KCSE 2011 English Paper 2 Questions and Marking Scheme

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  1. Read the passage below and then answer the questions that follow.

    When I visited my mother last may, much of her sitting room had been converted into what I half jokingly called a Barrack Obama shrine. Since Obama had declared his candidacy for president, my mother had diligently collected everything about the man that she could get her hands on. Magazines, newspapers, articles and T-shirts formed the bulk of her collection, all of it in pristine condition and not to be handled except with utmost care. Almost overnight, all things Obama had become a staple of my mother's conversation. His message of unity and transcendence , his unwillingness to be cowed by a “chorus of cynics,” all of this inspired in my mother a late life surge of confidence. It had even led her to changing the way she answered her phone. Instead of her usual “Hello,” She took to lifting the receiver and announcing “ This is our moment.”

    By the night of Obama's remarkable triumph, she had digested far more than his trademark phrases. Still she was more than thrilled when, during his victory speech at Chicago's Grant Park, he once again proclaimed, ”This is our moment.“ Obama's victory seemed “just too good to be true, overwhelmingly good,” she told me. “There are no words to describe how I feel. ‘Elated’ is not good enough.”

    Hers is a voice tempers and made scratchy by seventy-seven years of living, and decades of making herself heard in a house crowded with loud , boisterous youngsters. My mother is special to me, of course, but in many respects she is a typical black woman of her generation . A child of the Depression she married young, and stayed home to raise six children . She remembers Jim Crow quite well and, like many of her peers, has more than one chilling firsthand tales of travel in Mississippi ( where her father was born), Missouri, and other places known for white residents‘ historically open and violent hostility toward African Americans. She is faithful fearless, and frank, adept at blessing you with gentle encouragement while demonstrating her unerring skill at telling it exactly like it is. While her experience, her lifetime of dearly purchased knowledge, deeply informs my own life, thee are parts of it which i have no access. Her memories contain mysteries that I can only guess at . To here her answer her phone with such an incautiously optimistic phrase was a startling, wonderful surprise.

    [Adapted from What Obama Means For Our Culture,
    Our Politics, Our future.
    By Jabari Asim. New york :Harper
    Collins Publishers, 2009]

    1. What does the author of this passage suggest by referring to his mother's living room as a shrine? (2 marks)

    2. Why does the author’s mother like and support Barack Obama's candidacy
      Give two reasons (2 marks)?

    3. Explain why the words:”This is our moment“ particularly thrilled the mother.(2 marks)

    4. Why does the author’s mother find Obama’s victory “just too good to be true”? (2 marks)

    5. Give one reason why the author uses his mother and not himself to explain the significance of the Obama campaign and victory? (2 marks)

    6. A child of the Depression, she married young, (rewrite using: for) (1 mark)

    7. Describe the relationship between the author and his mother. Illustrate your answer.(4 marks)

    8. The author’s mother remembers Jim Crow .Do you think this memory is positive or negative? Illustrate your answer. (2 marks)

    9. Explain the meaning of the following as used in the passage; (3 marks)
      1. Staple of my mother’s conversation;
      2. surge:
      3. digested.

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

    HOVSTAD: Hush! (Calls out.) Come in! (DR STOCKMANN comes in by the street door, HOVSTAD goes to meet him)Ah. It is you, Doctor! well?

    DR. STOCKMANN: You may go ahead and print it , Mr. Hovstad!

    HOVSTAD: Has it come to that, then?

    BILLING: Hurrah!

    DR. STOCKMANN: Yes, you may go to press. Certainly it has come to that. Now they must take what they get. There is going to be a fight in the town, Mr. Billing!

    BILLING: War to the knife, I hope! We will get out knives to their throats, Doctor!

    DR.STOCKMANN: This article is only a beginning .I already have four or five more figured out in my head, Where is Aslasken?

    BILLING: (calls into the printing room); Aslasken, just come here for a minute!

    HOVSTAD: Four of five more articles? On the same subject?

