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Kenya Certificate Of Secondary Education(KCSE 2013) English Paper 2

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

    To understand the garbage, both industrial and domestic, you have to touch it, feel it and smell it. You have to pick through thousands of tons of it, counting and weighing all the daily newspapers, the directories, the soiled diapers, the lipstick cylinders coated with grease, the medicine vials still encasing brightly coloured pills, the forsaken toys and cigarette butts. You have to sort and weigh the volume of all the organic matter, discards from the thousands of plates: rice; ugali; fish heads to which justice has already been done; rotting water melons bleeding from gaping holes; the half eaten bananas, mostly still within their peels, black and incomparably sweet in the embrace of the final decay.

    To understand garbage, you need thick gloves, a mask and a vibrant immune system. However, the knowledge harvested from a dumpsite makes up for the grim working conditions. To an archaeologist, ancient garbage pits are among the happiest finds. Every archeologist dreams of discovering spectacular objects – but the bread and butter work of archaeology involves the most common and routine kinds of discards.

    Interestingly, much conventional wisdom about garbage and its disposal consists of myths and assertions that turn out, upon investigation, to be misleading or dead wrong. For example, plastics are assumed to constitute the highest quantity of waste matter. For the record, the item most frequently encountered in a dumpsite is plain old paper. At one point there was a lot of talk about how technology, computers in particular would bring about “paperless office”- a risky prediction, given the way things have turned out. Personal computers and printers grace many offices and homes today. Consequently, where the creation of paper waste is concerned, technology is proving to be a fertility drug rather than a contraceptive.

    Concerning plastics, it is true that the number of plastic objects that have been increasing over the years. Nevertheless, the proportion of the space they take up in a dumpsite has hardly changed. The explanation appears to be the result of what is called “light-weighing” – making objects in such a way that they retain all their functional characteristics but require the use of less resin. These days, even the plastic in disposable diapers ensures that they enter the house very light but they leave it much heavier than before. The result is that many more plastic items can be squeezed into a given volume.

    Plastics are the Great satan: gaudy, cheap, a convinient scapegoat for people who claim we waste and consume too much. Although it is paper more than anything else that is filling up the dumpsites, in its defense one frequently hears the claim that paper biodegrades while plastic remains inert and will take up space until the end of time.

    Not really.

    The reality is that the dynamics of a modern dumpsite are very nearly the opposite of what most people think. Biologically and chemically, a dumpsite is much more static than we commonly assume. For some kinds of garbage, biodegration goes on for a while and then slows down a virtual standstill. For otherkinds, biodegration never gets underway at all.

    [Adapted from "Five Major Myths about Garbage and Why they are Wrong" by William Rathje and Cullen Murphy, appearing in the Presence of Others (1994).New York: St Martins Press]


    1. From paragraph one, name two examples of industrial waste and two examples of domestic waste. (1 mark)

    2. According to the passage, how does a banana change as it rots? (2 marks)

    3. Why do you think a vibrant immune system is said to be important in understanding garbage? (2 marks)

    4. In the following sentence, replace the underlined expression with one word. (1 mark)
      However, the knowledge harvested from a dumpsite makes up for the grim working conditions.

    5. Why do you think the athour puts the words "paperless office" in quotation marks? (2 marks)

    6. Explain how technology has become a fertility drug rather than a contraceptive. (3 marks)

    7. What can we infer about resin? (2 marks)

    8. In point form, summarize the reasons why the author feels paper waste posses a greater danger to the environment than plasics. (4 marks)

    9. Explain the meaning of each of the following expressions as used in the passage. (3 marks)
      bread and butter work;
      static;
      get underway.


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

    PETER STOCKMANN: By the way, Hovstad was telling me he was going to print another of your articles.
    DR. STOCKMANN: One of my articles?
    PETER STOCKMANN: Yes, about the Baths. An article you apparently wrote during the winter.
    DR. STOCKMANN: Oh, that one! No I wouldn't want to appear now.
    PETER. STOCKMANN: Why not? I should have thought that this would be the most opportune moment.
    DR. STOCKMANN: Yes, very likely - under normal conditions. (crosses the room
    PETER STOCKMANN: (following him with his eyes) : Is there anything extraordinary about the present conditions?
    DR. STOCKMAN (standing still) : To tell you the truth, Peter, I cant tell you just at this moment at least not tonight. There may be much that is very abnormal about the present conditions - and it is possible that there may be nothing extraordinary about them at all. It might very well be just my imagination
    PETER STOCKMANN: I must say it all sounds most mysterious. Is there something going on that I am not supposed to know? I should have imagined that I, as the Chairman of the governing body of the Baths...
    DR. STOCKMANN: And I should have imagined that I ... Oh, come, don't let us fly off the handle at one another, Peter.
    PETER STOCKMANN: Heaven forbid! I am not in the habit of flying off the handle, as call it. But I am entitled to to request more emphatically that all arrangements shall be made in a businesslike manner, through the proper channels and shall be dealt with by the proper authorities. I can allow the dubious or underhand methods.
    DR. STOCKMANN: Have I ever any time used dubious or underhand methods?
    PETER STOCKMANN: You have an ingrained tendency to take things into your own hands, at least; and, that is the most equally inadmissible in a well-ordered community. The individual ought undoubtedly to subordinate himself or herself to the commmunity or, to be more accurate, to the authorities who have the care of the community's welfare.
    DR. STOCKMANN: Very likely. But what the devil has all this got to do with me?
    PETER STOCKMANN: That is exactly what you never seem to learn my dear Thomas. But, mark my words, some day you will have to suffer for it - sooner or later.


