Compilation of all CJC H1 and H2 papers from 2009-10

JC1 / 2 Examinations
Higher 1/ 2
Paper 1 Reading Literature
Additional Materials: Answer Paper
Set texts may be taken into the examination room. They may bear underlining or highlighting.
Any kind of folding or flagging of pages in text (e.g. use of post-its, tape flags or paper clips) is not
Write your name, class and question number on all the work you hand in.
Write in dark blue or black pen on both sides of the paper.
Do not use paper clips, highlighters, glue or correction fluid on your work.
You are reminded of the need for good English and clear presentation in your answers.
At the end of the examination, fasten all your work securely together.
All questions in this paper carry equal marks.
The following questions have been collaboratively set by Pauline Chua, Shalini Damodaran, Marc
Kenji Lim and Kwan Fook Seng or borrowed from previous University of Cambridge International
Examinations (CIE) Papers. Recommend poetry questions bear a yellow highlight.
This document consists of 28 printed pages including this cover page.
Permission to reproduce paper should be sought from Catholic Junior College.
© CJC 2009-10
Section A
Compare and contrast the following poems, considering in detail the ways in which
each poet’s language and style present marriage and love. Poem A is by Stevie
Smith and Poem B is by Robert William Service.
The Jungle Husband
Dearest Evelyn, I often think of you
Out with the guns in the jungle stew
Yesterday I hittapotamus
I put the measurements down for you but they got lost in the fuss
It's not a good thing to drink out here
You know, I've practically given it up dear.
Tomorrow I am going alone a long way
Into the jungle. It is all grey
But green on top
Only sometimes when a tree has fallen
The sun comes down plop, it is quite appalling.
You never want to go in a jungle pool
In the hot sun, it would be the act of a fool
Because it's always full of anacondas, Evelyn, not looking ill-fed
I'll say. So no more now, from your loving husband Wilfred.
Three Wives
Said Jones: "I'm glad my wife's not clever;
Her intellect is second-rate.
If she was witty she would never
Give me a chance to scintillate;
But cap my humorous endeavour
And make me seem as addle-pate."
Said Smith: "I'm glad my wife's no beauty,
For if a siren's charm she had,
And stinted her domestic duty,
I fear that she would drive me mad:
For I am one of those sad fellows
Who are unreasonably jealous."
Said Brown: "I know my wife's not witty,
Nor is she very long on looks;
She's neither humorous nor pretty,
But oh how she divinely cooks!
You guys must come some night to dinner You'll see my little girl's a winner."
So it's important in our lives,
(Exaggerating more or less),
To be content with our wives,
And prize the virtues they possess;
And with dispraise to turn one's back
On all the qualities they lack.
© CJC 2009-10
Compare and contrast the following poems. Consider carefully how your responses
are shaped by the use of imagery, language and form. Poem A is by D.H. Lawrence
and Poem B is by James Henry.
Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me
Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the
tingling strings
And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who
smiles as she sings.
In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song
Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong
To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside
And hymns in the cosy parlour, the tinkling piano our
So now it is vain for the singer to burst into clamour
With the great black piano appassionato. The glamour
Of childlish days is upon me, my manhood is cast
Down in the flood of remembrance, I weep like a child
for the past.
Very Old Man
I well remember how some threescore years
And ten ago, a helpless babe, I toddled
From chair to chair about my mother’s chamber,
Feeling, as ‘twere, my way in the new world
And foolishly afraid of, or, as ‘t might be,
Foolishly pleased with, th’ unknown objects round me.
And now with stiffened joints I sit all day
In one of those same chairs, as foolishly
Hoping or fearing something from me hid
Behind the thick, dark veil which I see hourly
And minutely on every side round closing
And from my view all objects shutting out.
© CJC 2009-10
Compare and contrast the following poems, considering in detail how language, style
and form shape your responses to the theme of love. Poem A is by Andrew Fusek
Peters and Poem B is by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
The Passionate Pupil Declaring Love
Come meet with me and after school
Perhaps you’ll see that I’m no fool
If only you would understand,
How I want to hold your hand
We could walk around the park
Until the day grows old and dark
And on the swings we’ll learn to fly
Together we will touch the sky,
And I will make a daisy chain,
Create a crown from drops of rain
Weave a gown of greenest grass
And watch the hours quickly pass
As we run home through all the streets
I shall give you all my sweets,
The singing of the traffic jam
Will tell you how in love I am
In class your laughter makes me cry
And I just want to ask you why
You think that I am such a fool
To dream of meeting after school
Beloved, thou hast brought me many flowers
Belovëd, thou hast brought me many flowers
Plucked in the garden, all the summer through,
And winter, and it seemed as if they grew
In this close room, nor missed the sun and showers.
So, in the like name of that love of ours,
Take back these thoughts which here unfolded too,
And which on warm and cold days I withdrew
From my heart’s ground. Indeed, those beds and bowers
Be overgrown with bitter weeds and rue,
And wait thy weeding; yet here’s eglantine,
Here’s ivy!—take them, as I used to do
Thy flowers, and keep them where they shall not pine.
Instruct thine eyes to keep their colours true,
And tell thy soul, their roots are left in mine.
© CJC 2009-10
Compare and contrast the following poems. Consider carefully the ways in which the
use of language and form present family relationships. Poem A is by R.S. Gwynn and
Poem B is by Carol Ann Duffy.
Scenes from the Playroom
Now Lucy with her family of dolls
Disfigures Mother with an emery board,
While Charles, with match and rubbing alcohol,
Readies the struggling cat, for Chuck is bored.
The young ones pour more ink into the water
Though which the latest goldfish family swims,
Laughing, pointing at naked, neutered Father.