    DR. STOCKMANN: No - far from it, my dear fellow. No, they are about quite another matter. But they all spring from the question of the water supply and the drainage. One thing leads to another, you know. It is exactly like beginning to pull down an old house.

    BILLING: By God, it’s true; you find that you are not done till you have pulled all the old rubbish down.

    ASLASKEN: (Coming in); Pulled down? You are surely not thinking of pulling down the Baths, Doctor Stockmann?

    HOVSTAD: Far from it, don’t be alarmed.

    DR. STOCKMANN: We meant something quite different. Well what do you think of my article, Mr Hovstad?

    HOVSTAD: I think its simply a masterpiece.

    DR. STOCKMANN: You really think so? Well, I am very pleased.

    HOVSTAD: It is so clear and intelligible. One need have no special knowledge to understand it. You will have every enlightened man on your side, once they have read it.

    ASLASKEN; And every prudent man too, I hope!

    BILLING: The prudent man and the imprudent alike-almost the whole town.

    ASLASKEN: In that case we may venture to print it.

    DR STOCKMANN: I should think so!

    HOVSTAD: We will put it in tomorrow morning.

    DR. STOCKMANN: Of course-you must not loose a single day. Aslasken, please do me a favour. Could you supervise the printing of it yourself.

    ASLASKEN; With pleasure, Dr stockman.

    DR. STOCKMANN: Take care of it as if it were a treasure! No misprints-every word is important. I will look in a little later, perhaps you will be able to let me see a proof .I can’t tell you how eager I am to see it in print, and see it fired off…

    BILLINGS: yes like a flash of lightning!

    DR STOCKMANN: …and to have it submitted to the judgment of my intelligent fellow townsmen. You cannot imagine what I have gone through today. I have been threatened with all sorts of things; they have tried to rob me of my most elementary rights as a man …

    1. Briefly explain what Hovstad and Billing were talking about before Dr. stockman entered. (2 marks)

    2. “You may go ahead and print “. What had made Dr. Stockmann delay the printing of the article? (2 marks)

    3. Briefly state what the content of this article is. (4 marks)

    4. “In that case we may venture to print it”. What do these words tell us about Aslasken’s attitude towards the article? (3 marks)

    5. “There is going to be a fight in town”. Outline the losses incurred by Dr Stockmann, his family and friends as a result of the fight. (6 marks)

    6. “Now they must take what they get”. To whom does ‘they’ refer? (1 mark)

    7. Why doesn’t Aslasken want the baths to be pulled down? (2 marks)

    8. Hovstad and Aslasken’s decision on whether to publish the article changes twicw after this incident.What does this reveal about their character? (2 marks)

    9. What is the irony in Dr.Stockmann asking Aslasken to supervise the printing of the article himself? (2 marks)

    10. “I have been threatened with all sorts of things. ‘Rewrite using “me” instead of “I.” (1 mark)

  3. Read the passage below and then answer the questions that follow.

    Once upon a time, there lived a boy claaed Nzoko. He liked two things more than anything else: the forest and music. Scarcely did a moment pass before he sang or quietly whistled a little tune to himself.

    The boy’s father kept goats, and when Nzoko returned from school, he always took them out to graze in the forest. Once there, he would begin singing, first repeating all the songs he knew and then trying out few new ones. The murmuring of the river, the rustle of the wind in the trees, even the hum of the bumble bees, all made little tunes for him. One day he cut a short piece of wood from a willow trees, whittled it down , pierced holes into it and made a flute. On his flute, the tunes sounded lovelier than ever before.

    One warm day, Nzoko heard something moving in the bushes around him. On looking up, and to his amazement he saw a little fairy man. ”Do you know what I have come for? “ The fairy asked. ”No “I’m …I’m ve …ry so..rry but don’t,“ answered the boy.

    “Well,” the fairy said, “the spirits of the forest have been long listening to your flute and they are convinced only the fairy piper can play as well as you do so. So I have come to hear for myself and I will reward you well if you impress me too.”

