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The ICSE Class 10 English 2018 Paper 2 was conducted on 5th March 2018. The exam started at 11 am, and students were allotted 2 hours of time duration to finish the paper. Students can download the ICSE Class 10 English Literature Question Paper Solution 2018 PDF from the link below.
Students can have a look at the ICSE Class 10 English Literature Question Paper Solution 2018 below:
ICSE Class 10 English Literature (Paper 2) Question Paper 2018 With Solution
Question 1:Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
Portia: Go draw aside the curtains, and discover
The several caskets to this noble prince —
Now make your choice.
Morocco: The first, of gold, who this inscription bears,
“Who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire”;
(i) Who is Morocco? How did he introduce himself to Portia when they first met in an earlier scene?
(ii) How would Morocco know that he had made the right choice? What would his reward be?
(iii) Which casket did Morocco finally choose? What reasons did he give for rejecting the casket made of lead?
(iv) What two objects does Morocco find in the casket of his choice? What reason does he give to Portia for leaving in haste?
(v) How does Portia respond to Morocco’s parting words? What does this reveal of her nature?
- Prince of Morocco/ suitor
He says ‘do not mislike me for my complexion/ it is the shadowed livery of the burnished
sun/ where he was born and brought up
- He says that – his blood is as red as that of ‘the fairest creature northward born’ – that the best regarded virgins’ of his land find him most attractive – that his appearance inspired fear in the most courageous of men. He urges Portia not to judge him by his skin colour.
- One of the three caskets contained a picture of Portia. If he chose that casket, then he would have made the right choice.
- His reward – Portia’s hand in marriage.
- Casket made of gold.
- He felt that men would be prepared to take a risk only if there was a chance of winning ‘fair returns’.
Says- This casket threatens
He decides that a noble [golden] mind like his should not stoop to such a worthless choice.
He was not prepared to risk anything for lead.
It is damnation to think so base a thought.
The lead casket is too gross to even rib Portia’s cerecloth.
- A carrion Death [skull]and a scroll [letter, schedule]
- He was too heartbroken (at having made the wrong choice and lost the chance of winning her hand) to bid her a lengthy (tedious) farewell.
- He is sad, disappointed
- Says- labour lost/ farewell heat, welcome frost/ his hopes are dead
(v) Portia says “A gentle riddance… Let all of his complexion [kind, personality] choose me so”/
She is happy to see him go.
- She judges a person by outward appearances – she does not wish to marry Morocco
- because of his dark skin/ racist/ racial prejudice/ biased/ does not like vain boastful men/
- considerate of his feelings/ tactful.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
Bassanio: Were you the doctor, and I knew you not?
Gratiano: Were you the clerk?
Antonio: Sweet lady, you have given me life and living;
For here I read for certain that my ships
Are safely come to road.
Portia: How now, Lorenzo!
My clerk hath some good comforts too for you.
(i) Where does this scene take place? What had Portia directed Antonio to give to Bassanio just moments before the above words were spoken?
(ii) Portia had just given Antonio, Bassanio and Gratiano a letter to read. Who had written this letter? What does Bassanio learn about Portia from this letter?
(iii) What good news does Portia have for Antonio? How does he respond to it?
(iv) To whom does Portia refer as ‘My clerk’? What ‘good comforts’ does the ‘clerk’ have for Lorenzo?
- Avenue in Belmont, outside Portia’s house
- The ring that Portia had given to Bassanio at their wedding – the ring Bassanio had given to the young ‘doctor’ of law for saving Antonio’s life.
- That Portia had been the learned ‘doctor’ / lawyer at Antonio’s trial.
- Three of Antonio’s merchant ships (argosies) full of riches (richly) had come to harbour quite unexpectedly (suddenly)
- Antonio says, ‘I am dumb’ (speechless) / Says- ‘You have given me my life and my livelihood.’ / He is happy
- Nerissa, her lady – in waiting
- Nerissa tells Lorenzo that he and Jessica would inherit all Shylock’s wealth after his (Shylock) death.