The toy chest is a Buchenwald of limbs.
Mother is so lovely; Father, so late.
The cook is off, yet dinner must go on.
With onions as her only cause for tears
She hacks the red meat from the slippery bone,
Setting the table, where the children wait,
Her grinning babies, clean behind the ears.
Lizzie, Six
What are you doing?
I’m watching the moon.
I’ll give you the moon
When I get there.
Where are you going?
To play in the fields.
I’ll give you the fields,
bend over the chair
What are you thinking?
I’m thinking of love.
I’ll give you love
when I’ve climbed this stair.
Where are you hiding?
Deep in the wood.
I’ll give you wood
when your bottom’s bare.
Why are you crying?
I’m afraid of the dark.
I’ll give you the dark
and I do not care.
© CJC 2009-10
Section A
1 Either
Compare and contrast the following poems, ‘Song’ by Edmund Waller and ‘The
Mess of Love’ by D.H. Lawrence, considering in detail ways in which your
responses are shaped by the writers’ language, style and form.
Go, lovely rose,
Tell her that wastes her time and me
That now she knows,
When I resemble her to thee,
How sweet and fair she seems to be.
Tell her that's young,
And shuns to have her graces spied,
That hadst thou sprung
In deserts, where no men abide,
Thou must have uncommended died.
Small is the worth
Of beauty from the light retir’d;
Bid her come forth,
Suffer herself to be desir’d,
And not blush so to be admire‘d.
Then die, that she
The common fate of all things rare
May read in thee;
How small a part of time they share,
That are so wondrous sweet and faire.
We've made a great mess of love
since we made an ideal of it.
The moment I swear to love a woman, a certain woman,
all my life
that moment I begin to hate her.
The moment I even say to a woman: I love you! --My love dies down considerably.
The moment love is an understood thing between us, we are
sure of it,
It's a cold egg, it isn't love any more.
Love is like a flower, it must flower and fade;
if it doesn't fade, it is not a flower,
it's either an artificial rag blossom, or an immortelle, for
the cemetery.
The moment the mind interferes with love, or the will
fixes on it,
or the personality assumes it as an attribute, or the ego
takes possession of it,
it is not love any more, it's just a mess.
And we've made a great mess of love, mind-perverted,
will-perverted, ego-perverted love.
© CJC 2009-10
Compare and contrast the following poems, ‘Her’ by Jackie Kay and ‘The Breather’
by Billy Collins, considering in detail ways in which your responses are shaped by
the writers’ language, style and form.
I had been told about her.
How she would always, always.
How she would never, never.
I’d watched and listened
But I still fell for her,
how she always, always.
How she never, never.
In the small brave night,
her lips, butterfly movements.
I tried to catch and she laughed
a loud laugh that cracked me in two,
but then I had been told about her,
how she would always, always.
How she would never, never.
We two listened to the wind.
We two galloped a pace.
We two, up and away, away, away.
And now she’s gone,
Like she said she would go.
But then I had always been told about her how she would always, always.
The Breather
Just as in the horror movies
when someone discovers that the phone calls
are coming from inside the house
so too, I realized
that our tender overlapping
has been taking place only inside me.
All that sweetness, the love and desire—
it’s just been me dialing myself
then following the ringing to another room
to find no one on the line,
well, sometimes a little breathing
but more often than not, nothing.
To think that all this time—
which would include the boat rides,
the airport embraces, and all the drinks—
it’s been only me and the two telephones,
the one on the wall in the kitchen
and the extension in the darkened guest room upstairs.
© CJC 2009-10
Section A
1 Either
Compare and contrast the following poems, “The Winter Palace” by Philip Larkin
and “Beautiful Old Age” by D.H. Lawrence, considering in detail the ways in which
your responses are shaped by the writers’ language, style and form.
The Winter Palace
Most people know more as they get older:
I give all that the cold shoulder.
I spent my second quarter-century
Losing what I had learnt at university
And refusing to take in what had happened since.
Now I know none of the names in the public prints,
And am starting to give offence by forgetting faces
And swearing I’ve never been in certain places.
It will be worth it, if in the end I manage
To blank out whatever it is that is doing the damage.
Then there will be nothing I know
My mind will fold into itself, like fields, like snow.
Beautiful Old Age
It ought to be lovely to be old
to be full of the peace that comes of experience
and wrinkled ripe fulfilment.
The wrinkled smile of completeness that follows a life
lived undaunted and unsoured with accepted lies.
If people lived without accepting lies
they would ripen like apples, and be scented like pippins
in their old age.
Soothing, old people should be, like apples
when one is tired of love.
Fragrant like yellowing leaves, and dim with the soft
stillness and satisfaction of autumn.
And a girl should say:
It must be wonderful to live and grow old.
Look at my mother, how rich and still she is! –
And a young man should think: By Jove
my father has faced all weathers, but it's been a life!
© CJC 2009-10
Compare and contrast the following poems, “Faintheart in a Railway Train” by
Thomas Hardy and “Moments” by Jane King, considering in detail the ways in which
your responses are shaped by the writers’ language, style and form.
Faintheart in a Railway Train
At nine in the morning there passed a church,
At ten there passed me by the sea,
At twelve a town of smoke and smirch,
At two a forest of oak and birch,
And then, on a platform, she:
A radiant stranger, who saw not me.
I queried, "Get out to her do I dare?"
But I kept my seat in my search for a plea,
And the wheels moved on. O could it but be
That I had alighted there!
Always it’s moments glimpsed while journeying past.
A darkening hill beneath pale yellow sky.
A shivering sense of peace. It does not last.
Soft smoke drifts slowly, seen through glass
and misty sheets of silvering rain pass by.
