2023 NABTEB GCE Literature (Drama & Poetry) Answers – Nov/Dec


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NABTEB GCE 2023 LITERATURE IN ENGLISH (DRAMA & POETRY) ANSWERS
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SECTION A; ANSWER ONE QUESTION FROM THIS SECTION
(1)
Queen Yoko’s insatiable quest for leadership can indeed be seen as a significant factor that ultimately led to her downfall in Kargbo’s Let Me Die Alone. Throughout the story, Yoko’s relentless pursuit of power and control blinds her to the consequences of her actions, ultimately leading to her isolation and demise.

From the beginning, Yoko displays a strong desire for leadership and authority. She craves the admiration and respect of her subjects, yearning to be seen as a powerful and influential queen. This ambition is driven by her need for validation and a fear of being forgotten. However, Yoko’s obsession with leadership clouds her judgment and prevents her from making sound decisions.

One crucial aspect of Yoko’s downfall is her neglect of her people’s needs and aspirations. She becomes so consumed with maintaining her position of power that she fails to address the concerns and well-being of her subjects. Yoko’s selfishness and disregard for the welfare of her kingdom erode the support and loyalty of her people, ultimately leading to rebellion and resistance.

Furthermore, Yoko’s insatiable quest for leadership blinds her to the political landscape and potential threats around her. She becomes oblivious to the brewing discontent among her advisors and the growing opposition within the kingdom. Her fixation on maintaining control prevents her from effectively assessing the changing dynamics and adapting accordingly.

As Yoko becomes more desperate to hold onto her power, she becomes increasingly isolated. Her insatiable quest for leadership distances her from her advisors, who are essential in providing counsel and guidance. Yoko’s self-imposed isolation leaves her vulnerable and susceptible to manipulation by her enemies, further accelerating her downfall.

Yoko’s insatiable quest for leadership ultimately leads to her demise, as her relentless pursuit blinds her to the consequences of her actions and undermines her ability to lead effectively. Her neglect of her people’s needs, disregard for political dynamics, and isolation contribute to her downfall, highlighting the dangers of an unquenchable thirst for power.

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(2)
One of the key aspects of cultural nuances in the story is the exploration of traditional beliefs and rituals. Kargbo delves into the character’s experiences with their cultural practices, such as funeral rites, spiritual connections, and ancestral worship. These elements not only provide insight into the characters’ identities and worldviews but also serve as a means to explore themes of death, grief, and the importance of familial connections.

Furthermore, the cultural nuances in “Let Me Die Alone” help to establish a sense of place and atmosphere. Through vivid descriptions of customs, traditions, and cultural settings, the author transports readers to the specific cultural context of the story. This allows readers to immerse themselves in the world Kargbo creates and better understand the characters’ motivations and actions. Additionally, the cultural details add depth and authenticity to the narrative, making it more engaging and relatable to a diverse range of readers.

The cultural nuances in the story also serve to challenge and question certain societal norms and values. Kargbo explores the tensions between tradition and modernity, and the conflicts that arise when individuals navigate between the two. Through the characters’ struggles and dilemmas, the author prompts readers to reflect on their own beliefs and cultural identity, fostering a deeper understanding of the complexities and nuances of culture.

In conclusion, cultural nuances play a vital role in the thematic development of Kargbo’s “Let Me Die Alone.” They deepen the exploration of traditional beliefs, provide a sense of place and atmosphere, and challenge societal norms. By incorporating these nuances into the narrative, the author creates a more powerful and thought-provoking reading experience that resonates with readers across different cultural backgrounds.

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(3)
Soyinka’s portrayal of colonial legacies in “The Lion and the Jewel” reveals a complex and multi-layered examination of the historical, cultural, social, and economic impacts of colonization on a small Nigerian village. Through his skillful storytelling, Soyinka delves into the various ways in which the legacy of colonialism continues to shape and influence the lives of the characters.

One significant aspect of Soyinka’s portrayal is his exploration of the clash between traditional African values and Western influence. He highlights the tension between the old and the new, using characters like Baroka, the village chieftain, and Lakunle, the modern schoolteacher, to illustrate this conflict. Baroka embodies the traditional, embracing the village’s customs and practices, while Lakunle represents the Western-educated, progressive individual seeking change and rejecting what he views as backward traditions. This clash between tradition and modernity reflects the lasting impact of colonialism, as the introduction of Western education and ideologies has disrupted and challenged traditional African values.

