KCSE 2012 English Paper 3 with Marking Scheme

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  1. Imaginative Composition (Compulsory) (20 marks)
    1. Write a story to illustrate the saying:
      “People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.”

    2. Write a story ending with:
      If I had a second chance, I would be wiser.

  2. The Compulsory Set Text (20 marks)
    Henrik Ibsen, An Enemy of the People.
    “Being truthful is virtue, yet many people would easily ignore the truth if it threatens their self –interest”
    Write an essay in support of this statement drawing illustration from the play, An enemy of the people by Henrik Ibsen.

  3. The Optional Set Texts
    Answer any one of the following three questions.
    1. The Short Story (20 marks)
      Macmillan (Ed.), Half a Day and other stories.
      “When people of different races decide to have a relationship, they must be prepared to encounter difficulties.”
      Write an essay in support of this statement using illustrations from Vassanji's short story 'Breaking Loose'.

    2. Drama (20 marks)
      John Ruganda, Shreds of Tenderness
      “Even when it seems impossible we should not give up trying to reconcile people.
      Write an essay in support of this statement draw your illustrations from Ruganda’s play Shreds of Tenderness.

    3. The novel (20 marks)
      Velma Pollard, Homestretch
      “Racism breeds racism: victims of racism also become racists.”
      Write an essay illustrating the truth of this statement drawing examples from Velma Pollard’s novel Homestretch.



    1. Must be a story. If not deduct 4 marks AD. Story must be illustrative of the saying.
      The saying is applied in the situation in which a person criticizes others when they also have faults that others can hit back at them. It warns us to be considerate and sympathetic and not quick to criticize or accuse others lest we also get confronted with our shortfalls. If we glory in killing the reputations of others, we should be prepared for ours also to be assaulted!
    2. Must be a narrative or descriptive composition. If not deduct 4 marks AD.
      Must end with the sentence given. If not deduct 2 marks AD. Must be a personal account detailing some omission or commission, possibly out of ignorance, and hence the conclusion "If I had a second chance". /One did not take advantage of an opportunity and therefore regrets.
  2. Introduction

    Honesty is the best policy, they say, but many people only practice it when it is convenient. If we feel that truth will jeopardize our interests, we quickly dispense with it. The behaviour of the characters in An Enemy of the People amply demonstrates this. Accept any other introduction.
    In all the points, look for:
    1. what is the truth
    2. who ignores the truth
    3. what self interest is being threatened
      1. Compact Majority
        Dr. Stockmann has scientific proof that the baths are contaminated. He has taken trouble to carry out thorough investigations and has established the truth, But the whole town rises against him, even those who know he is right. Pgs 70 - 71,76 - 84 - 19 They want the status quo to stay.
      2. The press
        Hovstad and the other members of the fourth estate know that Dr. Stockmann is right and are willing to publish his findings, but when the Mayor visits them and tells them, albeit exaggerated implications of what they intend to do, they beat a hasty retreat. They are unwilling to take a stand based on principle. They compromise. Fear of going against the current wins over reason. Pg. 25 - 26, 28-29, 57-66,69 - 70 72, 104 - 105. If they go against public opinion, their newspaper will not sell.
      3. Morten Kill
        Morten kill tries to blackmail Dr. Stockmann. He owns the tannery and fears that he will lose business if the pipes have to be re-layed. He trashes the truth. Pg 22 - 24,99 -102 85 - 86 (self interest - To have his reputation cleared/guard ed).
      4. Peter Stockmann
        Peter Stockmann, the Mayor, is more concerned about the revenue generated by the baths than the health of the citizens and the tourists. He suppresses the truth and threatens those that advocate anything contrary to his warped thinking. Pg 3-5, 8 - 9,21,33 - 41,95 - 96 His ego (personal interest - moral authority)
      5. Others
        • Mrs. Busk, Petra's employer, dismisses her because having her on the staff is unpopular. She wants to retain her job by sacking Petra whose father is crusading for the truth.
        • Mr Vik dismisses Captain Horster because he is associated with Dr Stockmann. He does not want to offend the party
        • Mr. Rorlund, the school master tells Dr. Stockmann's sons to stay away from school because other pupils have turned against them. (self interest - school's safety).
        • The landlord can't offend by going against public opinion.

          The incidents in the play show that many people are uncomfortable with the truth when it threatens their safety. Respectable, highly intelligent people behave like fools and allow themselves to be manipulated by the authorities. Of course there are exceptions like captain Horster, but the majority will follow the current even when they know better. Accept other relevant conclusion.
    1. Introduction

      More often than not relationships between people of different races, indeed, even those between people of different ethnicities within the same race, are beset with problems from the outset. And those problems persist even beyond marriage and through the entire lives of the couples. People who venture into those kinds of relationships must be prepared to meet these challenges and to counter and meet them head-on. Such problems arise out of, but not restricted to differences in traditions and practices; perceptions of what is acceptable or not, perceptions of exclusiveness often based on the fear of the unknown, perceptions of superiority or inferiority.