Always it’s moments glimpsed while journeying past.
A jostling market crowd – colours, shrill, fast –
vision evaporates without a sigh.
A shivering sense of peace. It does not last.
A pale sun hangs above a blackened mast
a horror that the self itself will die.
Always it’s moments glimpsed while journeying past.
An orange sun and pools of silvered purple cast
on glistening asphalt. A sense of one – not-I.
A shivering sense of peace. It does not last.
A sense of home, of peace. Driving too fast
Seeking to lose a sense of sinking by…
Always it’s moments glimpsed while journeying past
A shivering sense of peace. It does not last.
© CJC 2009-10
Section A
1 Either
Compare and contrast the following poems, “You and I” by Robert McGough and
“Love, We Must Part Now” by Philip Larkin, considering in detail the ways in which
language, style and form present love and separation.
You and I
I explain quietly. You
hear me shouting. You
try a new tack. I
feel old wounds reopen.
You see both sides. I
see your blinkers. I
am placatory. You
sense a new selfishness.
I am a dove. You
recognize the hawk. You
offer an olive branch. I
feel the thorns.
You bleed. I
see crocodile tears. I
withdraw. You
reel from the impact.
Love, We Must Part Now
Love, we must part now: do not let it be
Calamitous and bitter. In the past
There has been too much moonlight and self-pity:
Let us have done with it: for now at last
Never has sun more boldly paced the sky,
Never were hearts more eager to be free,
To kick down worlds, lash forests; you and I
No longer hold them; we are husks, that see
The grain going forward to a different use.
There is regret. Always, there is regret.
But it is better that our lives unloose,
As two tall ships, wind-mastered, wet with light,
Break from an estuary with their courses set,
And waving part, and waving drop from sight.
© CJC 2009-10
Compare and contrast the following poems, “Praise Song For My Mother” by Grace
Nichols and “In Memory of My Mother” by Patrick Kavanagh, considering in detail
the ways in language, style and form present the parent figure.
Praise Song For My Mother
You were
water to me
deep and bold and fathoming
You were
moon's eye to me
pull and grained and mantling
You were
sunrise to me
rise and warm and streaming
You were
the fishes red gill to me
the flame tree’s spread to me
the crab’s leg/the fried plantain smell
replenishing replenishing
Go to your wide futures, you said
In Memory of My Mother
I do not think of you lying in the wet clay
Of a Monaghan graveyard; I see
You walking down a lane among the poplars
On your way to the station, or happily
Going to second Mass on a summer Sunday You meet me and you say:
'Don't forget to see about the cattle - '
Among your earthiest words the angels stray.
And I think of you walking along a headland
Of green oats in June,
So full of repose, so rich with life And I see us meeting at the end of a town
On a fair day by accident, after
The bargains are all made and we can walk
Together through the shops and stalls and markets
Free in the oriental streets of thought.
O you are not lying in the wet clay,
For it is a harvest evening now and we
Are piling up the ricks against the moonlight
And you smile up at us - eternally.
© CJC 2009-10
Section A
1 Either
Compare and contrast the following poems, “Sonnet Reversed” by Rupert Brooke
and “Yes I’ll Marry You Dear” by Pam Ayres, considering in detail the ways in which
your responses are shaped by language, style and form.
Sonnet Reversed
Hand trembling towards hand; the amazing lights
Of heart and eye. They stood on supreme heights.
Ah, the delirious weeks of honeymoon!
Soon they returned, and, after strange adventures,
Settled at Balham by the end of June.
Their money was in Can. Pacs. B. Debentures,
And in Antofagastas. Still he went
Cityward daily; still she did abide
At home. And both were really quite content
With work and social pleasures. Then they died.
They left three children (besides George, who drank):
The eldest Jane, who married Mr Bell,
William, the head-clerk in the County Bank,
And Henry, a stock-broker, doing well.
Yes, I’ll Marry You Dear
Yes, I'll marry you, my dear, and here's the reason why;
So I can push you out of bed when the baby starts to cry,
And if we hear a knocking and it's creepy and it's late,
I hand you the torch you see, and you investigate.
Yes I'll marry you, my dear, you may not apprehend it,
But when the tumble-drier goes it's you that has to mend it,
You have to face the neighbour should our labrador attack him,
And if a drunkard fondles me it's you that has to whack him.
Yes, I'll marry you, you're virile and you're lean,
My house is like a pigsty, you can help to keep it clean.
That sexy little dinner which you served by candlelight,
As I do chipolatas, you can cook it every night!
It's you who has to work the drill and put up curtain track,
And when I've got PMT it's you who gets the flak,
I do see great advantages, but none of them for you,
And so before you see the light, I do, I do, I do!
Antofagasta – A port city in Chile.
Balham – A district in London.
Can. Pacs. B. Debentures – Canadian Pacific Railway Debentures.
PMT – Premenstrual tension.
© CJC 2009-10
Compare and contrast the following poems, “Photograph of My Father in His
Twenty-Second Year” by Raymond Carver and “Friends’ Photos” by Ruth Fainlight,
considering in detail how language, style and form present memory and the past.
Photograph of My Father in His Twenty-Second Year
October. Here in this dank, unfamiliar kitchen
I study my father's embarrassed young man's face.
Sheepish grin, he holds in one hand a string
of spiny yellow perch, in the other
a bottle of Carlsbad Beer.
In jeans and denim shirt, he leans
against the front fender of a 1934 Ford.
He would like to pose bluff and hearty for his posterity,
Wear his old hat cocked over his ear.
All his life my father wanted to be bold.