    Nzoko did not need telling twice. He was quite at ease with the little man now and he began to play music so sweet that it entranced the fairy, making him stay on until the moon rose over the distant hills. Before leaving, he asked Nzoko what reward he desired most .”The fairy fiddle, please. For I have heard it said that it is the finest in the whole wide world,” the boy replied expectantly.

    “The fairy fiddle!” exclaimed the fairy, greatly astonished ,”that is the most precious gift, and only one who fulfills these three conditions will obtain it. Now listen carefully, Nzoko: your music must be so enchanting that it will charm the birds into stopping their own music to listen; your music must make animals stop their fighting and finally, your tunes must heal the sick. Take this ring, and when you have worked hard enough ,and only then, turn it andit will bring the fairy fiddle,” the fairy said and then vanished.

    In the following days, Nzoko played every song over and over, tying to make each better and better. He tried to silence the music of a black bird with his own but to no avail. However, he didn’t give up and one sunny afternoon , there suddenly gathered a wide circle of birds: robins and wrens, finches and blackbirds, cuckoos and wagtails. And they listened, could this be the first condition fulfilled?

    Several days later, he heard a great din coming from a farm. On checking, he saw a fox running after cackling hens, wanting to turn them into a meal. Without realizing it, Nzoko started playing his flute kindly and as if by magic, the fox melted away. Thus, the second condition was fulfilled.

    On yet another day, as he drove the goats home, he heard a child cry weakly in agony. He peeped through the window of the cottage and saw a little girl lying in bed pale and worn. The mother must have gone to look for herbs. Nzoko’s eyes welled with tears, and as if driven by some force beyond him, he started playing a merry time on his flute, then merrier one still. And slowly, very slowly, colour began to creep back into the girls face and after a little while she asked for food. The third and last condition fulfilled?

    Nzoko leapt for joy and turned the ring, and there, right there in front of him, was the most wonderful fiddle there ever was.

    (Adapted from Your Oral Literature by Henry Mbarwa (1989). Nairobi: Kijabe Printing Press)

    1. From the second paragraph, what inspires Nzoko to create new tunes? (2 marks)

    2. Why do you think the boy’s reply to the fairy is broken in dots? (3 marks)

    3. How do we know that Nzoko was very eager to play the flute for the fairy man? (2 marks)

    4. Give two reasons why you think the fairy set conditions fo Nzoko before he could get the fairy fiddle. (4 marks)

    5. Why do you think the narrator mentions six different kinds of birds? (2 marks)

    6. With an illustration for each, describe any two character traits of Nzoko. (4 marks)

    7. What can we learn about the values of this community? (3 marks)

    1. Rewrite the following sentences according to the instructions given after each. ( 3 marks)
      1. Aisha asked him to return her key the following day. (Rewrite in direct speech)
      2. The teacher asked them where they had been the previous Friday. (Rewrite in direct speech)
      3. It is a pleasant surprise to meet you again after all these years. (Rewrite beginning: What…)

    2. Complete the sentences below with the correct form of the verb. (2 marks)
      1. Each of the boys …….. given a present.
      2. Either Joyce or her daughters …… coming.

    3. Briefly explain the difference between the following pairs of sentences. ( 4 marks)
        1. They collected all the money they needed.
        2. They needed all the money they collected.

        1. Four of those students were admitted to university.
        2. Those four students were admitted to the university.

    4. For each of the following sentences, provide the appropriate noun formed from the wordbreak to fill the blank space. (3 marks)


      The story of all the …………… of prisoners from the maximum security prison was carried out by all the dailies.
      Answer: breakout

      1. Scientists have been working had to find a cure for HIV/AIDS without a major ........
      2. The …………… of their friendship was caused by unfaithfulness.
      3. The business has operated for quite sometime but is yet to reach the ……….. point.