      The cases of Yasmin Rajan and Daniel Akoto in the short story 'Breaking Loose' are no different.
      1. Right from the beginning when we meet the characters at a dance on the campus, the differences emerge:
        • Yasmin's four girl friends scatter when the Blackman (Prof. Daniel Akoto) approaches and asks Yasmin for a dance. Whether out of fear of association with the Black or out of respect for the professor, it is odd.
        • Yasmin even as she dances with Daniel Akoto, exhibits discomfort and embarrassment. "of all the girls here, why me?" she asks.
      2. The clash of cultures / values and antogonism is clearly evident.
        • Yasmin is judgemental and defensive and resentful of Daniel Akoto's attitude and statements. "Oh, why doesn't he stop, for God's sake"    p.122
        • Even when the relationship is building up, Yasmin keeps her guard up. "Now he thinks we are all shopkeepers     p.124
        • She exasperates Daniel with her attitudes until he complains: "Aren't you ever going to forgive me?"     p.125
        • Yasmin's mother is infuriated when her daughter comes home with a man. "How can you bring him here like this?" said her mother. "What will the neighbours think? And the servants? It's shameful!"    P.126
      3. Open Racism/Tribalism exhibited.
        • Yasmin's mother detains her and rages at her.
          "There are no friendships with men - not men we don't know ..."       p.128
          Her father adds, "The world is not ready for it". (such cross cultural racial relationships)
        • The mother drives the point home with
          "What do you know of him?
          With an Asian man, even if he is evil, you know what to expect. But with him?  p.128
        • She drives Daniel Akoto out of her house during the funeral of her husband.
          She weeps and is agonized by his presence.
          "You!" she screamed, what are you doing here? what kind of man are you, who comes to take away my daughter even in my grief ... Go away!"     p.128
        • Both Yasmin and Daniel acknowledge the enormity of the problem facing them. Yasmin knows that her love and relationship with professor "will kill her mother!"
        • Daniel Akoto knows, that even as they enter the contract they have to do their best" in the circumstances.   p.128

          The changes in perception and human understanding that are brought about by the shrinking world due to education and interaction and technological innovations now tend effect of problems. But they nevertheless remain and have to be confronted.
          Those who enter such relationships as depicted in Breaking Loose must be prepared!
    2. Introduction

      Reconciliation involves getting two or more people or parties/sides at loggerheads to understand one another and possibly in that way to end hostilities and re-establish good relations. This is achieved by the involvement of a third party, mostly an independent person or body of persons who stand in between appealing to reason and advocating for cessation of hostilities by establishing a middle ground where the parties end up with a win-win situation, but where each party has given up something for the common good. Often, the conciliator or arbitrator is viewed with suspicion by either party and accused of leaning on one side or the other. Whatever it takes, it is a worthwhile preoccupation and one should get on with it at any cost.


      In Ruganda's play Shreds of Tenderness, Stella finds herself playing a reconciling role in a contest pitting his brother, Odie, and half brother, Wak. Like other reconcilers, she is viewed with suspicion and accused of taking sides or leaning on one side as against the other.

      Odie, unenchanted with his brother' Wak whom he perceives as favoured by their father and who is more prosperous, informs on him (Wak) to the powers that be and causes him to flee the country. He proceeds to hatch a scheme and publishes obituaries on Wak's supposed death and uses the evidence to dispossess him of family inheritance. After ten years of exile, Wak returns and Odie is overtly hostile and antagonistic towards him. Stella on the other hand welcomes Wak, their returnee brother, and is keen to make him feel at home. Caught between the two loyalties, one to her blood brother who is overbearing and blunt in his attacks on the brother, and the need for decency and decorum in dealing with a brother who has been long lost' - she is forced to play the go-between role attempting to appease, defuse tension and even rebuke.

      Long before we meet Wak in person in part Two of the play we come across numerous attempts by Stella to persuade Odie from his hard-line and negative perception of the 'brother' and to persuade him to accept him back and to treat him with decency.

      When Stella reports she had received a call from Wak, Odie gets shocked prompting Stella to ask:
      "I said Wak. Is that so surprising?"
      This sets Odie ranting and he heaps a myriad of accusations on Wak.

      Stella responds:
      "nice thing to say of a brother you haven't seen for years."  (p.8)

      She persists in impressing upon Odie to accept the fact that Wak is their blood brother (pp 8, 13) and that their home is also his "by right" (p. 16)

      She confronts Odie with evidence that since Wak returned, he started behaving strangely.
      (pp. 11-12)

      She expresses shock when Odie suggests that Wak should be shot. She wonders if he is in his mind.