But the eyes give him away, and the hands
that limply offer the string of dead perch
and the bottle of beer. Father, I love you,
yet how can I say thank you, I who can't hold my liquor either,
and don't even know the places to fish?
Friends’ Photos
We all looked like goddesses
and gods, glowing and smooth, sheathed
from head to foot by a golden essence
that glistens and refracted its aura
of power – the wonderful ichor called youth
We moved as easily as dolphins
Surging out of the ocean, cleaving
Massed tons of transparent water
streaming away in swathes of bubbling
silver like the plasm of life
© CJC 2009-10
Still potent from those black and white
photos, the palpable electric
charge between us, like the negative
and positive poles of a battery,
or the fingers of Adam and God.
We were beautiful, without exception
I could hardly bear to look at those
old albums, to see the lost glamour
we never noticed when we were
first together – when we were young
Section A
1 Either
Compare and contrast the following poems, “You” by Carol Ann Duffy and
“Together, Apart” by Anthony Thwaite, considering the ways in which the writers’
language, style and form present love and desire.
Uninvited, the thought of you stayed too late in my head,
so I went to bed, dreaming you hard, hard, woke with your name
like tears, soft, salt, on my lips, the sound of its bright syllables
like a charm, like a spell.
Falling in love
is glamorous hell; the crouched, parched heart
like a tiger ready to kill; a flame’s fierce licks under the skin.
Into my life, larger than life, beautiful, you strolled in.
I hid in my ordinary days, in the long grass of my routine,
in my camouflage rooms. You sprawled in my gaze,
staring back from anyone’s face, from the shape of a cloud,
from the pining, earth-struck moon which gapes at me
as I open the bedroom door. The curtains stir. There you are
on the bed, like a gift, like a touchable dream.
Together, Apart
Too much together, or too much apart:
This is one problem of the human heart.
Thirty-five years of sharing day by day
With so much shared there is no need to say
So many things: we know instinctively
The common words of our proximity.
Not here, you’re missed; now here, I need to get away,
To make some portion separate in the day.
And not belonging here, I feel content
When brooding on the portion that is spent.
Where everything is strange, and yet is known,
I sit under the trees and am alone,
Until there is an emptiness all round,
Missing your voice, the sweet habitual sound
Of our own language. I walk back to our room
Through the great park’s descending evening gloom,
And find you there, after these hours apart,
Not having solved this question of the heart.
© CJC 2009-10
Compare and contrast the following poems, “Last Instructions” by Garth Tate and
“Remember” by Christina Rossetti, considering the ways in which your responses
are shaped by the writers’ language, style and form.
Last Instructions
And when I die,
when this old spirit
spurs into God’s
unseen air don’t shed
one tear,
sisters and brothers instead
rejoice with song and prayer;
paint landscapes of heaven
for the eyes of our children
please don’t grieve
my departure, friends
for we shall meet again
in time...
I’ll be watching and waiting
your time...
And hand you real freedom
to wrap around your shoulders
like a magic, marvelous cloak
so, when I cross that river,
don’t get dressed in dark
colors or collapse before
useless coffins or cry
when you could be wishing
me well
please don’t waste words
on endless oratory
and kill several others
with boredom or dolor
when the sun is still shining golden
just believe that our
span of time is ultimately
god’s piece of time and say
that this time
he was a poet and
this time he was black
and next time there’s just no
telling how he may come
dolor: a state of great sorrow or distress
[Turn over
© CJC 2009-10
Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you plann'd:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.
© CJC 2009-10
Section B
EMILY BRONTË: Wuthering Heights
Write a critical commentary on the following extract, paying particular attention to the
portrayal of Catherine by her narrator.
Certainly she had ways with her such as I never saw a child take up before;
and she put all of us past our patience fifty times and oftener in a day: from the
hour she came down stairs till the hour she went to bed, we had not a minute's
security that she wouldn't be in mischief. Her spirits were always at high-water
mark, her tongue always going - singing, laughing, and plaguing everybody who
would not do the same. A wild, wick slip she was - but she had the bonniest eye,
the sweetest smile, and lightest foot in the parish; and, after all, I believe she meant
no harm; for when once she made you cry in good earnest, it seldom happened
that she would not keep you company, and oblige you to be quiet that you might
comfort her.
She was much too fond of Heathcliff. The greatest punishment we could invent
for her was to keep her separate from him: yet she got chided more than any of us
on his account.
In play, she liked exceedingly to act the little mistress; using her hands freely,
and commanding her companions: she did so to me, but I would not bear slapping
and ordering; and so I let her know.
Now, Mr. Earnshaw did not understand jokes from his children: he had always
been strict and grave with them; and Catherine, on her part, had no idea why her
father should be crosser and less patient in his ailing condition than he was in his
His peevish reproofs wakened in her a naughty delight to provoke him: she
was never so happy as when we were all scolding her at once, and she defying us
with her bold, saucy look, and her ready words; turning Joseph's religious curses
into ridicule, baiting me, and doing just what her father hated most - showing how
her pretended insolence, which he thought real, had more power over Heathcliff
than his kindness: how the boy would do her bidding in anything, and his only when
it suited his own inclination. After behaving as badly as possible all day, she
sometimes came fondling to make it up at night.
'Nay, Cathy,' the old man would say, 'I cannot love thee; thou'rt worse than thy
brother. Go, say thy prayers, child, and ask God's pardon. I doubt thy mother and I
must rue that we ever reared thee!'
That made her cry, at first; and then being repulsed continually hardened her,
and she laughed if I told her to say she was sorry for her faults, and beg to be
But the hour came, at last, that ended Mr. Earnshaw's troubles on earth. He
died quietly in his chair one October evening, seated by the fire-side.