- At Antonio’s urging ‘My Lord Bassanio, let him have the ring;
Let his deserving [He deserves the ring because he saved Antonio] and my love withal / Be valued ‘against your wife’s commandment’
- Bassanio valued Antonio’s friendship highly – could not refuse him – was prepared to risk
- Portia’s anger/ dearest friends/ ready to make sacrifices for one another.
Question 3: Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
Margaret: Here’s the wind!
Winsor: What’s the move now, General?
Canynge: You and I had better see the Inspector in De Levis’s room, Winsor. [To the others] If you’ll all be handy, in case he wants to put questions for himself.
Margaret: I hope he’ll want me; it’s just too thrilling.
Dancy: I hope he won’t want me; I am dog-tired. Come on Mabel.[He puts his arm in his wife’s]
Canynge: Just a minute, Charles.
(i) Who is Margaret? Why does she say, ‘Here’s the wind!’?
(ii) Why does Canynge suggest that they see the Inspector in De Levis’ room? What does Margaret find ‘thrilling’?
(iii) Who enters soon after? What had this person been asked to do earlier?
(iv) How does De Levis happen to have such a large sum of money on that particular day? What steps does he take to keep the money safe?
(v) Whom does De Levis suspect of having stolen his money? What leads Canynge to suspect the same person? What is Canynge’s opinion of this person?
- Margaret Orme – A society girl / guest at Meldon Court / A friend of Winsor or Adela
- Margaret says this mockingly when she hears the sound of the policeman’s motorbike.
Earlier that evening when Lady Adela had called the Police Station at New Market to report the theft, Inspector Dede had said he was ‘coming like the wind on his motor cycle’.
- Canynge wants the Inspector to see the scene of the crime before talking to anyone. / he wants to speak privately to the inspector/ to see the handprints and the footprints
- Margaret finds the entire experience thrilling – the theft, the arrival of the police, the investigation, the possibility of being questioned by the police.
- Treisure, Winsor’s butler enters the room.
- Treisure had been asked to check if the stable ladder had been moved/ to bring up Robert
- De Levis had sold a horse (Rosemary’s filly) – for a thousand pounds in cash that day.
- De Levis had placed the money in his boot and had locked the boot in his suitcase before he went down for dinner.
After dinner he had counted the money, had placed it under his pillow and locked the door
when he went for his bath.
- De Levis suspects Dancy
- When Canynge touches Dancy’s sleeve he notices that it was wet – he realises that Dancy had been out in the rain/ Dancy told them he had been indoors all the time
- Canynge believes that Dancy is an officer and a gentleman / that Dancy would never stoop to steal money/ he is gallant/ has a fine record as a soldier/ he was very innocent/ has done daring, risky things
Question 4: Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
Mabel: A prosecution? Prison? Oh, go! Don’t wait a minute! Go!
Dancy: Blast them!
Mabel: Oh, Ronny! Please! Please! Think what you’ll want. I’ll
pack. Quick! No! Don’t wait to take things. Have you got money?
(i) Where is this scene set? What had Dancy just confessed to Mabel?
(ii) What had Dancy’s lawyer suggested he should do? Why had he made this
(iii) How does Mabel express her loyalty to Dancy soon after he had made the confession? Who knocks at the door at this point?
(iv) Who else enters the house? What sound do they all hear? Why does Mabel faint?
(v) What message did Dancy’s letter contain? What is your opinion of Dancy at the end of the play?
- The Dancy’s sitting room/ flat Dancy’s
- He had confessed that he had stolen the money.
He had also confessed that, he had given a thousand pounds to a woman – who was
blackmailing him –– It was a debt of honour that he had to pay.
- His lawyer wanted him to run away to Morocco, and join the army there/There was a war
- going on in Morocco
- Lawyer felt he was a fine soldier / he could start over again.
- If Dancy remained in England he would be arrested by police/ Him cannot save his wife’s peace of mind/His case has collapsed/ his honour is gone
- Mabel promises to keep loving him /to be by his side, always. [She will stick with him/ I don’t care what you did, I’m just the same/ Later she will join him]
- If he were imprisoned, she would wait for him.
- Inspector Dede / a young constable knocks at the door.