Furthermore, Soyinka presents a critical perspective on the legacy of colonialism by highlighting the commodification and objectification of African culture. The character of Sidi, portrayed as a beautiful and desirable woman, becomes a bargaining chip between Baroka and Lakunle, symbolizing the exploitation and appropriation of African women and culture by the colonial powers. Soyinka critiques the colonial mindset that reduces African culture to a mere commodity, through Sidi’s struggle to assert her own agency and resist being objectified.

Moreover, Soyinka explores the economic inequalities perpetuated by colonialism through the character of the Photographer. As an outsider seeking to profit from the village’s portrayal, the Photographer represents the exploitative and extractive nature of colonial capitalism. The Photographer’s presence reinforces the idea that even after gaining independence, the village is still susceptible to exploitation by external forces, highlighting the ongoing economic influence of colonial legacies.

Overall, Soyinka’s portrayal of colonial legacies in “The Lion and the Jewel” prompts readers to critically examine the lasting effects of colonization on African societies. By addressing themes of tradition versus modernity, commodification of culture, and economic exploitation, Soyinka sheds light on the complex web of influences that continue to shape post-colonial African identity and struggles.

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(4)
One of the central conflicts in the play arises from the contrasting views on modernity and tradition. Lakunle, a schoolteacher influenced by Western ideals, represents progress and the rejection of traditional values. He criticizes the role of women in the society, advocates for Western education, and desires to mold Sidi into a modern woman according to his own perception. On the other hand, Baroka, the village chief, embodies traditional African culture, emphasizing the preservation of customs and embracing polygamy.

This clash between Lakunle and Baroka signifies a broader struggle between tradition and modernity in African society. Soyinka highlights the challenges faced by individuals torn between the desire to keep their cultural identity intact and the pressure to conform to Western ideals of progress. The conflict paves the way for examining the significance of preserving cultural heritage amidst the encroachment of global influences.

Additionally, the clash of cultures in the play explores the complex dynamics between men and women. Sidi, the beautiful village belle, becomes the subject of a power struggle between Lakunle and Baroka. Lakunle attempts to modernize her by proposing marriage and advocating for gender equality, whereas Baroka uses charm and traditional courtship rituals to win her over as his newest wife. Consequently, Sidi becomes a metaphorical representation of Africa caught between the desires of the modern world and the traditional past.

By presenting the conflict arising from the clash of cultures, Soyinka also raises questions about the authenticity of cultural practices and their evolution over time. Baroka’s cunning methods and manipulations challenge the perception of traditional African rulers as noble figures, while Lakunle’s blind adherence to Western values raises concerns about the erasure of indigenous culture.

Furthermore, the clash of cultures in the play serves as a critique of colonialism and neocolonialism. Despite gaining independence from colonial rule, African societies continue to grapple with the remnants of colonial influence. The clash in the play demonstrates how the imposition of Western ideas affects the social fabric of African villages and disrupts their traditional ways of life.

In conclusion, the conflict arising from the clash of cultures in “The Lion and the Jewel” explores themes of tradition versus progress, the dynamics between men and women, the authenticity of cultural practices, and the lingering impact of colonialism. Soyinka skillfully navigates these conflicts to shed light on the challenges faced by individuals torn between preserving their cultural heritage and embracing the forces of modernity. Through this clash, the play offers a critical examination of African society, inviting readers and viewers to reflect on the complexities of cultural transformation.

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SECTION B; ANSWER ONE QUESTION FROM THIS SECTION
(5)
One of the central themes of the play is Jimmy’s constant state of anger. He is resentful and frustrated with the complacency he perceives in society. His anger is a manifestation of the disillusionment felt by many young people who were coming of age after World War II. Jimmy’s anger is directed at all aspects of society, including the government, media, and his own class background. Through Jimmy’s character, Osborne challenges the status quo and exposes the underlying struggles faced by the working class.

The frustration in “Look Back in Anger” is not limited to Jimmy alone but extends to the other characters as well. Alison, Jimmy’s wife, experiences a sense of frustration due to the societal expectations placed upon her. She struggles to break free from the constraints of her upper-middle-class background and finds herself trapped in an unfulfilling marriage with Jimmy. Alison’s frustration is further magnified by her inability to communicate and connect with Jimmy, leading to a deepening sense of alienation.

Additionally, Osborne explores the frustration caused by the clash of generations in the play. Jimmy’s anger is directed towards the older generation, whom he sees as embodying the failures and hypocrisy of the past. He finds their lack of understanding and indifference infuriating, and he takes every opportunity to criticize and challenge their values. This generational conflict further highlights the frustrations and dissonance experienced by the younger generation.