A high wind blustered round the house, and roared in the chimney: it sounded
wild and stormy, yet it was not cold, and we were all together - I, a little removed
from the hearth, busy at my knitting, and Joseph reading his Bible near the table
(for the servants generally sat in the house then, after their work was done.) Miss
Cathy had been sick, and that made her still; she leant against her father's knee,
and Heathcliff was lying on the floor with his head in her lap.
I remember the master, before he fell into a doze, stroking her bonny hair - it
pleased him rarely to see her gentle - and saying –
'Why canst thou not always be a good lass, Cathy?'
And she turned her face up to his, and laughed, and answered,
'Why cannot you always be a good man, father?'
But as soon as she saw him vexed again, she kissed his hand, and said she
would sing him to sleep.
(Volume I Chapter V)
© CJC 2009-10
Section B
EMILY BRONTË: Wuthering Heights
Write a critical commentary on the following extract, paying particular attention to the
presentation of the character of Heathcliff and the features of the narrative.
'Cathy and I escaped from the wash-house to have a ramble at liberty, and
getting a glimpse of the Grange lights, we thought we would just go and see
whether the Lintons passed their Sunday evenings standing shivering in corners,
while their father and mother sat eating and drinking, and singing and laughing,
and burning their eyes out before the fire. Do you think they do? Or reading
sermons, and being catechised by their manservant, and set to learn a column of
Scripture names, if they don't answer properly?'
'Probably not,' I responded. 'They are good children, no doubt, and don't
deserve the treatment you receive, for your bad conduct.'
'Don't you cant, Nelly,' he said: 'Nonsense! We ran from the top of the Heights
to the park, without stopping - Catherine completely beaten in the race, because
she was barefoot. You'll have to seek for her shoes in the bog to-morrow. We crept
through a broken hedge, groped our way up the path, and planted ourselves on a
flower-plot under the drawing-room window. The light came from thence; they had
not put up the shutters, and the curtains were only half closed. Both of us were
able to look in by standing on the basement, and clinging to the ledge, and we saw
- ah! it was beautiful - a splendid place carpeted with crimson, and crimsoncovered chairs and tables, and a pure white ceiling bordered by gold, a shower of
glass-drops hanging in silver chains from the centre, and shimmering with little soft
tapers. Old Mr. and Mrs. Linton were not there; Edgar and his sisters had it entirely
to themselves. Shouldn't they have been happy? We should have thought
ourselves in heaven! And now, guess what your good children were doing?
Isabella - I believe she is eleven, a year younger than Cathy - lay screaming at the
farther end of the room, shrieking as if witches were running red-hot needles into
her. Edgar stood on the hearth weeping silently, and in the middle of the table sat a
little dog, shaking its paw and yelping; which, from their mutual accusations, we
understood they had nearly pulled in two between them. The idiots! That was their
pleasure! to quarrel who should hold a heap of warm hair, and each begin to cry
because both, after struggling to get it, refused to take it. We laughed outright at
the petted things; we did despise them! When would you catch me wishing to have
what Catherine wanted? or find us by ourselves, seeking entertainment in yelling,
and sobbing, and rolling on the ground, divided by the whole room? I'd not
exchange, for a thousand lives, my condition here, for Edgar Linton's at
Thrushcross Grange - not if I might have the privilege of flinging Joseph off the
highest gable, and painting the with Hindley's blood!'
'Hush, hush!' I interrupted. 'Still you have not told me, Heathcliff, how
Catherine is left behind?'
‘I told you how we laughed,’ he answered. ‘The Lintons heard us, and with
one accord, they shot like arrows to the door; there was silence, and then a cry,
“Oh, mamma, mamma! Oh, papa! Oh, mamma, come here. Oh, papa, oh!’ They
really did howl out, something in that way. We made frightful noises to terrify them
still more, and then we dropped off the ledge, because somebody was drawing the
bars, and we felt we had better flee. I had Cathy by the hand, and was urging her
on, when all at once she fell down.
(Volume I Chapter VI)
© CJC 2009-10
Section B
EMILY BRONTË: Wuthering Heights
2 Either
(a) To what extent does Brontë portray the second generation of lovers as being
preferable to the first generation?
(b) Write a critical commentary on the following passage, making clear its significance in
your reading of the novel.
"Five minutes ago Hareton seemed a personification of my youth, not a human being - I
felt to him in such a variety of ways, that it would have been impossible to have accosted
him rationally."
"In the first place, his startling likeness to Catherine connected him fearfully with her That, however, which you may suppose the most potent to arrest my imagination, is
actually the least - for what is not connected with her to me? and what does not recall her?
I cannot look down to this floor, but her features are shaped on the flags! In every cloud, in
every tree -- filling the air at night, and caught by glimpses in every object by day, I am
surrounded with her image! The most ordinary faces of men and women -- my own
features -- mock me with a resemblance. The entire world is a dreadful collection of
memoranda that she did exist, and that I have lost her!
“ Well, Hareton's aspect was the ghost of my immortal love, of my wild endeavours to
hold my right, my degradation, my pride, my happiness, and my anguish -"But it is frenzy to repeat these thoughts to you; only it will let you know why, with a
reluctance to be always alone, his society is no benefit, rather an aggravation of the
constant torment I suffer - and it partly contributes to render me regardless how he and his
cousin go on together. I can give them no attention, any more."
"But what do you mean by a change, Mr. Heathcliff?" I said, alarmed at his manner,
though he was neither in danger of losing his senses, nor dying, according to my judgment
he was quite strong and healthy; and, as to his reason, from childhood he had a delight in
dwelling on dark things, and entertaining odd fancies - he might have had a monomania
on the subject of his departed idol; but on every other point his wits were as sound as
"I shall not know that, till it comes," he said, "I'm only half conscious of it now."