    5. For each of the following sentences, use correct form of the word in brackets to filling the blank space. (3 marks)
      1. Once the sun has ……….., I cannot sleep any more. (rise)
      2. How long have you………………. here? (dwell)
      3. It is advisable that we……………. forgive those who wrong us. (condition)


      • That his mother 'worships' Obama in her living room/Obama is a saint/super human individual who she worships. . That her collections were sacred items.
      • She treated her living room with reverence/awe.
      • "..all in prestine condition and to be handled with utmost care"
        (Any two points = 2 marks) .
      • Obama has awakened a dormant optimism in her.
      • His message of unity and transcendence,
      • His message of hope (of going beyond).
      • His stubborn rejection of cynics - i.e. people with a low view of values/who discourage him. .
      • That his election would mean America has gone beyond race./ "this is our moment." .
      • That Obama is, therefore, running a positive campaign.
        (Any two points one mark each, 2 marks)
    3. Being black (African American) and having suffered under the hands of white Americans she was thrilled by the fact a fellow blackman was on the verge of clinching the presidency of America. The unimaginable was imminent! supremacy; a new dawn, a new era. (2 marks) 
      • At age 77, this woman had probably never dreamt that this would come to pass in her lifetime/ unexpected that a black man would ascend to the throne in a white dominated continent. . She has witnessed so much racism that this victory appears a life-changing revolution.
      • That a person who stands for such positive values has won is almost unbelievable. (Any one point = 2 marks)
      • To give the Obama story a historical dimension (e.g. reference to the mother as a child of the Depression).
      • First hand experience of suffering the author does not have.
      • To personalize the issue of the Obama campaign and victory (seeing the issue in relation to his mother - the closest person).
      • To present the issue in terms of generations (grandparents) - mother - son - (perhaps grandchildren).
      • To underscore the gender dimension - an ordinary black woman who grew up during the Depression enthusiastically supporting Obama.
      •  To hook the reader with an anecdote about his mother. (Any one point, 2 marks)
    6. She married young for she was a child of the Depression/ For she was a child of the depression, she married young. (1 mark)
      • frank and sincere - " telling it exactly like it is".
      • Supportive; understanding where the mother is coming from
      • Empathetic; sees things from his mother's point of view.
      • Loving/warm/caring/close (e.g my mother is special to me) the son is the one telling the story, but behind it we can feel a mother's love for her son.
      • inspirational = "deeply informs my own life".
        (Any two points 2 marks illustrations 2 marks = 4 marks)
    8. Must have been negative memory. It is associated with "chilling tales" and "open and violent hostility towards African Americans"
      (Identification 1 mark illustration 1 mark = 2 marks)
      • staple of my mother's conversation - main or major topic of discussion
      • surge - emergence/overflows/ bubbling/sudden strong feelings.
      • digested - adopted, processed, internalized, imbibed/understood.
        (One mark each = 3 marks)
    1. Hovstad and Billing had been talking about Dr. stockmann's article. The impact that the article will have on the aristocracy. They have been discussing how they can use the situation to get control of the Municipal affairs. (2 marks)
    2. He had expected that the Mayor would bring the article before the baths Committee and get them to start rectifying the situation/correcting the problem. He had hoped to convince the Mayor to accept the content of the article and act on it.(2 marks)
    3. The article details the results of the analysis of samples of water taken from the medicinal spas that are a tourist attraction in the city. Dr. Stockmann has proved that the incidence of waterborne diseases among visitors and local citizens is as a result of contamination of the Baths water by effluent from a tannery nearby. He proposes a raft of changes including relaying of piping network.(4 marks)
    4. Aslaksen is unethusiastic / non-commital / cautious / disinterested about publishing the article. He does not want to displease the people in power. He wants to be assured that it is okay with both the "prudent" and the "imprudent".(Identification 2 marks, illustration 1 mark = 3 marks
      1. Dr. Stockmann is sacked from the Baths Committee; his house is vandalised; the landlord asks him to vacate the house; his clothes are torn/ he is branded EOTP/
