ICSE Class 10 Literature in English 2018 Sample Paper

Class 10 English

You have to attempt only five questions in all. You must attempt at least one question from each of the Sections A, B and C and not more than two other questions from the same books you have already compulsorily chosen.


The Merchant of Venice: Shakespeare

Question 1

Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

Shylock : [Aside] How like a fawning publican he looks!
I hate him for he is a Christian;
But more , for that in low simplicity
He lends out money gratis and brings down
The rate of usance here with us in Venice.

(i) Where does this scene take place? Who is the ‘fawning publican’? Who is the third person present here? [3]

(ii) Explain ‘fawning publican’. Why did Shylock hate him? [3]

(iii) Why have the other two men come to Shylock? Why could not the ‘fawning publican’ resolve the matter without coming to Shylock? [3]

(iv) Write any three ways in which the ‘fawning publican’ had ill-treated Shylock. [3]

(v) What does Shylock ask him to do ‘in merry sport’? List one quality each, of Shylock and the ‘fawning publican’, in the light of this episode. How does Bassanio react to Shylock’s proposal? [4]

Question 2

Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

Bassanio : Sweet Portia,
If you did know to whom I gave the ring,
If you did know for whom I gave the ring,
And would conceive for what I gave the ring,
And how unwillingly I left the ring,
When naught would be accepted but the ring,
You would abate the strength of your displeasure

(i) What was the importance of the ring in the relationship between Portia and Bassanio? Name the other couple for whom the ring created much trouble? [3]

(ii) To whom and for whom had Bassanio given the ring? For what had he given the ring? [3]

(iii) What were the three reasons stated by Portia that would have prevented Bassanio from parting with the ring? [3]

(iv) A little later, Lorenzo says,’ Fair ladies, you drop manna in the way of starved people’. Give the meaning of ‘manna’. What was the ‘manna’ dropped by the ‘fair ladies’ ‘in the way of starved people’? [3]

(v) State any two qualities of Portia, giving relevant examples. [4]

Loyalties: John Galsworthy

Question 3

Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

De Levis : I have a memory, since and a sting too. Yes my lord- you are good enough to call me venomous. (To Canynge) I quite understand – I’m marked for Coventry now, whatever happens.
Well, I’ll take Dancy with me.

(i) Where are De Levis and Canynge? What are they discussing? [3]

(ii) “I’m marked for Coventry now.” Explain the term ‘Coventry’. What does De Levis mean when he says “Well, I’ll take Dancy with me”? [3]

(iii) Who had called De Levis ‘venomous’ and why? [3]

(iv) What further proof does De Levis supply in this scene to prove that Dancy is guilty? [3]

(v) A little later in the scene Dancy arrives. How does he react to the accusation? What do General Canynge and St. Erth suggest Dancy should do to clear his name? [4]

Question 4

Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

Margaret : [Suddenly] I don’t care. He’s my third cousin. Don’t you feel you couldn’t, Adela?
Lady Adela : Couldn’t – what?
Margaret : Stand for De Levis against one of ourselves?
Lady Adela : That’s very narrow, Meg
Margaret : Oh! I know lots of splendid Jews, and I rather liked little Ferdy; but when it comes to the point-! They all stick together; why shouldn’t we? It’s in the blood. Open your jugular, and see if you haven’t got it
Lady Adela : My dear, my great-grandmother was a Jewess. I’m proud of her.

(i) Where are Lady Adela and Margaret at the moment? Why has Mabel left the room? What does Margaret mean by ‘one of ourselves’? [3]

(ii) How does Margaret assess Dancy’s personality? [3]

(iii) What advice does Margaret give Mabel? Whose name does she recommend and why? [3]

(iv) How does Dancy justify his proposal of going away to Nairobi? [3]

(v) Who comes to see them soon after? What appeal does Mabel make to him? What was written in the paper that Dancy wanted De Levis to sign? [4]


A Collection of Poems

Question 5

Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

Tell me not in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
(A Psalm of Life: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

(i) What are ‘mournful numbers’? What is meant by ‘Life is but an empty dream’? What feelings are aroused after reading the above lines? [3]