"You have no feeling of illness, have you?" I asked.
"No, Nelly, I have not," he answered.
"Then, you are not afraid of death?" I pursued.
"Afraid! No!" he replied. "I have neither a fear, nor a presentiment, nor a hope of death Why should I? With my hard constitution, and temperate mode of living, and unperilous
occupations, I ought to, and probably shall remain above ground, till there is scarcely a
black hair on my head - And yet I cannot continue in this condition! - I have to remind
myself to breathe - almost to remind my heart to beat! And it is like bending back a stiff
spring … it is by compulsion that I do the slightest act not prompted by one thought, and
by compulsion, that I notice anything alive or dead, which is not associated with one
universal idea ... I have a single wish, and my whole being and faculties are yearning to
attain it. They have yearned towards it so long, and so unwaveringly, that I'm convinced it
will be reached -- and soon -- because it has devoured my existence - I am swallowed in
the anticipation of its fulfilment.
“My confessions have not relieved me – but, they may account for some otherwise
unaccountable phases of humour which I show. O God! It is a long fight, I wish it were
He began to pace the room, muttering terrible things to himself; till I was inclined to
believe, as he said Joseph did, that conscience had turned his heart to an earthly hell - I
wondered greatly how it would end.
(Volume II Chapter XIX)
© CJC 2009-10
Section B
EMILY BRONTË: Wuthering Heights
2 Either
(a) “A specimen of true benevolence and homely fidelity.” To what extent would you
agree with this assessment of Nelly Dean in the novel?
(b) Write a critical commentary on the following passage, making clear its significance in
your reading of the novel.
Earnshaw blushed crimson, when his cousin made this revelation of his private literary
accumulations, and stammered an indignant denial of her accusations.
‘Mr. Hareton is desirous of increasing his amount of knowledge,’ I said, coming to his
rescue. "He is not envious but emulous of your attainments – He'll be a clever scholar in a
few years!"
‘And he wants me to sink into a dunce, meantime,’ answered Catherine. ‘Yes, I hear him
trying to spell and read to himself, and pretty blunders he makes! I wish you would repeat
Chevy Chase, as you did yesterday – It was extremely funny! I heard you… and I heard you
turning over the dictionary, to seek out the hard words, and then cursing, because you
couldn't read their explanations!’
The young man evidently thought it too bad that he should be laughed at for his
ignorance, and then laughed at for trying to remove it. I had a similar notion, and,
remembering Mrs. Dean's anecdote of his first attempt at enlightening the darkness in which
he had been reared, I observed,
‘But, Mrs. Heathcliff, we have each had a commencement, and each stumbled and
tottered on the threshold, and had our teachers scorned, instead of aiding us, we should
stumble and totter yet.’
‘Oh!’ she replied, ‘I don't wish to limit his acquirements… still, he has no right to
appropriate what is mine, and make it ridiculous to me with his vile mistakes and mispronunciations! Those books, both prose and verse, were consecrated to me by other
associations, and I hate to have them debased and profaned in his mouth! Besides, of all,
he has selected my favourite pieces that I love the most to repeat, as if out of deliberate
Hareton's chest heaved in silence a minute; he laboured under a severe sense of
mortification and wrath, which it was no easy task to suppress.
I rose, and, from a gentlemanly idea of relieving his embarrassment, took up my station
in the doorway, surveying the external prospect as I stood.
He followed my example, and left the room, but presently reappeared, bearing half-adozen volumes in his hands, which he threw into Catherine's lap, exclaiming,
‘Take them! I never want to hear, or read, or think of them again!’
‘I won't have them now!’ she answered. ‘I shall connect them with you, and hate them!’
She opened one that had obviously been often turned over, and read a portion in the
drawling tone of a beginner; then laughed, and threw it from her.
‘And listen!’ she continued provokingly, commencing a verse of an old ballad in the same
But his self-love would endure no further torment – I heard, and not altogether
disapprovingly, a manual check given to her saucy tongue – The little wretch had done her
utmost to hurt her cousin's sensitive though uncultivated feelings, and a physical argument
was the only mode he had of balancing the account and repaying its effects on the inflicter.
He afterwards gathered the books and hurled them on the fire. I read in his countenance
what anguish it was to offer that sacrifice to spleen – I fancied that as they consumed he
recalled the pleasure they had already imparted, and the triumph and ever increasing
pleasure he had anticipated from them – and I fancied I guessed the incitement to his secret
studies, also. He had been content with daily labour and rough animal enjoyments, till
Catherine crossed his path – Shame at her scorn, and hope of her approval, were his first
prompters to higher pursuits; and instead of guarding him from one, and winning him the
other, his endeavours to raise himself had produced just the contrary result.
(Volume II Chapter XVII)
© CJC 2009-10
Section B
EMILY BRONTË: Wuthering Heights
(a) How are conventional morality and religion challenged in the novel Wuthering Heights?
(b) Write a critical commentary on the following extract, paying particular attention to the
presentation of Catherine and Heathcliff here and elsewhere in the novel.
Mrs. Linton’s glance followed him suspiciously: every movement woke a new
sentiment in her. After a pause, and a prolonged gaze, she resumed, addressing me in
accents of indignant disappointment.