      2. His daughter loses her teaching job and the boys are sent away from school/loss of inheritance.
      3. His friend loses his job as captain of the ship.
        (Dr. Stockmann and family 5 marks.friends 1 mark = 6 marks)
    6. "They' refers to the aristocracy/local authorities/council leadership. (1 mark)
    7. Aslaksen does not want the Baths pulled down because, they bring revenue to the town, and being taxpayer he fears footing the bill of repairs. (2 marks)
      • They are: unreliable / undepedable: Stockmann had a lot of faith that they would publish his article but they betrayed him.
      • self-seeking / materialistic/opportunimistic: At the end of the play they want to publish the article because they think it will give them money.
      • self-preserving: The main reason why they initially changed their minds is they didn't want to suffer the consequences
      • corrupt / dishonest: They don't mind publishing the article towards the end of the play even when they believe it is a hoax, as long as they are part of the plot. unprinci pled / inconsistent / indecisive: They don't stand by their word, they shift with the current
        (Any one well explained trait 2 marks)
    9. It is ironical because of the three, Aslaksen is the least enthusiastic about publishing the article. It is therefore ironical that Dr. Stockman would ask him to supervise the printing, (2 marks)
    10. They / the authorities have threatened me with all sorts of things. (1 marks)
    1. Nzoko was inspired by nature: the murmuring of the river, the rustle of the wind in the trees and the hum of the bumble-bee. (2 marks)
    2. It is broken to indicate uncertainity / hesitation / stammering / fear / scare/ amezement / awe / fright caused by the presence of the little fairy man. Being in the forest, this must have been a scaring experience. (3 marks)
    3. We are told that he did not need to be told twice to play the flute. (2 marks)
      • To encourage Nzoko to develop his talent to the fullest.
      • To bring good to the world by stopping fighting and healing the sick through Nzoko's talent.
      • To teach Nzoko that precious things do not come easy.
        (Any two, 2 marks each - 4 marks)
    5. The six are mentioned to show how exceptionally good Nzoko's music was if it managed to charm all manner of birds into silence. To demonstrate the superiority of Nzoko's music. (2 marks)
      • Obedient/responsible/dutiful because he faithfully went to graze his father's goats after school. -
      • Determined/persistent because he did not give up even after he initially failed to outsing the black bird. He kept practising.
      • Creative / Innovative because he fashioned a flute from the wood of a willow tree. He also composed many songs.
      • (Very) talented because his music said to be equal only to that of the fairy piper and he managed to fulfil all the three conditions.
      • Compassionate because tears filled his eyes when he saw the little sick girl.
      • Patient/self-controlled - able to wait till all the conditions are fulfilled before turning the ring
      • Handworking - goes to school, takes cattle to graze; works on his instruments...
        (Any two, 2 marks each = 4 marks)
    7. They valued:
      • Tangibl
        • education - Nzoko went to school
        • the environment - they preserved the forest with its river, birds and bees.
        • herbal medicine - the mother of the sick child had gone to look for herbs.
        • music - Nzoko's music was appreciated and he was rewarded for excelling in it,
      • Intangible 
        • responsibility /care /concern /hard work / creativity/ harmony / assertiveness / patience.
          (Any three values, 1 mark each 3 marks)
      1. “Please return my key tomorrow," Aisha asked Tom.
        “ Tom, please return my key tomorrow", Aisha said.
      2. "Where were you last Friday?" the teacher asked them.
      3. What a pleasant surprise to meet you again after all these years!(3 marks)
      1. was / is / has been/ had been
      2. are / were (2 marks)
        1. All the money they needed, they collected; no more, no less.
        2. Of the money they collected, they needed all of it. They could not spare any for anyone else. (2 marks)
        1. There were a number of students. Only four of them were admitted to the University.
        2. There were only four students and all the four were admitted to the University.
          (2 marks)
      1. breakthrough;
      2. breakup;
      3. breakeven.
        (3 marks)
      1. risen;
      2. dwelt / been dwelling
      3. unconditionally.
        (3 marks) 
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