By addressing anger and frustration as prominent themes, Osborne portrays the emotional turmoil and discontent prevalent in post-war Britain. The play captures the restless energy of a society in transition and reflects the yearning for change both at a personal and societal level. The characters’ anger and frustration serve as a catalyst for reflection and critique, ultimately compelling the audience to question the prevailing norms and values of the time.

In conclusion, “Look Back in Anger” explores the themes of anger and frustration as a means of expressing the discontent felt by the younger generation in post-war Britain. Osborne presents a searing critique of society and class structure through the complex characters and their emotional struggles. The play goes beyond individual angst, offering a glimpse into the broader cultural and societal conflicts of the era.

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(6)
One notable symbol is the ironing board, which appears in Act 1 and becomes a recurring motif throughout the play. The ironing board represents a domestic chore traditionally associated with women and the mundane aspects of everyday life. Through its reiteration, Osborne challenges societal norms and calls attention to the confined roles and limited opportunities imposed on women at the time. The ironing board serves as a symbol of stagnation and unfulfillment, reflecting Jimmy’s frustration with his own life and the lack of meaningful change in society.

Similarly, the stuffed rabbit is another symbol of confinement in the play. Alison, Jimmy’s wife, keeps the rabbit as a sentimental childhood memento, but it also becomes a metaphor for her own entrapment in a suffocating marriage. The rabbit represents innocence, vulnerability, and imprisonment, illustrating Alison’s struggle to break free from societal expectations and her role as a subservient wife. Furthermore, the rabbit’s presence serves as a reminder of the lost innocence and unfulfilled dreams both Jimmy and Alison have experienced.

Furthermore, the trumpet, which appears in Act 3, symbolizes Jimmy’s non-conformity, rebellion, and desire for change. The trumpet is loud, disruptive, and associated with jazz and rebellion. It represents Jimmy’s dissatisfaction with the status quo and his longing for a more vibrant and passionate life. Its presence also suggests Jimmy’s frustration with the dullness and mediocrity of society, and his need to express himself in a way that challenges the established order.

While Osborne’s use of symbols contributes to the play’s thematic depth and emotional impact, it is not without flaws or limitations. One criticism is that the symbols may appear heavy-handed or contrived, potentially distracting from the organic development of the characters and narrative. Additionally, the heavy reliance on symbols may require a certain level of interpretation and background knowledge to fully understand their implications, which could be alienating to some audience members.

Another critique could be that some symbols may not be effectively developed or fully explored. For instance, the use of the ironing board as a symbol of gender roles and societal constraints could have benefitted from further exploration and interaction with other aspects of the play. Its recurrence may feel repetitive or static, lacking the development and nuance achieved by other symbols.

In conclusion, Osborne’s use of symbols in Look Back in Anger contributes to the play’s thematic richness and emotional impact. Symbols such as the ironing board, the stuffed rabbit, and the trumpet help illuminate the characters’ struggles and convey deeper meanings about societal norms, personal confinement, and the desire for change. While these symbols may have limitations or require interpretation, they ultimately enhance the play’s exploration of social and personal discontent.

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(7)
Troy in Wilson’s Fences can be seen as both a victim of fate and someone who creates his own problems. August Wilson expertly showcases the complexity of Troy’s character, making it difficult to assign him solely to one category.

On one hand, Troy can be viewed as a victim of fate. His upbringing and the historical context of the play, set in the 1950s, provide insights into the systemic racism and limited opportunities that Troy faced as an African American man. These societal disadvantages undoubtedly play a role in shaping some of the challenges he encounters throughout the play. From being denied a career in professional baseball due to racial discrimination to struggling to find steady employment, Troy’s circumstances can be seen as external factors that contribute to his difficulties.

On the other hand, Troy also has agency and makes choices that directly impact his life. His flaws and destructive behavior are evident, leading to strained relationships with his family. For instance, his infidelity with Alberta and subsequent fathering of a child outside of his marriage creates immense turmoil and destroys the trust his wife, Rose, had in him. Similarly, his authoritarian tendencies and the way he alienates his son, Cory, from pursuing his dream of playing college football can be seen as instances where he actively contributes to his own problems.

Throughout the play, Wilson presents Troy as a complex character who experiences a combination of external forces and self-inflicted damage. While his circumstances and the racial dynamics of the time certainly shape his experiences, Troy’s own choices and actions cannot be overlooked. The intertwining of fate and self-responsibility in Troy’s character adds depth to the narrative, making it challenging to assign blame solely to one factor.

