Sample Papers for Class 10 ICSE English Literature with Answers

Time : 3 hrs
Max Marks : 80

Section A (Drama)

The Merchant of Venice : Shakespeare

Question 1 : Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.

“Therefore, thou gaudy gold, Hard food for Midas, I will none of thee; Nor none of three, thou pale and common drudge

‘Tween man and man : but thou, thou meagre lead, which rather threatenest than does promise aught,

Thy plainners moves me more than eloquence; And here choose I : joy be the consequence!”.

(i) According to Bassanio, what does ornament mean? (3 marks)
(ii) Why didn’t Bassanio choose the silver casket? Which one did he choose? (3 marks)
(iii) What comment did he make on the engravings of the casket? (3 marks)
(iv) Which situation is described in the above lines? (3 marks)
(v) Explain the line
“Thy plainners moves me more than eloquence; And here choose I : joy be the consequence!” (4 marks)

Question 2 : Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.

Launcelot : Truly, the more to blame he : we were christians enow before; lien as many as we could well live, one by another. This making christains will raise the price of hogs : if we grow all to be pork-eaters, we shall not shortly have a rasher on the coals for money.

(i) Why is the above scene significant? (3 marks)
(ii) What is Launcelot trying to say? What is Jessica’s reply? (3 marks)
(iii) According to Launcelot what mistake has Lorenzo committed by converting Jessica to christianity? Why? (3 marks)
(iv) Explain
‘This making christians will raise the price of hogs.’ (3 marks)
(v)  Whom does Lorenzo invoke when Launcelot goes off the stage? In what way does Launcelot use his words?  (4 marks)

Loyalties : John Galsworthy

Question 3 : Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.

“It was a crazy thing to do; but damn it, I was only looting a looter. The money was as much mine as his. A decent chap would have offered me half. You didn’t see the brute look at me that night at dinner as much as to say : “you blasted fool!”

It made me mad. That wasn’t a bad jumptwice over. Nothing in the war took quite such nerve. [Grimly’ I rather enjoyed that evening.”

(i) Who is the speaker in the above lines? What does he say? (3 marks)
(ii) What is ‘crazy’ according to the speaker? Why? (3 marks)
(iii) What is his complaint against the person he looted? (3 marks)
(iv) Why did he steal money? (3 marks)
(v) What is the key message given in the play? (4 marks)

Question 4 : Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.

Twisden : We can’t tell what the result of this collapse will be. The police have the theft in hand. They may issue a warrant. The money could be refunded, and the costs paid-somehow that can all be managed. But it may not help. In any case,

What end is served by your staying in the country? You can’t save your honour that’s gone. You can’t save your wife’s peace of mind. If she sticks to you do you think she will?

(i) What does Twisden say here? Who is the listener?  (3 marks)
(ii) What has the listener done? Why?   (3 marks)
(iii) Why does Twisden think that Dancy’s wife won’t remain with him anymore?  (3 marks)
(iv) What does Twisden want Dancy to do?  (3 marks)
(v) Why is Dancy not at peace with himself?  (4 marks)

Section B (Poetry)

Question 5 : Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.

“For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee, – and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity’s wiping my cheeks dry,
A creature might forget to weep who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby! But love me for love’s sake, that evermore
Thou “may’st love on, through love’s eternity.”

(i) What does the poet mean by ‘love for love’s sake’?  (3 marks)
(ii) What message does the poem give?  (3 marks)
(iii) What is the speaker’s concept of love?  (3 marks)
(iv) Why does the poet not want to be loved out of pity?  (3 marks)
(v) Explain – ‘Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!’  (4 marks)

Question 6 : Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.

“What do you make, O ye goldsmiths?
Wristlet and anklet and ring,
Bells for the feet of blue pigeons,
Frail as a dragon – fly’ wing,
Girdles of gold for dancers,
Scabbards of gold for the king.”

