ICSE Class 10 English Literature 2022 Semester-1 Sample Paper

English Literature is part of English Paper 2. Maximum Marks are 40 and Time allowed is one hour. All questions are compulsory. Select the correct option for each of the following questions.

Section A

1. The story, The Little Match Girl, was written by _____ .

  1. Hans Christian Andersen
  2. Roald Dahl
  3. Ruskin Bond
  4. J.K. Rowling

2. The visions seen by the little girl in the short story, ‘The Little Match Girl’ reveal the four things she needed the most. They were _____ .

  1. warmth, food, love and freedom from fear
  2. food, shelter, warm clothes and a mother
  3. roast goose, new slippers, candy and a warm cup of tea
  4. a warm over coat, food, a scarf, a pair of socks

3. Maya Angelou has used the caged bird as a symbol for _____ .

  1. the oppressed
  2. the oppressors
  3. feminist writers
  4. writers and activists

4. The central message of Browning’s poem, ‘The Patriot’ is ______ .

  1. public adulation and glory are short lived.
  2. as you sow, so you reap.
  3. death comes to all people, even the rich and famous.
  4. God helps those who help themselves.

5. The Gujars mentioned in Norah Burke’s story, ‘The Blue Bead’ were _____.

  1. wandering herdsmen
  2. Stone Age Hunters
  3. Hunter gatherers
  4. Primitive cultivators

6. Sibia lingered behind after the other women had left because ______ .

  1. she didn’t want to have to help her mother with preparing the evening meal,
  2. she wanted to check if her little clay cups were still in the cave where she had left them.
  3. she wanted to chat with the Gujar women who came to draw water from the river.
  4. she was exhausted and she wanted to rest for a while.

7. Tubal returns from Genoa with news both good and bad, for Shylock. Which of the following did he NOT say to Shylock?

  1. That he had met Jessica, Shylock’s daughter in Genoa.
  2. That in Genoa, he had heard news of Antonio’s misfortunes.
  3. That Jessica had spent eighty ducats in one night in Genoa.
  4. That he had been shown Shylock’s ring that Jessica had traded in Genoa for a monkey.

8. Soon after Portia and Bassanio declare their love for each other, another pair also declare their love for each other and ask to be married at the same time as Portia and Bassanio. They are _____ .

  1. Gratiano and Nerissa
  2. Gratiano and Jessica
  3. Lorenzo and Nerissa
  4. Lorenzo and Jessica

9. Bassanio rejected the golden casket because ______ .

  1. he knew that Midas had found gold hard to digest.
  2. he knew that outward appearances are often deceptive.
  3. he found gold too shiny for his taste.
  4. he had been told which casket contained Portia’s portrait.

10. When Portia left for Venice she put ______ in charge of her house.

  1. Lorenzo
  2. Jessica
  3. Gratiano
  4. Launcelot

Section B

I. Read the following extract from The Merchant of Venice (Act 3) and answer the questions that follow by choosing the most appropriate response from the choices given below:

Salarino: Why, I am sure, if he forfeit, thou
Wilt not take his flesh: What’s that good for?

Shylock: To bait fish withal: if it will feed nothing
Else it will feed my revenge.

(1) Where does the above exchange between Salarino and Shylock take place?

  1. On a street in Venice
  2. On the Rialto
  3. On a street outside Shylock’s house
  4. On a street in Belmont

(2) What is Antonio required to forfeit if he fails to repay the amount he borrowed from Shylock within the time specified in the bond?

  1. A pound of his flesh
  2. Three times the sum that he had borrowed
  3. His friendship with Bassanio
  4. All his wealth and property

(3) A little later in his speech, Shylock compares Christians with Jews. Which of the following comparisons does he NOT make?

  1. Both Jews and Christians bleed when cut.
  2. Both Jews and Christians die if poisoned.
  3. Both Jews and Christians treat each other with humility.
  4. Both Jews and Christians seek revenge when wronged.

(4) What recent event in his personal life does Shylock lament earlier in the conversation?

  1. his wife’s death
  2. his daughter’s death
  3. the loss of an expensive diamond
  4. his daughter eloping with a Christian

(5) Which of the following words would you use to describe Shylock’s state of mind after this impassioned speech?

(i) hurt (ii) angry (iii) vindictive (iv) resourceful

  1. (i), (ii) and (iii)
  2. (ii), (iii) and (iv)
  3. (iii), (iv) and (i)
  4. (iv), (i) and (ii)

II. Read the following extract from Act 3 of ‘The Merchant of Venice’ and answer the questions that follow by choosing the most appropriate response from the choices given below:

Portia: Away, then! I am locked in one of them:
If you do love me, you will find me out.-
Nerissa and the rest, stand all aloof.

1. Portia says, “I am locked in one of them:” The word ‘one’ refers to ______ .

  1. a silver casket
  2. a silver casket
  3. a bronze casket
  4. a lead casket

2. A little later, Portia compares Nerissa and the rest to _____ .

  1. Alcides and the sea-monster
  2. Alcides and the Dardanian wives
  3. Alcides and Hesione
  4. the Dardanian wives with tearstained faces

3. Which of the following statements is NOT true?

  1. At the beginning of the scene Portia urges Bassanio to wait a while before taking the casket test.
  2. At the beginning of the scene Bassanio is eager to take the test as he finds the waiting a form of torture.
  3. At the beginning of the scene Bassanio wants to wait and take the test later as he wants to spend some time with Portia.
  4. At the beginning of the scene Portia is afraid that Bassanio might choose the wrong casket and be lost to her forever.