- Margaret Orme / Major Colford.
- They hear the sound of a pistol shot (in the bedroom).
- Mabel faints when she enters the bedroom and finds her husband (Dancy) had shot himself.
- Dancy’s letter said – This (suicide) was the only decent thing he could do. The situation was unfair to Mabel (his wife). The only way he could keep faith was by using his pistol. Asks Colford to look after Mabel.
- Personal response (e.g. Dancy did love Mabel in his own way etc.) [reckless, foolish, egoistic, selfish].
Question 5: Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
“I’m grateful, Sir”, he whispered, as I handed my canteen
And smiled a smile that was, I think, the brightest that I’ve seen.
“Seems silly a man my size so full of vim and zest
Could find himself defeated by a small pain in his chest.”
(Small Pain in My Chest – Michael Mack)
(i) Where is ‘he’ when the narrator encounters him? Describe the scene around him.
(ii) What does ‘he’ ask the narrator for? What reasons does he give for his request?
(iii) What does the narrator see when he looks at him? How do we know that ‘he’ is very
young and completely unaware of the seriousness of his injury?
(iv) How does ‘he’ describe the battle that had been fought the night before and his role in
(v) What feelings do you think the narrator must have experienced when he ‘put his arms
What is the central theme of this poem?
- underneath the tree / on the battlefield.
- Scores of dead bodies [dead figures, soldiers] lay all over the battle field/ Big deep craters on the earth
- A sip of water
- he had fought all day and all night without rest/ it will surely do him good/ will ease the pain/ it will quench his thirst
he was wounded (had a small pain in his chest)/ and weary.
- A large reddish-brown patch on his shirt / stain of the warm blood mixed with the dust of Asia.
- The poet calls him ‘soldier boy’/ he is full of vim and zest
- The soldier refers to his fatal wound repeatedly as ‘a small pain in my chest/ he smiled/ jokes: it must be fatigue; he’s getting old/says, ‘I count myself lucky’. / Says ‘..before I travel on’
- Two hundred soldiers climbed the hill.
- There was an explosion [ the night exploded]/ as they cleared the crest and he was wounded.
- he looked around for aid / but only saw big craters / and dead bodies on the ground/ He
- kept on firing at them/ he tried to do his best.
(v) Personal response: example – guilt, shame, sorrow, anger, tenderness, regret, empathy,
remorse; compassion; disappointment; misery; he feels their wounds pressed the large one in
his heart and the small one of the soldier, etc.
Theme: Devastation caused by war and the senseless loss of young lives/ agony of brave soldiers/ horrors of war/ sense of duty/ highlights the sacrifice made by soldiers/ soldiers have to suffer in a war they did not cause/ / The narrator represents the collective guilt of mankind/ the theme of the poem is courage and bravery/never give up.
Question 6: Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
I am going out rarely, now and then
Only, this is price of old age
But my health is O.K.
(The Professor – Nissim Ezekiel)
(i) Who is the speaker? What relationship did he share with the listener?
(ii) How many sons does the speaker have? What does he say about them?
(iii) What are the names of the speaker’s daughters? Why does the speaker believe that his
daughters are ‘well settled in life’?
(iv) How old is the speaker? Why does he say that his health is ‘OK’? What reason does he give to explain his state of health?
(v) What characteristics typical of Indian speech and thought does the poet make fun of through this poem?
- Professor Sheth – (retired Geography teacher)/ He is a professor/
- He had taught him (the listener) Geography in school/The listener is a student
- One is a Sales Manager, another a Bank Manager – both own cars.
- Third is not doing so well (financially) – ‘Blacksheep’ of the family.
- Sarala and Tarala
- They are both married.
Their husbands are ‘very nice boys’.
- No major health conditions – free from diabetes, blood pressure, heart attack.
- Sound habit in youth’
(v) Mention any two from examples of Indian Speech and two from examples of Indian thought Examples of Indian Speech:
- By God’s Grace
- How many issues you have?
- I am not against
- Our progress is progressing
- Health is OK
- I am 69, hope to score a century.