(i) What are the goldsmith’s making and for whom?  (3 marks)
(ii) Why did the poet chose the ‘Bazaars of Hyderabad’ as the theme of the poem?  (3 marks)
(iii) What message does the poem give?  (3 marks)
(iv) Describe the theme of Indianness in the poem.  (3 marks)
(v) In what way has the poet compared the bells? What do the bells point out?  (4 marks)

Section C (Short Stories)

Question 7 : Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.

“Try to understand what I am saying! Our new government has sent us to help you to talk to you and to understand your problems, so as to give you a better life.’
‘I don’t what it.’
But why?

(i) Whas Rizwan actually sent by the government? How do you know?  (3 marks)
(ii) Why is Kasim not interested in listening to Rizwan?  (3 marks)
(iii) What does Rizwan want Kasim to understand?  (3 marks)
(iv) What similar things happened to Kasim earlier? What effect did it have on him?  (3 marks)
(v) Why did Kasim refuse the proposal of meeting Rizwan the next day? What did Rizwan do after that?  (4 marks)

Question 8 : Justify the title of the story ‘India’s Heroes’.   (16 marks)

Novel : Animal Farm (George Orwell)

Question 9 : Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.

Three nights later Old Major died peacefully in his sleep. His body was buried at the foot of the orchard. This was early in March. During the next three months there was much secret activity.

(i) Old is the Old Major?  (3 marks)
(ii) What dream did the Major have?  (3 marks)
(iii) What secret activity was going on in the farm?  (3 marks)
(iv) Who were responsible for expounding the teaching of the Old Major?  (3 marks)
(v) Who was Moses? What lies was he spreading?  (4 marks)

Question 10 : Describe, in your own words, the new working system of the residents of the Animal Farm.   (16 marks)

Novel : To Sir, With Love (ER Braithwaite)

Question 11 : Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.

Soon they were everywhere, their shutters snapping and bulbs flashing unexpectedly and disturbingly. The children became somewhat excited, and the members of my class were constantly craning their necks towards the door in the hope of having their pictures “took” . During the morning the head sent for me and introduced me to the reporter and cameraman, who were having a cup of tea with him in his room.

(i) Why had the reporters come to the school?  (3 marks)
(ii) Who is ‘me’ in the extract? Why was he introduced to the reporters?  (3 marks)
(iii) Why was ‘me’ angry after getting to know the purpose of introduction?  (3 marks)
(iv) How did Mr Florian try to convince ‘me’?  (3 marks)
(v) The visit of the reporters proved out to be a disaster. Comment.  (4 marks)

Question 12 : Braithwaite was in utter shock at the behaviour of his class after the news about the death of Seales’ mother? How did the students explain their situation to him? Why was Braithwaite proud of his class at last?   (16 marks)


Answer  1 : 

(i) According to Bassanio , ornament is simply a tool to hide ugliness, as the ugliness of a woman is concealed behind a beautiful scarf. It is not the reality and can be used to cunningly deceive even the wisest person.

(ii) Bassanio does not choose the silver casket because coins are mostly made of silver and are the sources of great misery and vice. He choose the casket of lead which is dull in appearance but conveys its virtues better.

(iii) Bassanio comments that people are everywhere deceived by the appearance of ornaments and outward pomp and show. People do not care for the beauty of the soul and qualities of the person.

(iv) The above line describe the negative effects of ornaments and their outward glitter which hides the ugliness of a person’s soul. People wear ornaments to hide their negative aspects and receive praise for it.

(v) Bassanio says that the purity of the soul devoid of ornaments attracts him more than any kind of eloquence. He likes things dull and plain rather than glitter with ugliness within it. He might not receive anything by it but he is full of joy.

Answer 2  :

(i) The above scene does not do much in taking the action of the play any further, but it makes the interval of time wherein the audience can imagine Portia’s journey to Venice. It reveals to the audience the character of Portia, in the eyes of Jessica.

(ii) Launcelot says that Jessica would be damned on account of Shylock’s sins to which Jessica replies that she would be saved from damnation because of the virtues of Lorenzo and also because she has been converted to christianity.

