Complete NECO Literature in English Drama and Poetry Questions and Answers 2023

NECO 2023 Literature in English Drama and Poetry Questions and Answers

  • Thursday, 27th July 2023
  • Literature in English (Drama & Poetry)
  • 2:00pm – 3:40pm

DRAMA AND POETRY ANSWERS

(1)

Queen Yoko is a central character in the play “John Kargo: Let Me Die Alone.” She is the queen of the fictional African country of Zetland. Queen Yoko is portrayed as a strong and determined leader who is willing to do whatever it takes to protect her country and her people.

One of the key roles that Queen Yoko plays in the play is that of a mediator. She is often called upon to help resolve conflicts between different factions within Zetland. She is skilled at listening to different perspectives and finding common ground that everyone can agree on. This makes her a valuable asset to the country and to the people who live there.

Another important role that Queen Yoko plays is that of a protector. She is fiercely protective of her people and will do whatever it takes to keep them safe. This is demonstrated throughout the play, as she works to prevent the spread of a deadly disease that threatens the lives of her citizens.

Queen Yoko is also a symbol of hope for the people of Zetland. Despite the challenges that the country faces, she remains optimistic and determined to find solutions to the problems that they face. Her unwavering commitment to her people inspires others to work towards a better future.

Overall, Queen Yoko is a complex and multi-layered character who plays a vital role in the play. She is a strong and determined leader who is willing to do whatever it takes to protect her people and her country. Her ability to mediate conflicts, protect her citizens, and inspire hope makes her a key figure in the play and an important symbol of leadership and resilience.

(2)

The theme of colonial oppression is central to “John Kargo: Let Me Die Alone.” The play explores the impact of colonialism on the fictional African country of Zetland, and the ways in which this has affected the lives of its people.

One way in which the theme of colonial oppression is illustrated is through the character of John Kargo himself. Kargo is a former freedom fighter who fought against the colonial powers in Zetland. He is now an old man, disillusioned with the state of his country and the way in which it has been affected by colonialism. Kargo’s experiences are representative of the experiences of many people in Africa who have been oppressed and exploited by colonial powers.

Another way in which the theme of colonial oppression is illustrated is through the portrayal of the colonial authorities in the play. The colonial powers are depicted as ruthless and exploitative, seeking to extract as much wealth and resources from Zetland as possible. They are shown to be indifferent to the suffering of the people of Zetland, and to be willing to use violence and coercion to maintain their control over the country.

The impact of colonialism on Zetland is also illustrated through the portrayal of the country itself. Zetland is shown to be a country that is struggling to recover from the legacy of colonialism. Its people are poor and oppressed, and the country is plagued by disease and other problems that are a direct result of colonialism.

Overall, the theme of colonial oppression is a powerful and pervasive theme in “John Kargo: Let Me Die Alone.” Through its portrayal of characters, events, and the country of Zetland itself, the play illustrates the devastating impact that colonialism has had on Africa and its people.

(3)

The theme of youth and old age is an important one in “The Lion and the Jewel” by Wole Soyinka. The play explores the differences between these two stages of life and the tensions that can arise between them.

One way in which the theme of youth and old age is illustrated is through the character of Sidi, the young woman who is courted by both Baroka, the village chief, and Lakunle, a young schoolteacher. Sidi is representative of youth and vitality, and her character is contrasted with those of Baroka and Lakunle, who are both older men.

Baroka, in particular, is depicted as an older man who is still very much in touch with his youth and vitality. He is a symbol of the traditional ways of the village, and he is able to use his experience and wisdom to manipulate and charm Sidi. Lakunle, on the other hand, is depicted as a young man who is idealistic and naive. He is a symbol of the modern world, and he is unable to understand the ways of the village or the desires of Sidi.

The tension between youth and old age is also illustrated through the conflict between Baroka and Lakunle. The two men represent different ways of life, and they are each trying to win over Sidi. Baroka uses his experience and charm to win Sidi’s heart, while Lakunle uses his education and modern ideas. The conflict between these two men is a reflection of the larger conflict between tradition and modernity that is explored throughout the play.