(ii) What is said about Life right after this extract? What advice does the poet give about the ‘Past’? [3]

(iii) What is meant by ‘Dust thou art, to dust return’st’? Explain. Which figure of speech is referred to in this statement? [3]

(iv) Give the meaning of ‘bivouac of life’. How should one act and not act in the bivouac? [3]

(v) What do the lives of great men remind us of? What does the poet say in the concluding stanza of the poem? Which line in the poem appeals to you the most? Give a reason to justify your answer. [4]

Question 6

Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls.
(Where the Mind is Without Fear: Rabindranath Tagore)

(i) To whom is the poet praying in the poem? Whose mind is the poet referring to in the beginning of the poem? Why? [3]

(ii) In which situation is the head held high? What does he mean by ‘knowledge is free’? What are ‘narrow domestic walls’? [3]

(iii) What does the poet mean by ‘tireless striving’? What does ‘clear stream’ refer to? Explain. [3]

(iv) What is meant by ‘dead habit’? What is ‘dead habit’ compared to and why? [3]

(v) What does the poet wish for at the end of the poem? What does the poem tell the readers about the poet? Give a reason to justify your answer. [4]


A Collection of Short Stories

Question 7

Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

As a result of the panchayat’s verdict, the strong roots of the tree of friendship which Jumman and Alagu had planted together were now sorely shaken. The two were seldom seen together. A single blast of truth had loosened their friendship. It fell like a tree whose roots instead of going deep into the solid earth, were loosely held in sand.

(i) Why had the Panchayat been called for? What was the Panchayat’s verdict? [3]

(ii) How did the villagers react to the Panchayat’s verdict? What effect did the verdict have on Jumman? [3]

(iii) Narrate the circumstances under which the second Panchayat met. [3]

(iv) What verdict did Jumman pronounce? Was his verdict fair? How did Jumman carry out his responsibility as the ‘head-panch’? [3]

(v) What effect did Jumman’s verdict have on his relationship with Alagu? What did Jumman realise? [4]

Question 8

With close reference to ‘Journey by Night’ written by Norah Burke, give an account of the dangers and difficulties that Sher Singh faced while making the trip to the hospital. [16]

Animal Farm : George Orwell

Question 9

Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

All that year the animals worked like slaves. But they were happy in their work, they grudged no effort or sacrifice, well aware that everything that they did was for the benefit of themselves and those of their kind who would come after them, and not for a pack of idle thieving human beings. Throughout the spring and summer they worked a sixty-hour week, and in August ................

(i) What did Napoleon announce in August? [3]

(ii) How much time had elapsed since the constitution of the Animal Farm? As summer wore on, what unforeseen shortages began to be felt? [3]

(iii) What new policy did Napoleon make? The new policy brought a vague uneasiness among the animals. What did they recall? [3]

(iv) Who had agreed to act as an intermediary between the Animal Farm and the outside world? Describe him. [3]

(v) What roused the pride of the animals and made them reconcile to the new arrangement? In the meanwhile, what sudden decision was taken by the pigs? What do we learn about Napoleon at this juncture? [4]

Question 10

Describe the most bitter dispute that broke out between Snowball and Napoleon. [16]

To Sir, With Love : E.R. Braithwaite

Question 11

Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

Thursday, November 18th was Gillian’s birthday. On the Monday evening I had been to Foyle’s and bought her a book of poems; it was in my briefcase and I planned to give it to her at lunchtime on her birthday. During midmorning recess on Tuesday she came into my class room, where I was, as usual, surrounded by a group of chattering youngsters; on seeing her I excused myself from them and greeted her.

(i) What celebration had Gillian planned on her birthday? How did the students react to Gillian’s presence in the class room? [3]

(ii) What game had Braithwaite and Gillian invented? [3]

(iii) Describe the decor of ‘Poisson d’Or’. [3]

(iv) How was the waiter’s behaviour discourteous? [3]

(v) How did Gillian react to the waiter’s behaviour? [4]

Question 12

How did the Headmaster react when Mr. Braithwaite expressed his desire to take the class to visit the Victoria and Albert Museum? What change was noticed in the children and their behaviour? [16]