(iii) According to Launcelot, Lorenzo committed a mistake by converting Jessica to christianity because christaians were already many in number as could live just comfortably in the world and any addition to this number would end in disaster.

(iv) It means that the increase in number of christians will lead to a rise in the demand and price of pork because it will become so scarce that it will not be available any any price.

(v) When Launcelot goes off the stage, Lorenzo invokes the deity of the faculty of judgement or discrimination . Lorenzo compares Launcelot’s words to that used by a soldier in the army. The latter uses his words like a foolish general who orders his soldiers to take up wrong positions.

Answer 3 : 

(i) Dancy is the speaker in the above lines. He says that it was a crazy act which he did but he was only looting a person who looted other people. He had as much right over the money as did the person whom he looted.

(ii) According to the speaker, it was crazy on his part to loot the person. But he justified it by saying that he only looted a person who looted other people and there was nothing wrong in it.

(iii) He complains that he had as much right over the money as that person. If the latter had been a decent and respectable person, he would have offered Dancy half the share.

(iv) He stole money because he had a debt to pay. Mabel asked him if he had a debt to pay to a woman, to which Dancy replied that it was debt of honor and it couldn’t wait.

(v) The paly ‘Loyalties’ deals with the problem of anti-semitism in aristocratic societies. It portrays how people have their loyalties lying all the wrong places and follow their loyalties instead of fighting for truth and justice. In the play, Dancy who was guilty of stealing money from De Levis, hangs himself to avoid getting arrested.

Answer 4 : 

(i) Twisden here says that the police have figured out everything about the theft and they know who the thief is. They might issue a warrant. He asks Dancy to leave the country. The listener is Dancy.

(ii) The listener has stolen money from De Levis in order to pay the debt of honour of a woman. Dancy considers De Levis a looter and says that he did nothing wrong by stealing money from the latter.

(iii) Twisden things that Dancy’s wife won’t remain with him anymore because she would be ashamed to live with a man who is guilty of stealing money. Her peace of mind would be lost if she remains with him anymore.

(iv) Twisden wants Dancy to leave the country and protect himself from the punishment . He says that in any case Dancy couldn’t save his honour or his wife’s peace of mind, but atlest he can save himself from getting arrested.

(v) Dancy is not at peace with himself because he has been caught guilty of stealing money and now he is tensed that he might get arrested by the police. He is afraid that his wife might leave him and he has lost his honour. At the end of the play, he hangs himself to avoid getting arrested.

Answer 5 : 

(i) ‘Love for love’s sake’ means loving unconditionally . According to the poet, unconditional love is the highest form of love and it endures all difficulties without complaints. It is beyond all material things and physical desires.

(ii) The poem gives out the message that to love unconditionally, is the only way to love truly. It endures all the difficulties and makes life worthwhile. It is not dependent on material things and superficial attributes.

(iii) According to the speaker, love is a very powerful feeling and it demands sacrifices. It should be unconditional and not based on outer appearances or material aspects. Compliments are reassuring, but such a love can be unreliable.

(iv) The poet does not want to be loved out of pity because she knows that she may forget to weep in her lover’s company and then there will be no more tears to be wiped off her cheeks. Then her lover might not pity her and the love which was based on it will vanish.

(v) The poet says that by being in the beautiful company of her lover, she might forget to weep. The act of weeping on her part aroused pity in the heart of the lover. But she’s afraid that if she forget to weep, then she would gradually lose his love and company.

Answer 6 : 

(i) The goldsmiths are making wristlets, anklets, rings, tiny bells for the feet of pigeons, girdles to be worn by the dancers and scabbard for warriors and kings. Gold is thus, considered an auspicious metal.

(ii) The poet chose the ‘Bazaars of Hyderabad’ as the theme of the poem because she wanted Indians to realise the worth of their motherland. She magnificently describes the rich culture and heritage in the markets of Hyderabad.

(iii) The poem gives out the message of patriotism and the devotion to one’s country . Since, it was written during the freedom struggle, the poet urges Indians to boycott British goods and have a sense of satisfaction and pride in their own self-sufficiency.