“Oh, you see, Nelly! he would not relent a moment, to keep me out of the grave! That
is how I’m loved! Well, never mind! That is not my Heathcliff. I shall love mine yet; and
take him with me – he’s in my soul. And,” added she, musingly, “the thing that irks me
most is this shattered prison, after all. I’m tired, tired of being enclosed here. I’m wearying
to escape into that glorious world, and to be always there; not seeing it dimly through tears,
and yearning for it through the walls of an aching heart; but really with it, and in it. Nelly,
you think you are better and more fortunate than I; in full health and strength—you are
sorry for me—very soon that will be altered. I shall be sorry for you. I shall be incomparably
beyond and above you all. I wonder he won’t be near me!” She went on to herself. “I
thought he wished it. Heathcliff, dear! you should not be sullen now. Do come to me,
In her eagerness she rose, and supported herself on the arm of the chair. At that
earnest appeal, he turned to her, looking absolutely desperate. His eyes wide, and wet at
last, flashed fiercely on her; his breast heaved convulsively. An instant they held asunder,
and then how they met I hardly saw, but Catherine made a spring, and he caught her, and
they were locked in an embrace from which I thought my mistress would never be released
alive. In fact, to my eyes, she seemed directly insensible. He flung himself into the nearest
seat, and on my approaching hurriedly to ascertain if she had fainted, he gnashed at me,
and foamed like a mad dog, and gathered her to him with greedy jealousy. I did not feel as
if I were in the company of a creature of my own species: it appeared that he would not
understand, though I spoke to him; so I stood off, and held my tongue, in great perplexity.
A movement of Catherine’s relieved me a little presently: she put up her hand to clasp
his neck, and bring her cheek to his as he held her: while he, in return, covering her with
frantic caresses, said wildly—
“You teach me now how cruel you’ve been—cruel and false. Why did you despise
me? Why did you betray your own heart, Cathy? I have not one word of comfort. You
deserve this. You have killed yourself. Yes, you may kiss me, and cry; and wring out my
kisses and tears: they’ll blight you—they’ll damn you. You loved me—then what right had
you to leave me? What right—answer me—for the poor fancy you felt for Linton? Because
misery and degradation, and death, and nothing that God or Satan could inflict would have
parted us, you, of your own will, did it. I have not broken your heart—you have broken it;
and in breaking it, you have broken mine. So much the worse for me that I am strong. Do
I want to live? What kind of living will it be when you—oh, God! would you like to live with
your soul in the grave?”
“Let me alone. Let me alone,” sobbed Catherine. “If I’ve done wrong, I’m dying for it.
It is enough! You left me too: but I won’t upbraid you! I forgive you. Forgive me!”
“It is hard to forgive, and to look at those eyes, and feel those wasted hands,” he
answered. “Kiss me again; and don’t let me see your eyes! I forgive what you have done to
me. I love my murderer—but yours! How can I?”
They were silent—their faces hid against each other, and washed by each other’s
tears. At least, I suppose the weeping was on both sides; as it seemed Heathcliff could
weep on a great occasion like this.
(Volume II Chapter I)
© CJC 2009-10
Section C
HAROLD PINTER: The Birthday Party
(a) Comment on the ways in which comedy is created in the play.
(b) Write a critical commentary on the following extract, paying particular attention to the
presentation of Stanley and Meg here and elsewhere in the play.
© CJC 2009-10
Ta-ta. [Petey exits, left.]
Tch, tch, tch, tch.
(defensively). What do you mean?
You’re a bad wife.
I’m not. Who said I am?
Not to make your husband a cup of tea. Terrible.
He knows I’m not a bad wife.
Giving him sour milk instead.
It wasn’t sour.
You mind your own business, anyway. (Stanley eats.) You won’t find
many better wives than me, I can tell you. I keep a very nice house and
I keep it clean.
Yes! And this house is very well known, for a very good boarding house
for visitors.
Visitors? Do you know how many visitors you’ve had since I’ve been
How many?
Me! I’m your visitor.
You’re a liar. This house is on the list.
I bet it is.
I know it is. [He pushes his plate away and picks up the paper.] Was it
The fried bread.
You shouldn’t say that word.
What word?
That word you said.
What, succulent–?
Don’t say it!
What’s the matter with it?
You shouldn’t say that word to a married woman.
Is that a fact?
Well, I never knew that.
Well, it’s true.
Who told you that?
Never you mind.
Well, if I can’t say it to a married woman who can I say it to?
You’re bad.
What about some tea?
Do you want some tea? (Stanley reads the paper.) Say please.
Say sorry first.
Sorry first.
No. Just sorry.
Just sorry!
You deserve the strap.
Don’t do that!
(Act I)
© CJC 2009-10
Section C
HAROLD PINTER: The Birthday Party
(a) “The play makes one stir uneasily in one’s shoes and doubt for a moment the comforting
solidity of one’s earth.” In light of this statement, discuss the dramatic methods and
effects in The Birthday Party.
(b) Write a critical commentary on the following extract, paying particular attention to the
dramatic effects and how Goldberg and McCann are presented.
© CJC 2009-10
Is this it?
This is it.
Are you sure?
Sure I’m sure. [Pause.]
What now?
Don’t worry yourself, McCann. Take a seat.
What about you?
What about me?
Are you going to take a seat?
We’ll both take a seat. (McCann puts down the suitcase and sits at the
table, left) Sit back, McCann. Relax. What’s the matter with you? I bring
you down for a few days to the seaside. Take a holiday. Do yourself a
favour. Learn to relax, McCann, or you’ll never get anywhere.
Ah sure, I do try, Nat.
(sitting at the table, right). The secret is breathing. Take my tip. It’s a
well-known fact. Breathe in, breathe out, take a chance, let yourself go,
what can you lose? Look at me. When I was an apprentice yet,
McCann, every second Friday of the month my Uncle Barney used to
take me to the seaside, regular as clockwork. Brighton, Canvey Island,
Rottingdean – Uncle Barney wasn’t particular. After lunch on Shabbuss
we’d go and sit in a couple of deck chairs – you know, the ones with
canopies – we’d have a little paddle, we’d watch the tide coming in,
going out, the sun coming down – golden days, believe me, McCann.