- You were so thin, like stick
- If you are coming again this side, by chance
Visit please my humble residence
- I am living just on opposite house’s backside.
- Incorrect use of present continuous tense
- Omission of articles
- Grammatical errors
- Direct translation from Hindi to English
Examples of Indian thought:
- Success in life means owning a car
- Having many children / grandchildren is a matter of pride.
- Daughters are a matter of concern unless they are married off… to ‘nice boys’
- A prosperous person has to look prosperous (overweight)
- False humility (‘humble house’)/ Human achievement is measured by economic success/ Judges by materialistic possessions/ women should be married and confined to their homes/ Judges sons and daughters differently/ Obsession with cricket- hope to score a century/ Pride in speaking in English
Question 7: Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
Sher Singh could feel immediately the heat of the boy’s body burning through the cotton
He felt the weight too, and he wondered how he was going to manage.
‘He is too big for you’ said the mother. She spoke in the whisper of despair. ‘You will
never get there.’
Sher Singh said nothing.
He set off.
(i) Who was the ‘boy’? Why was Sher Singh sure that the little boy would die?
(ii) What did Sher Singh’s father do for a living? Mention any two acts of courage he had
performed that had earned him the title ‘Bahadur’.
(iii) How does his mother use her skill as a hill woman to prepare Sher Singh for his long and
(iv) Mention any three challenges that Sher Singh encountered on his way to the hospital.
(v) How does the doctor at the hospital address Sher Singh at the end of the story? Why do you think he refers to him in this way?
- Kunwar, Sher Singh’s younger brother/Sher Singh Bahadur’s younger son
- When Sher Singh’s mother said the little boy had to be taken to the hospital he was convinced that he would die – the hospital was the last resort of the doomed/ Whoever went to the hospital never came back/ He could see death in his eyes
(ii) He grazed animals / and cultivated his bit of land/ He was a shikari/ Whenever there was an
expedition he was called.
Any two of the following:
- He had a scar down his skull and back and shoulders from rescuing a comrade from a tiger.
- He had a wound on his leg to mark the spot where he had cut and burned his flesh where a snake had bitten him.
- Two fingers missing, and face marked.
- Reputed to have walked 5 miles through the jungle with his puggree tied around his stomach to stop everything from falling out through the torn skin.
(iii) Sher Singh’s mother knew how to carry loads.
- How to sling a load from a band round the forehead and down the back so that the shoulders and the strong muscles of the neck could take heavy weights up and down hills.
- She used her saree / to make a sling for Sher Singh to carry Kunwar in.
(iv) Any three of the following:
- a cobra sunning itself – Sher Singh backed away and the snake slid away without harming him.
- Bear tracks – he was nervous and quickened his steps – managed to avoid an encounter with the bear.
- Herd of wild elephants – the tusker almost discovered the boys – Sher Singh stayed still and prayed fervently. The elephant trumpeted and hurried away.
- Tiger pug marks – indicating the presence of the predator in the vicinity.
- Crossed two icy cold rivers – the second in flood – tied his brother to himself with a grass rope he made and courageously entered the river – almost swept away by the floods.
- The doctor calls him Sher Singh Bahadur
- To acknowledge the boy’s courage and determination to bring his little brother to the hospital etc./will power/ bravery/ just 12 years old/ all alone/ never gave up/ sense of responsibility and duty.
Question 8: With close reference to the text, show how Stephen Leacock makes effective use of humour and exaggeration to describe his attempts to get back his ‘Lost Dollar’.
- the entire anecdote revolves around a SINGLE DOLLAR that the author Stephen Leacock had lent his friend.
- Leacock is sure he is never going to get it back.
- He will never forget this lost dollar – he would carry the recollection of it to his grave.
- Every time Leacock meets his friend Todd (the one who borrowed the dollar) he remembers the lost dollar, but the friend has forgotten all about it.
- Leacock expects the dollar to be returned at every encounter – growing frustration when this does not happen.
- When Todd writes to him from Berunda – all Leacock expects is to find the dollar in the envelope – disappointed to find that it is not.
- Leacock goes to meet Todd at the station on his return from Berunda (says the dollar was not on his mind but it was!)