      When the appeal to brotherhood seems not to produce the desired effect, stella tries to confront Odie with her suspicion that Odie's hostilities may have to do with inheritance (pp. 17-22). This gets Odie quite shaken and jittery and he resorts to threats and intimidation (pp. 25-26).

      ".. stop prying. In fact you are prying right now - rather dangerously, I might add. Be careful."(pp.25)

      At some stage Odie tries to woo Stella out to his side against Wak.

      "You are a child of my mother's womb ... whether in war or in peace, you are my mother's only daughter. We must always stick together. Promise me that" (pp. 34-35)

      When Wak finally appears on the scene, Odie's hostility and taunts flare up openly and Stella has a hard time pacifying Wak and cautioning Odie. (pp 52.57) She admonishes both of them for being kiddish when she realizes Wak too is beginning to respond in kind. (pp. 57 - 58)

      She deliberately tries to steer the conversation away from emotive matters towards the neutral. She suggest they play games or even do the primer. This also comes with its problems, leading to the physical confrontation/fight (p.63) and later to the near fatal episode when Wak pulls out a gun and threatens to shoot Odie (p.84)

      Stella again plays the reconciliation role, this time pleading with Wak not to kill Odie. (pp. 84-85)

      It is largely the efforts of Stella that lead to the reconciliation of the brothers. It is through her tact and outright intervention and empathy, at one time with the one and at other times with the other that we see the thawing of hardline stands. It is her willingness to listen, and to play along that encourages Wak to tell his side of the story. This makes Odie realize he had been acting from the position of ignorance and hence he apologise to Wak. It is also her spirited defence of Odie, even in the face of evidence that he betrayed Wak that softens Wak and Odie owns up and is redeemed.

    3. Introduction

      When you're racially discriminated against, you're made to hate the oppressor race; and as a consequence you develop a distorted view of people who belong to that race. You generalize and stereotype; you don't see the individual who might be a good human being. It is always "us" versus "them". This is what happens in Homestretch. Accept any other relevant introduction.

      Specific Introduction
      Homestretch has only black characters; there is no white character. This means we never get to know white people as individuals, and yet the novel contains many generalizations about whites.
      1. Edith and David
        Edith and David spend 30 years in Britain, working and sending money back to Jamaica. They are even enjoying pensions from Britain. And yet they don't have a single kind word for the country and its people. All they remember of England was the frustration and/racism they faced (Pg 20 - 21. 29-32).
      2. Pressures in England - pressures in England were many.
        David returns to Jamaica in a wheelchair, having suffered a stroke in Britain. But his condition is cured when he bathes in the Milk River Bath. This is too good to be true, and the story looks like a fabrication intended to paint Britain in an unfavourable light. (Pg 78, 10-11, 15 - 17,30 - 31).
      3. Stereotype
        We are told "... David couldn't put a finger on what he had gained from all those years he had spent" (in Britain). But then we're immediately told:
        "True, they had property now," and they wouldn't want for anything. The couple, therefore, appears to be understating the benefits of their 30 years in Britain. (Pg 32, 42) To Brenda, the white teachers had a way of smiling at you in school where they bared their teeth and nothing happened to their eyes. This was an attempt to caricature a whole race.
      4. Lifestyle
        We are told that in Britain they only read newspapers, not books. In Jamaica they can read books, and even to each other. But then in Jamaica they're enjoying their retirement and they can afford househelp. This then appears like a cheap shot at British society. Pg 41 - 43.

        In Birmingham, we're told, David and Edith "no longer laugh, no longer talk to each other as they used to in Jamaica." But they're there for 30 years voluntarily. If things were that bad, why couldn't they have gone back sooner?
      5. Education/Brenda in America
        Brenda's mother allows her to join her father in America because she will get free university education there and a much bigger choice of what to do with her life" (69). However, we don't get the feeling that the Jamaicans regard this as a big plus for American society: Pg 58 - 59.
      6. Prejudice
        Although the bath tub in England reminds Brenda of the one in her grand mother's house in Jamaica, Brenda thinks the one in Britain is dirty. The author says of her: "Her prejudice was illogical" (Pg 51 - 54, 74 - 77,88 -89). Brenda's grandmother had been to neither England nor America, but she told her "...the Englishman will shake your hand and go wash it afterwards while the American won't shake it at all" (77). These are gross generalizations about white people which border on racism.
      7. Brenda in England
        After her A levels, Brenda gets "... a sizeable grant to go to university" (76). In the university she joins a fringe group and starts wearing dreadlocks to melo dramatize her racial "othemess." (76 - 79, 114-115, 181-182).

        Homestretch demonstrates that white racism does produce its opposite: Black racism. All the characters in the novel are black, but they're preoccupied with white racism. They show the dangers of stereotypes and generalizations about other people.

        Expect four well developed points. Mark 3:3:3:3
        Introduction (2 marks).
        Conclusion (2 marks) and
        Language (4 marks).
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