(Reminiscent.) Uncle Barney. Of course, he was an impeccable
dresser. One of the old school. He had a house just outside
Basingstoke at the time. Respected by the whole community. Culture?
Don’t talk to me aout culture. He was an all-round man, what do you
mean? He was a cosmopolitan.
Hey, Nat…
(reflectively) Yes. One of the old school.
Nat. How do we know this is the right house?
How do we know this is the right house?
What makes you think it’s the wrong house?
I didn’t see a number on the gate.
I wasn’t looking for a number.
(settling in the armchair) You know one thing Uncle Barney taught me?
Uncle Barney taught me that the word of a gentleman is enough. That’s
why, when I had to go away on business I never carried any money.
One of my sons used to come with me. He used to carry a few
coppers. For a paper, perhaps, to see how the M.C.C. was getting on
overseas. Otherwise my name was good. Besides, I was a very busy
McCann. What about this, Nat? Isn’t it about time someone came in?
Goldberg. McCann, what are you so nervous about? Pull yourself together.
Everywhere you go these days it’s like a funeral.
McCann. That’s true.
Goldberg. True? Of course it’s true. It’s more than true. It’s a fact.
McCann. You may be right
Goldberg. What is it, McCann? You don’t trust me like you did in the old days?
McCann. Sure I trust you, Nat.
Goldberg. But why is it that before you do a job you’re all over the place, and
when you’re doing the job you’re cool as a whistle?
McCann. I don’t know Nat. I’m just all right once I know what I’m doing. When I
know what I’m doing, I’m all right.
Goldberg. Well, you do it very well.
McCann. Thank you, Nat.
(Act I)
© CJC 2009-10
Section C
HAROLD PINTER: The Birthday Party
(a) “The Birthday Party is mainly concerned with power and its effects.” How far do you find
this a helpful comment in your reading of the play?
(b) Write a critical commentary on the following extract, making clear its significance in your
reading of the play.
© CJC 2009-10
(as he enters) A mother in a million. (He sees Stanley.) Ah.
Oh hullo, Stan. You haven’t met Stanley, have you, Mr Goldberg?
I haven’t had the pleasure.
Oh well, this is Mr Goldberg, this is Mr Webber.
Pleased to meet you.
We were just getting a bit of air in the garden.
I was telling Mr Boles about my old mum. What days. (He sits at the
table, right.) Yes. When I was a youngster, of a Friday, I used to go for
a walk down the canal with a girl who lived down my road. A beautiful
girl. What a voice that bird had! A nightingale, my word of honour.
Good? Pure? She wasn’t a Sunday school teacher for nothing.
Anyway, I’d leave her with a little kiss on the cheek – I never took
liberties – we weren’t like the young men these days in those days. We
knew the meaning of respect. So I’d give her a peck and I’d bowl back
home. Humming away I’d be, past the children’s playground. I’d trip my
hat to the toddlers, I’d give a helping hand to a couple of stray dogs,
everything came natural. I can see it like yesterday. The sun falling
behind the dog stadium. Ah! (He leans back contentedly.)
Like behind the town hall.
What town hall?
In Carrikmacross.
There’s no comparison. Up the street, into my gate, inside the door,
home. “Simey!” my old mum used to shout, “quick before it gets cold.”
And there on the table what would I see? The nicest piece of gefilte fish
you could wish to find on a plate.
I thought your name was Nat.
She called me Simey.
Yes, we all remember our childhood.
Too true. Eh, Mr Webber, what do you say? Childhood. Hot water
bottles. Hot milk. Pancakes. Soap suds. What a life. [Pause.]
(rising from the table). Well, I’ll have to be off.
It’s my chess night.
You’re not staying for the party?
No, I’m sorry, Stan. I didn’t know about it till just now. And we’ve got a
game on. I’ll try and get back early.
We’ll save some drink for you, all right? Oh, that reminds me. You’d
better go and collect the bottles.
Of course, now. Time’s getting on. Round the corner, remember?
Mention my name.
I’m coming your way.
Beat him quick and come back, Mr Boles.
Do my best. See you later, Stan. [Petey and McCann go out, left.
Stanley moves to the centre.]
© CJC 2009-10
A warm night.
(turning). Don’t mess me about!
I beg your pardon?
(moving downstage). I’m afraid there’s been a mistake. We’re booked
out. Your room is taken. Mrs Boles forgot to tell you. You’ll have to find
somewhere else.
Are you the manager here?
That’s right.
Is it a good game?
I run the house. I’m afraid you and your friend will have to find other
(rising). Oh, I forgot, I must congratulate you on your birthday. (Offering
his hand.) Congratulations.
(ignoring hand). Perhaps you’re deaf.
No, what makes you think that? As a matter of fact, every single one of
my senses is at its peak. Not bad going, eh? For a man past fifty. But a
birthday, I always feel, is a great occasion, taken too much for granted
these days. What a thing to celebrate – birth! Like getting up in the
morning. Marvellous! Some people don’t like the idea of getting up in
the morning. I’ve heard them. Getting up in the morning, they say, what
is it? Your skin’s crabby, you need a shave, your eyes are full of muck,
your mouth is like a boghouse, the palms of your hand are full of sweat,
your nose is clogged up, your feet stink, what are you but a corpse
waiting to be washed? Whenever I hear that point of view I feel
cheerful. Because I know what it is to wake up with the sun shining, to
the sound of the lawnmower, all the little birds, the smell of the grass,
church bells, tomato juice –
Get out.
(Act II)