- Leacock drops blatant hints – suggests they take a taxi to the club – later asks Todd if the American Dollar goes at par in Berunda (Stressing the words, hoping Todd would remember – this strategy fails)
- In another context Todd speaks of Poland not repaying her debts – Leacock comments on the irony on this – since Todd still had not returned his dollar.
- Leacock is then troubled by another thought – What if, he, like Todd had borrowed a dollar off someone and then forgotten all about it?!
- He plans to start a ‘Back to Honesty’ movement… more humour in how he plans to go about it.
The concluding lines urge the reader not to leave a copy of this piece of writing where Major Todd of the University Club, Montreal may come across it – It is all too evident that the narrator means exactly the opposite – why else would he supply all of Todd’s contact details?
Question 9: Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
It was just after the sheep had returned, on a pleasant evening when the animals had
finished work and were making their way back to the farm buildings, that the terrified
neighing of a horse sounded from the yard. Startled, the animals stopped in their tracks.
(i) From where did the sheep return? Under whose supervision were they? What were they
taught while they were in this place?
(ii) Whose voice was it that startled the animals? What did the horse see that caused it to neigh in terror?
(iii) How did the animals react to this sight at first? Why were they not able to protest?
(iv) Why did Clover lead Benjamin gently to the end of the barn immediately after this? What did they find written on the wall?
(v) What strange and disturbing change did the animals observe in the pigs when they peered in at the dining room window later that evening?
Comment on the irony of the situation.
- The sheep returned from a piece of waste ground at the other end of the farm/ overgrown with birch saplings.
- Squealer supervised them.
- They were taught to sing – ‘four legs good, two legs better’.
- Clover’s voice.
- The sight of Squealer walking on hind legs. / After that, there came a long file of pigs also walking on their hind legs.
Finally, Napoleon – walking upright majestically and carrying a whip.
- At first there was a deadly silence. Amazed/ terrified/ huddling together, / the animals watched in silent bewilderment.
- Before they could utter some word of protest, the sheep burst into a tremendous bleating of – ‘four legs good, two legs better’. It went on or five minutes without stopping;
The chance to utter any protest had passed as the pigs had marched back into the Farmhouse.
- Clover wanted Benjamin to read the Seven Commandments and tell her if they were the same as they had always been.
- ‘All animals are equal, / but some animals are more equal than others’ / was written there where the Seven Commandments had stood.
- The faces of the pigs seemed to be melting and changing.The animals could not distinguish between pig and man.The difference had blurred it was impossible to say which was which.
- The irony lies in the fact that the pigs had spearheaded the rebellion to liberate the farm animals from human tyranny – they had now become tyrants themselves – They even looked like the humans they had overthrown. Things had come full circle nothing had really changed for the animals on the farm.
Question 10: Give a brief account of the Battle of the Cowshed and Snowball’s role in it.
- Early October when corn had been harvested.
- Pigeous warn of the arrival of Jones and his men and half a dozen others from Foxwood and Pinchfield.
- Men were armed with sticks… Jones in the lead with a gun.
- Animals had anticipated that the men would attempt to recapture the farm.
- Snowball was in charge of defence… he had studied Julius Caesar’s Campaigns and employed similar tactics.
- First attack by birds (pigeons and Geese) – was meant to create disorder… the men beat them off easily.
- Second line of attack Muriel, Benjamin and all the sheep led by Snowball rushed forward – prodded and butted the men. Again, the men were too strong.
- At a signal from Snowball all the animals retreated. The men followed shouting in triumph. It was an ambush. As soon as the men entered the yard the three horses, three cows and rest of the pigs that were lying in wait emerged – cut off their retreat.
- Snowball personally attacked Jones – Jones fired wounding Snowball and killing a sheep.
- Boxer reared up and struck a stable boy with his hooves – the boy fell motionless.
- Every animal participated in the attack – even the cat.
- Within 5 minutes the men were driven off
- The animals reassembled in excitement – raised the flag – sang ‘Beasts of England’ many times.
