes, and to know that the worse is over. I can’t bear to have him about me. The sight of him turns me against myself and all of you.’
‘Pooh!’ said the Jew, scornfully. ‘You’re drunk.’
‘Am I?’ cried the girl, bitterly. ‘It’s no fault of yours, if I am not! You’d never have me anything else, if you had your will, except now; - the humor doesn’t suit you, does it?’.
‘No!’ rejoined the Jew, furiously. ‘It does not.’
‘Change it, then! responded the girl, with a laugh.’
‘Change it!’ exclaimed the Jew, exasperated beyond all bounds by his companion’s unexpected obstinacy, and the vexation of the night, ‘I WILL change it! Listen to me, you drab. Listen to me, who, with six words, can strangle Sikes as surely as if I had his bull’s throat between my fingers now. If he comes back, and leaves that boy behind him. – if he gets off free, and, dead or alive, fails to restore him to me; murder him yourself if you would have him escape Jack Ketch. And do it the moment he sets foot in this room, or mind me, it will be too late!’
‘What is all this?’ cried the girl involuntarily.
‘What is it?’ pursued Fagin, mad with rage. ‘When the boy’s worth hundreds of pounds to me, am I to lose what chance threw mw in the way of getting safely, through the whims of a drunken gang that I could whistle away the lives of! And me bound, too, to a born devil that only wants the will ,and has the power to, to –’
Panting for breath, the old man stammered for a word; and in that instant checked the torrent of his wrath, and changed his whole demeanor. A moment before, his clenched hands had grasped the air; his eyes had dilated; and his face grown livid with passion; but now, he shrunk into a chair, and, cowering together, trembled with the apprehension of having himself disclosed some hidden villainy. After a short silence, he ventured to look round his companion. He appeared somewhat reassured, on beholding her in the same listless attitude from which he had first roused her.
‘Nancy, dear!’ croaked the Jew, in his usual voice. Did you mind me, dear?’
‘Don’t worry me now, Fagin!’ replied the girl, raising her head languidly. ‘If Bill has not done it this time, he will another. He has done many a good job for you, and will do many more when he can; and when he can’t he won’t; so no more about that.’
‘Regarding this boy, my dear?’ said the Jew, rubbing the palms of his hands nervously together.
‘The boy must take his chance with the rest’, interrupted Nancy, hastily; ‘and I say again, I hope he is dead, and out of harm’s way, and out of yours – that is, if Bill comes to no harm. And if Toby got clear off, Bill’s pretty sure to be safe; for Bill’s worth two of Toby any time.’
‘And about what I was saying, my dear?’ observed the Jew, keeping his glistening eye steadily upon her.
a) Place the extract in context.
b) Describe the characters of Nancy and Fagin as portrayed in the passage.
c) Discuss the narrative techniques used in the passage.
d) What is the significance of the extract to the rest of the novel?
GRAHAM GREENE: The Heart of the Matter
4. Discuss the characters of Scobie, Louise and Yusef in the novel, The Heart of the Matter.
5. Discuss Scobie’s relationship with the women characters in The Heart of the Matter
NIKOS KAZANTZAKIS: Zorba the Greek
6. “Each of the main characters in Zorba the Greek is portrayed as undergoing a journey of hope.” Justify the truth of this statement closely referring to the novel.
7. Discuss the role of the women characters in the novel, Zorba the Greek.
E.M FORESTER: A Room With a View
8. How is the character of George Emerson different from that of Mr. Emerson as portrayed in A Room with a View?
9. Discuss the character of Lucy Honey Church as portrayed in A Room With a View.
TAYEB SALIH: Season of Migration to the North
10. Show how the author uses Mutstafa Sa’eed to depict major themes in the novel, Season of Migration to the North.
11. What lessons do you learn from the novel, Season of Migration to the North?
ARTHUR KOESTLER: Darkness at Noon
12. Relate the title, Darkness at Noon, to what happens in the novel.
13. Discuss the theme of betrayal as depicted in the novel, Darkness at Noon.
FERDINAND OYONO: Houseboy
14. Comment on the theme of religious hypocrisy as depicted in the novel, Houseboy.
15. Discuss the theme of colonialism as presented in the novel, Houseboy.
OSI OGEDU: The Moon Also Sets
16. Identity three major techniques and show how they are used in the novel The Moon Also Sets
17. How effectively are flashbacks used in the novel, The Moon Also Sets?
OLE KULET: Blossoms of the Savannah
18. Show how the author used symbolism in the novel, Blossoms of the Savannah.
19. How does the author use physical setting to potray major themes in Blossoms of the Savannah?
GODFREY MWENE KALIMUGOGO: A Murky River
20. How effectively does the author use irony in the novel, A Murky River?
21. Discuss the use of characters in the novel, A Murky River.