(iv) The theme of Indianness in the poem deals with Indian social, religious and cultural life. The poet describes the various festivals, celebrations, customs and traditions. There is a varied description of the dresses, ornaments, jewellery , statues of bronze etc in the poem.

(v) The poet has compared the weight of the bells to that of a dragon -fly .  It points towards the skilled craftsmanship of the goldsmiths. The bells are to be tied to the feet of pigeons as an ornament, so that they make a tinkling sound when the pigeons fly.

Answer 7 : 

(i) No, Rizwan was not directly sent by the government. He was to submit a report in his office which required him to interview some people. Although his efforts would have helped to acknowledge the government measures, but it was not linked directly.

(ii) Kasim is not interested in listening to Rizwan because he feels that Rizwan is another of those people who would make a false promise to him on behalf of the government.

(iii) Rizwan wants Kasim to understand that the government has planned to make the lives of poor people better. He wants to interview him, as a government representative to solve their problems.

(iv) On another occasion, Kasim and some of other poor people had been promised a better life. Kasim took part in a procession, shouted slogans all day long but finally he did not get anything. He had, therefore, lost his trust on the government.

(v) Kasim had no address and he was going to his village the next day. Already, Kasim was used to government representatives coming and telling him about the measures undertaken by the government for poor and homeless people. He didn’t trust them now. After failed attempts, Rizwan started thinking about the unending problems back at his place.

Answer 8 : 

The title of the story ‘India’s Heroes’ is quite apt because it conveys to its readers the actual meaning of heroism and valor. A hero is someone who commits a courageous act despite the fact his own life is in danger. When the readers read the story, they create the image of different people who have sacrificed their lives for the country. But there are many who have hardly been recognised and their acts are as inspiring and heroic as those who have been recognised.

Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, the thirty-one year old National Security Guard Commando, laid down his life fighting against the terrorists in Mumbai in 2008. Vishnu Dattaram Zende, an announcer with the Mumbai railways, continued to make announcements to save the lives of as many people as he could, after hearing a bomb explosion on 26th November on CST platform. Anti-terrorism Squad Chief Hemant Karkare pursued  the terrorists in a jeep. He was gunned down by the terrorists near Cama hospital, along with DIG Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar. The efforts of these brave heroes should not go waste and we should recognise them and pay our respects as much as we do to out freedom fightgers.

The story is rightly titled ‘India’s Heroes’ because it is a tribute to the actual and real life heroes. We should take inspiration from it and pledge to serve our nation.

Answer 9 : 

(i) Old Major was a prized Middle White boar living at the Manor Farm, though the name under which he had been exhibited was Willingdon Beauty. He was highly regarded by the residents of the farm.

(ii) The Old Major talked about the dream that he had the previous night. In his dream, all men had vanished from Earth. It also reminded him of a song, Beasts of England, that he has long forgotten.

(iii) The Major had sown the seeds of rebellion in the hearts of the residents of the farm. After his speech, they all started to prepare for the rebellion to happen now knowing when it would actually happen. They began teaching and organising themselves.

(iv) The work of teaching and organising the other animals fell naturally upon the pigs, who were generally considered the cleverest of the animals. Two of them were young boars named Snowball and Napoleon. The others were porkers and the best known among them was a pig named Squealer.

(v) The pigs were trying to convince the animals that the rebellion was much needed. But they had a hard time counteracting the lies put about by Moses, the tame raven. He was Jones’ special pet. He kept telling the animals that he knew of a mysterious country called Sugarcandy Mountain, to which all the animals went when they died.

Answer 10 : 

After the Rebellion had been achieved, the pigs decided that they must tend to the harvest, for they needed food for their bellies. They toiled and sweated to get the hay in! Finally, their efforts were rewarded, for the harvest was an even bigger success than they had hoped.