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(8)
(i) Troy Maxson:
Troy Maxson is the central character in August Wilson’s play “Fences.” He is a middle-aged African-American man who works as a garbage collector in Pittsburgh in the 1950s. Troy is a complex character with a tragic past. He was a talented baseball player in his youth but could not pursue a professional career due to racial segregation. Resentful of the lost opportunity, Troy is often bitter and carries a chip on his shoulder. He is a stubborn and sometimes domineering figure, particularly towards his family. Despite his flaws, Troy is also shown to have a strong sense of responsibility and duty towards his family, striving to provide for them, although he struggles with expressing his love and emotions.

(ii) Rose Maxson:
Rose is Troy’s wife and a vibrant character in “Fences.” She is a strong and compassionate woman who tries to maintain harmony within her household. Rose works as a domestic servant to contribute to the family’s income. She is portrayed as patient and understanding, serving as the emotional anchor for her husband and her son, Cory. Rose is often caught in the middle of conflicts between Troy and Cory, and she tries her best to keep the family together. Throughout the play, Rose’s character evolves, and she finds her voice to challenge and express her own desires and needs.

(iii) Cory Maxson:
Cory is Troy and Rose’s teenage son. He is a talented high school football player with dreams of obtaining a college scholarship. Cory represents the younger generation’s aspirations and hopes, but his ambitions clash with his father’s bitter outlook on life. Troy, who himself was denied opportunities in sports due to racial prejudice, refuses to support Cory’s dreams, insisting that he needs to focus on practical jobs. This creates tension and conflict between father and son throughout the play.

(iv) Gabriel Maxson:
Gabriel is Troy’s younger brother, who suffered a traumatic brain injury during World War II, resulting in a mental disability. Gabriel is a recurring symbol of spirituality and hope in the play. He believes he is the angel Gabriel and often wanders around the neighborhood, playing his trumpet to announce the coming of heaven. Gabriel’s presence serves as a reminder of the struggles and sacrifices made by African-Americans in history. His character also symbolizes the importance of forgiveness and redemption.

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SECTION C; ANSWER ONE QUESTION FROM THIS SECTION

(9)
Worsormi’s ‘Raiders of the Treasure Trove’ explores the theme of self-destruction with a thought-provoking intensity. Through the intricately woven narrative, the author delves into the destructive tendencies inherent in human nature and the consequences they can have on both individuals and society as a whole.

One of the prominent aspects of self-destruction in the story is the characters’ relentless pursuit of material wealth and power. The raiders, driven by their insatiable greed for the treasure trove, become consumed by their desires to possess more and more. In their single-minded pursuit, they lose sight of their own well-being, relationships, and moral compass.

Additionally, Worsormi highlights the self-destructive nature of unchecked ambition. The raiders’ thirst for power fuels a vicious cycle of betrayal, deceit, and ruthless behavior. As they climb the ladder of success, they leave a trail of destruction in their wake, ultimately sacrificing their own happiness and integrity.

Another element that underscores the theme of self-destruction is the characters’ inability to confront the consequences of their actions. They remain blinded by their selfish desires and choose to ignore the damage they inflict on themselves and others. This lack of self-awareness and refusal to take responsibility ultimately leads to their downfall.

Worsormi’s portrayal of self-destruction serves as a cautionary tale, urging readers to reflect on their own potentially destructive tendencies. The story prompts contemplation about the dangers of unchecked desires, the importance of self-reflection, and the impact our actions can have on our lives and those around us.

In ‘Raiders of the Treasure Trove,’ Worsormi masterfully explores the theme of self-destruction through rich characterization, gripping storytelling, and insightful commentary. The novel serves as a powerful reminder that without self-awareness, restraint, and a consideration of the consequences of our actions, we risk our own downfall and the destruction of everything we hold dear.

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(10)
Firstly, the situation in which the government driver finds himself is inherently ironic. After years of hard work and dedication, he anticipates a comfortable and leisurely retirement. He imagines a life of relaxation and pleasure, free from the demands of his job. However, the reality of his retirement proves to be quite different. Onu portrays the irony of his situation by depicting the driver feeling lost and unfulfilled, longing for the purpose that his job had provided. This irony arises from the mismatch between his expectations and the reality he experiences.

Additionally, the author utilizes situational irony to explore the driver’s relationship with his family. The driver envisions his retirement as an opportunity to spend more quality time with his wife and children, believing that they will wholeheartedly welcome his presence. However, as the story unfolds, the driver finds himself marginalized and alienated within his own family unit. His wife and children become irritated and frustrated by his constant presence, and he becomes a source of annoyance rather than the cherished companion he hoped to be. This ironic twist reveals the unforeseen consequences of retirement and emphasizes the disconnection between the driver’s expectations and the actual outcome.