- The sheep that had been killed was given a solemn funeral. Snowball made a speech at the graveside
- Two military decorations created –Animal Hero, First Class…. awarded to Snowball and Boxer
Animal Hero, Second Class… conferred posthumously on dead sheep.
- Animals unanimously decided to call the battle ‘The battle of the Cowshed’ as that was where the ambush had been sprung.
Question 11: Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
As the bus moved slowly on, a bright-eyed little boy in school cap and blazer paused
momentarily beside the vacant seat and then quickly moved a little way on ….
The conductor approached with his cheery ‘Any more fares, please, free ride only after
(i) Why did the school boy not occupy the vacant seat? What was he puzzled by?
(ii) Who was preparing to take the seat? What did the person do instead? Why?
(iii) What efforts did the conductor make to get this person to sit in the vacant seat?
(iv) What does the author do to help ease the situation? How does the conductor view the
(v) What was the author’s intended destination? What is his state of mind as he approaches this place?
- the little boy noticed that there was a lady on the bus and politely waited for her to take the seat.
- he is puzzled when she hesitates, moves forward and prefers to stand in the aisle of the moving bus.
- a slim, smartly dressed woman.
- She is about to sit – quickly changed her mind preferring to stand in aisle of the bus – because she suddenly notices that the other occupant of the seat was a coloured man.
- Conductor repeatedly points out the empty seat
‘Empty seat, beside you lady’
‘Seat here for you, lady’
‘No standing on the bus, lady’
- Author is embarrassed / as a black person – quickly rose from the seat – said he had to get off at the next stop – alighted from the bus.
- Conductor seemed to feel betrayed – author felt conductor wanted to confront the woman / challenge her racist attitude and shame her.
(v) Author was on his way to Greenslade Secondary School – he was to join the teaching staff
The encounter on the bus upset him – he felt depressed – the surroundings (London East End)
made him feel even worse. All his positive and optimistic feelings drained away.
Question 12: Give a brief description of Brathwaite’s encounter with a stranger at St. James Park. How did this meeting change the course of his life?
- Braithwaite was sitting watching the ducks beside the lake at St. James Park – felt angry and dejected because he had not succeeded at securing a job – had been repeatedly turned down on account of his race and colour.
- A thin, bespectacled old man was sitting beside him – the old man tried to engage him in
conversation – but Braithwaite was in no mood for polite conversation – ignored the old man’s overtures – dismissed him as a garrulous old crank.
- The old man was undeterred – addressed Braithwaite directly – asked if he had been in London long – author tries to be distant – found the topic painful – author continued to ignore him
- Old man spoke kindly, comfortingly – pointed out that life in a big city could get lonesome and difficult … his words caught the author’s attention– author looked closely at him and found he looked scholarly – like a professor – the old man continued to talk – he said that a city was like a battlefield and in order to survive in a city you needed to be a fighter….anyone could exist in a city….the real challenge was to live life and find excitement.
- author was still in no mood for philosophising – he retorts that being a negro, he found existence itself an enormous challenge!
- At this the old man burst out laughing – the author laughed along too. The old man encouraged the author to talk about his troubles – his kind words struck a chord within the author and he suddenly found himself confiding all his troubles in him.
- After listening to the author’s experiences, the old man declared that teaching was the best career option for the author – author pointed out that he had no formal teachers’ training, but the old man said that his University degree would do – he added that the author’s experience and ability would see him through.
- The old man said that the author’s colour and race would not be such a problem in the teaching profession because there was a desperate need for teachers!… especially in the East End – a really tough neighbourhood – so most teachers preferred to seek jobs elsewhere – when the author misinterpreted this observation to be a racist comment the old man chided him for his ‘snobbish’ attitude – author apologised
- the old man urged the author to apply for a teaching position but not to mention the colour of his skin in his application
- after this they chatted amiably about many things – only after they had parted did the author realise that they had not introduced themselves to each other – he didn’t even know the name of the kindly stranger whose wise words and understanding manner had changed the entire course of his life!
- Author followed the old man’s advice – applied for a teacher’s post – was called for an interview – was accepted and sent to the East London Divisional office – from there to Greenslade school.
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