Sometimes the work was hard as the implements had been designed for human beings and not for animals, and it was a great drawback that no animal was able to use any tool that involved standing on his hind legs. But the pigs were so clever that they could think of a way around every difficulty. As for the horses, they knew every inch of the field, and in fact understood the business of mowing and raking far better than Jones and his men had ever done.

The pigs did not actually work, but directed and supervised the others. With the superior knowledge it was natural that they should assume the leadership. They also motivated and cheered on the others.

Every animal down to the humblest worked at turning the hay and gathering it. Even the ducks and hens toiled to and fro all day in the sun, carrying tiny wisps of hay in their beaks. In the end they finished the harvest in two day’ less time than it has usually taken Jones and his men.

Moreover, it was the biggest harvest that the farm had ever seen. There was no wastage whatever; the hens and ducks with their sharp eyes had gathered up the very last stalk. And not an animal on the farm had stolen so much as a mouthful.

All through that summer the work of the farm went clockwise. They met with many difficulties – for instance, later in the year, when they harvested the corn, they had to tread it out in the ancient style and blow away the chaff with their breath, since the farm possessed no threshing machine – but the pigs with their cleverness Boxer with his tremendous muscles always pulled them through.

Everyone worked according to their capacity.

Answer 11 : 

(i) The reporters had come to the school to prepare a report on it. Mr Florian had been persuaded that he could present his views and policy to a much wider public through this medium, and that it was an excellent opportunity to reply to his critics and detractors.

(ii) ‘Me’ in the above extract refers to Mr ER Braithwaite . He was introduced to the reporters because it was felt that there were not many black teachers in England and he would serve as a nice example of tolerance.

(iii) Braithwaite was livid when he was told the reporters wanted to do a report on him as it would mean that there was no colour bar in England . However, Braithwaite had suffered from it and was very irritated by their false propaganda. He told them that he was merely a teacher and did not need to be highlighted like this.

(iv) Mr Florian was quite surprised how Braithwaite had reacted. He confessed that he was the one who had actually initiated the idea, believing that any publicity given to Braithwaite’s presence on the staff would benefit the school. He did not think that there were many Negro teachers in England, and they were fortunate to have Braithwaite.

(v) The visit of the reporters was indeed a disaster. They presented the school in very bad light. Only a small report had been published along with three pictures. In one, Mr Florian was seen dancing with the girls, in the other, students were openly smoking. The last one was of the dinning hall and Braithwaite writes that ‘thieves’ kitchen would have fared better.

Answer 12 : 

On December 6, came a bad news. Poor Seales lost his mother. Braithwaite informed his class about his sorrow and they were all sympathetic and filled with sadness. After recess, Braithwaite was about to begin his lesson when Barbara Pegg, as asked by others, stood up. She told Braithwaite that they had agreed to make a collection among themselves to purchase a wreath or other floral token of sympathy, to be sent to Seales’ home.

They all collected money the whole week and decided upon the type of floral token they that they must take. But when Braithwaite asked who would actually take it to Seales’ home. Surprisingly, there were no volunteers. Actually, Seales was also black. The girls said that the people would say all sorts of things if they visited his house. It did not matter that he had grown up with them or that his mother was white. Braithwaite was very hurt. He thought that his association with the children had failed.

They still followed the baseless prejudices. He was not able to take it from his own students. He cursed them in his thoughts . He left the class and went to the Headmaster. He narrated the incident to him. But Mr Florian also agreed with the students. He thought that such things were deep rooted in their community and it would take time to get over such narrow prejudices. After getting some advice from the Headmaster, Braithwaite thought it Gillian would also suffer from such things. He was evidently disturbed. In the class, Pamela volunteered to visit Seales. She was not afraid of gossips and moreover, she had known Seales since they were infants. Braithwaite agreed to meet her at Seales’ home. He was still cursing his students for being so much biased just because of someone’s colour.

However, when Braithwaite reached Seales’ home, he found his class waiting there. He was touched. He asked God to forgive himself for the hateful thoughts. He regretted his earlier comments and was overwhelmed with love for his students. He even had tears in his eyes.