Furthermore, Onu employs situational irony to highlight the societal perception of retirement and aging. The driver’s retirement is supposed to be a time of honor and respect, as he has dedicated his life to public service. Nevertheless, the driver is met with indifference and neglect from both his former colleagues and the broader society. The irony lies in the fact that the driver expected to be celebrated and revered, but instead, he is treated as superfluous, irrelevant, and forgotten. This irony exposes the disparity between society’s ideals and the painful reality of growing old and retiring.

Overall, Onu skillfully employs situational irony in “A Government Driver on His Retirement” to delve into the complexities of retirement and challenge conventional expectations. Through these ironic twists, the story delves into the themes of unfulfilled desires, strained relationships, and societal neglect, revealing the often unforeseen and paradoxical consequences of life after retirement. Through this exploration, the author invites readers to consider the true nature of retirement and the unexpected challenges it may bring.

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SECTION D; ANSWER ONE QUESTION FROM THIS SECTION
(11)
In Donne’s poem “The Good Morrow,” the celebration of love is prominently explored, capturing the blissful and transformative power of a deep emotional connection between two lovers. The poem begins by acknowledging the transient nature of past experiences, emphasizing the newfound enchantment and fulfillment that love brings to one’s life.

Donne describes the lovers’ encounter as a moment of awakening. The speaker claims that their love has brought them out of the hazy and superficial world they previously inhabited. Instead of seeing love as a mere physical connection, Donne delves into the intellectual and spiritual dimensions, highlighting the profound impact it has on their entire beings.

The celebration of love in this poem is not only based on physical attraction but also on intellectual and emotional connection. Donne discusses the merging of souls, asserting that the lovers have become one in mind and spirit. He uses vivid imagery and metaphors to depict their union, likening their souls to twin compasses that are eternally connected, no matter how far apart they may physically be.

Furthermore, Donne explores the idea that love transcends time and space, suggesting that their love existed even before they met. The imagery of exploration and discovery is used to emphasize the limitless possibilities and depths of their love. The speaker concludes that their love is far superior to the experiences they had in the past, as it has awakened them to a new world filled with genuine passion and fulfillment.

Overall, Donne’s “The Good Morrow” celebrates love as a transformative force that awakens the senses and elevates the human experience. The poem’s exploration of love in its intellectual, emotional, and spiritual dimensions captures the profound impact it has on individuals, allowing them to transcend boundaries and discover new depths within themselves.

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(12)
(i) Imagery: Eliot employs vivid imagery throughout the poem to evoke sensory experiences and create a strong visual impression. For example, he describes the difficult and dreary journey through harsh winter landscapes: “A cold coming we had of it, / Just the worst time of the year / For a journey, and such a long journey: / The ways deep and the weather sharp, / The very dead of winter.”

(ii) Allusion: Eliot skillfully incorporates biblical and historical allusions to enrich the poem’s themes and provide a deeper layer of meaning. The poem refers to the Three Wise Men or Magi from the Gospel of Matthew, who embarked on a journey to pay homage to the newborn Jesus. The allusions add to the poem’s religious context and symbolism.

(iii) Repetition: Eliot employs repetition to emphasize certain phrases and create a rhythmic flow in the poem. For instance, the phrase “A cold coming we had of it” is repeated several times throughout the poem, contributing to its musicality and reinforcing the arduous nature of the journey.

(iv) Enjambment: The poem contains enjambment, which is the continuation of a sentence or phrase from one line to the next without a pause or punctuation. This technique adds a sense of fluidity and movement to the poem. For example, in the lines “And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory, / Lying down in the melting snow,” the thought carries on without interruption, mimicking the constant motion of the Magi’s journey.

(v) Symbolism: Eliot employs symbolism to convey deeper themes and ideas. For instance, the “camel men” represent the hardships and burdens the Magi endure on their journey. The references to the “old dispensation” and “satisfactory career” symbolize the Magi’s relinquishment of their old beliefs and their acceptance of the new order brought by the birth of Christ.

(vi) Irony: The poem employs irony to highlight the Magi’s disillusionment and conflicting emotions. Despite reaching their destination and witnessing the birth of Jesus, the Magi feel disillusioned and somewhat ambivalent about the experience. They question the significance of their journey and, paradoxically, consider it both a birth and a death.

(vii) Metaphor: Eliot employs metaphors to convey complex ideas and emotions. For instance, when the Magi describe their own journey, they say, “we returned to our places, these Kingdoms,” implying that their experience transformed their perception of their own surroundings.
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