    1. Explain why the brothers, Peter and Thomas Stockmann, differ over the timing of publication of the article mentioned in this excerpt. (2 marks)

    2. Give two reasons why Dr. Stockmann is reluctant to discuss the "present conditions" of the Baths with the mayor. (2 marks)

    3. Identify and illustrate three character traits of Peter Stockmann evident in this excerpt. (6 marks)

    4. In the light of what happens later in the play, say to what extent each of the two brothers has got "the care of community's welfare". (4 marks)

    5. What is Dr. Stockmann "never seems to learn" according to the mayor? (2 marks)

    6. "Have I ever at any time used dubious or underhand methods?"
      (Rewrite in reported speech.)(1 mark)

    7. Identify and explain three aspects of foregrounding the author uses in this excerpt. (6 marks)

    8. Pick out a phrase in this excerpt that may suggest that Peter Stockmann exaggerates or even falsely accuses Dr. Stockmann of insurbodination. Explain your answer. (2 marks)

  3. Read the poem below and answer the questions that follow.

    OUT-CAST

    They met by accident
    He proposed the idea
    She gave her the consent
    All the way to the altar

    They met by accident
    He proposed the idea
    She gave her the consent
    All the way to the altar

    The casualty was male
    And his pigment was pale
    Unlike his alleged sire
    Who was black with ire

    The recourse was legitimate
    He disclaimed responsibility
    So they had to separate
    They boy remains illegimate

    Last month, not long ago
    They took their go
    Coincidentally by accident
    No will, no estate
    Nothing to inherit

    The poor boy is hardly ten
    And knows no next-of-kin
    He roams the streets of town
    Like a wind-sown out-cast

    G. Gathemia
    (From: Boundless Voices)
    Edited by Arthur I. Luvai


    1. Briefly explain what the poem is about. (4 marks)

    2. Describe two character traits of the mother in the poem. (4 marks)

    3. Explain the meaning of the following as used in the poem. (3 marks)
      1. disclaimed
      2. unlike his alleged sire who was black with ire

    4. Identify and explain one instance of irony in the poem. (3 marks)

    5. What is thepersona's attitude towards the boy in the poem. (3 marks)

    6. Rewrite the following in your own words. ('They both took their go') (1 mark)

    7. Give a proverb which appropriately summarizes this poem. (2 marks)


    1. Rewrite the following sentences according to the instructions after each. (4 marks)
      1. It was difficult but we completed the task.
        (Begin: Difficult ...)

      2. He said that he had not insulted me.
        (Use: 'denied' ...)

      3. I will not at any cost support your evil plans.
        (Begin: At no cost ...)

      4. She is renovating her house so that she may sell it.
        (Rewrite using: ' with a view' ...)

    2. Explain the difference in meaning of each of the following pairs of sentences. (2 marks)

        1. Even I attended the ceremony.
        2. I even attended the ceremony

        1. Bring an umbrella if it rains.
        2. Bring an umbrella in case it rains.

    3. Replace each of the following underlined words with a phrasal verb. (3 marks)
      1. The meeting was postponed to a later date. .......................
      2. After consultations the man agreed to assume the role of manager. ..............
      3. The number of smokers has decreased because of the cancer awareness campaign.

    4. Fill in each of the blank spaces with the appropriate form of the word in brackets. (3 marks)
      1. The chairman expressed doubts about about the ............. of showing the film of children's television. (suit)
      2. We could not understand him. His actions were completely .............. (explain).
      3. Wearing a mask, he was totally ..........................(recognize)

    5. Fill in each of the blank spaces with the appropriate form of the word in brackets. (3 marks)
      1. If they had worked hard, they ......................the examination. (pass)
      2. If the athlete had maintained the pace, she .................. (overtake)
      3. Unless the ambulance arrives in time, his life .........................(save)
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