4. Who arrives from Venice towards the end of the scene bringing news of Antonio’s misfortunes?

  1. Salerio, Lorenzo and Jessica
  2. Salerio, Gratiano and Nerissa
  3. Salerio, Lorenzo and Nerissa
  4. Salerio, Gratiano and Nerissa

5. The word, ‘aloof’ in the extract can best be replaced by _____ .

  1. arrogant
  2. remain silent
  3. condescending and distant
  4. aside

III. Read the following extract from the short story, ‘The Little Match Girl’ and answer the questions that follow by choosing the most appropriate response from the choices given below:

“She was evidently trying to warm herself,” they said. But no one knew what beautiful visions she had seen and in what a blaze of glory she had entered with her dear old grandmother into the heavenly joy and gladness of a new year.

1. Who said “She was evidently trying to keep herself warm”?

  1. Her grandmother
  2. The little girl's father
  3. Her mother
  4. The people who found her lying dead on the street

2. The vision that the little match girl saw when she lit the first match was of …

  1. an iron stove.
  2. a beautiful Christmas tree.
  3. a delicious meal laid out on a table.
  4. her kind and loving grandmother.

3. When the little girl saw the shooting star earlier that night, she realised _____ .

  1. that someone was dying.
  2. that someone has just been shot.
  3. that someone has just been born.
  4. that misfortune awaited her.

4. How many matches did the little girl light that night?

  1. Two
  2. Four
  3. Three
  4. Several

5. When the little girl left home that morning, she ______ .

  1. was barefoot and bareheaded.
  2. was wrapped in a warm woollen shawl.
  3. had on an old apron and oversized slippers.
  4. had eaten a hearty breakfast.

IV. Read the following extract from the short story, ‘The Blue Bead’ and answer the questions that follow by choosing the most appropriate response from the choices given below:

Beside him in the shoals as he lay waiting glimmered a blue gem.

1. Who is ‘he’?

  1. Sibia’s father
  2. Her brother
  3. The man-eating tiger
  4. The crocodile

2. What was he waiting for?

  1. Any creature that he could catch unawares and feed on.
  2. Sibia and her mother.
  3. To sun himself on the warm rocks.
  4. A shoal of fish to come swimming by.

3. The word closest in meaning to, ‘glimmered’ in the above line is: 

  1. glimpsed
  2. glittered
  3. half-hidden
  4. glued

4. What exactly was, the ‘blue gem’?

  1. a blue diamond
  2. a shiny blue pebble
  3. a piece of sand-worn blue glass
  4. an enormous sapphire

5. The only parts of ‘him’ that were soft and vulnerable were _______ .

  1. his eyes and nose.
  2. his nose and mouth.
  3. the undersides of his arms and tail.
  4. his eyes and the undersides of his arms.

V. Read the following extract from the poem, ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ and answer the questions that follow by choosing the most appropriate response from the choices given below:

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage

1. The caged bird sings about _______ .

  1. the unknown things that he longs for and for freedom
  2. shadows and unknown things
  3. freedom and fat worms
  4. fear and rage

2. What prevents the caged bird from flying?

  1. The narrow cage and clipped wings.
  2. His broken wings and his inability to sing.
  3. His trimmed feathers and his damaged throat.
  4. His rage at being held captive.

3. In this poem, Maya Angelou compares the caged bird with ______ .

  1. the free bird
  2. freedom fighters
  3. children in school
  4. the distant hill

4. Who, according to Maya Angelou ‘dares to claim the sky’?

  1. the caged bird
  2. the free bird
  3. the angry bird
  4. the song bird

5. The closest in meaning to the word ‘seldom’ in the above context is:

  1. solitary
  2. solemn
  3. rarely
  4. lonely

VI. Read the following extract from the poem, ‘The Patriot’ and answer the questions that follow by choosing the most appropriate answer from the choices given below:

It was roses, roses, all the way,
With myrtle mixed in my path like mad:
The house-roofs seemed to heave and sway,
The church-spires flamed, such flags they had,
A year ago on this very day.

1. The speaker is describing ________.

  1. the scene of his welcome the previous year.
  2. an outbreak of rioting in his town.
  3. a time when people lost their minds and attacked rose and myrtle bushes.
  4. the collapse of houses under the weight of the crowds.

2. The speaker is now _______ .

  1. on his way to be greeted by the cheering crowds.
  2. on his way to the gallows.
  3. on his way to a political rally.
  4. on his way to prison.

3. The closest in meaning to, ‘heave and sway’ in the above extract is:

  1. to move in a restless manner
  2. to rise up higher and higher
  3. to sink down under a heavy weight
  4. swing wildly

4. All the images used by the poet in this stanza are _____ images.

  1. sound
  2. visual
  3. tactile
  4. colourful

5. The mood described in this opening stanza of Browning’s poem, ‘The Patriot’ is ______ .

  1. noisy
  2. celebratory
  3. gloomy
  4. filled with regret