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Overall, the theme of youth and old age is an important one in “The Lion and the Jewel.” Through its portrayal of characters and events, the play explores the differences between these two stages of life and the tensions that can arise between them.

(4)

In Wole Soyinka’s play “The Lion and the Jewel bride price is portrayed as a cultural practice that holds significant importance within the Yoruba community. It serves as a symbol of respect and honor as well as a means of establishing the worth and value of the bride.

Bride price which is also known as dowry is the amount of money or goods that the groom and his family must pay to the bride’s family in order to marry her. In the play the character of Baroka the Bale (chief) of the village desires to marry Sidi the beautiful and sought-after village belle. However he is hesitant to pay the bride price demanded by Sidi’s family as he believes it is an outdated practice and does not align with his modern and progressive values.

On the other hand Lakunle a schoolteacher who represents the idealistic and Western-influenced youth detests the notion of bride price altogether. it over mere commodities to be bought and sold. Lakunle’s rejection for Y values like her S question significance of the clash between tradition and modernity as well as the power dynamics between men and women in Yoruba society. It highlights the tensions between those who want to preserve cultural practices and those who want to modernize and challenge them. Moreover it serves as a reflection of the societal expectations placed on women and their struggle for agency and autonomy.

By exploring the significance of bride price Soyinka raises important questions about the role of tradition in societal structures and the need for individual freedom and self-determination. The play ultimately challenges the notion that women are property to be bought and sold asserting that their worth and value should not be determined solely by material exchange.

(5)

One could argue that innocence is indeed a major theme in John Osborne’s play “Look Back in Anger.” The characters in the play particularly Jimmy Porter Alison Porter and Cliff Lewis each represent a different aspect of innocence being challenged and ultimately lost.

Jimmy Porter the protagonist of the play embodies the loss of innocence as he navigates the challenging social and political climate of post-war Britain. He is discontented with the world around him and expresses his frustrations through anger and emotional outbursts. However underneath his tough exterior there is a sense of longing for a simpler time when he was innocent and unaware of the harsh realities of life. This longing is evident in his relationship with Alison as he continually berates her for being privileged and naive. His anger towards her stems from his belief that she represents a privileged class of people who have never had to experience the hardships he has.

Alison Porter Jimmy’s wife starts the play as a symbol of innocence. She comes from a middle-class background and has led a sheltered life. However as the play progresses her innocence is challenged and shattered by the reality of her marriage to Jimmy. She begins to question her own choices and desires as well as the expectations placed upon her as a woman in society. Her journey from innocence to self-discovery is exemplified through her affair with Cliff her husband’s close friend. This affair represents both a rebellion against her oppressive marriage and a realization of her own desires and identity.

Cliff Lewis the loyal friend and bystander to the turbulent relationship between Jimmy and Alison also represents a form of innocence in the play. He is portrayed as a kind and caring individual but as the story unfolds we see his innocence gradually diminish as well. Cliff becomes embroiled in the toxic dynamics between Jimmy and Alison as he is torn between his loyalty to his friend and his growing affection for Alison. He is ultimately unable to maintain his innocence and becomes complicit in the dysfunctional relationship.

Overall the theme of innocence in “Look Back in Anger” is evident through the struggles and transformations of the characters. The play explores how the harsh realities of life can challenge and ultimately strip away one’s innocence leaving them changed forever. The loss of innocence is depicted as a necessary step towards self-discovery and personal growth albeit with painful consequences.

(6)

Jimmy Porter is the central character in John Osborne’s play “Look Back in Anger.” He is known for being the embodiment of youthful energy frustration and anger in post-war Britain. Jimmy is a complex character who represents the disillusionment and dissatisfaction of the working-class youth during that period.

Jimmy is a working-class individual who is intelligent and educated reading extensively and being knowledgeable about various subjects. However he feels trapped in his lower-class status and constantly resents the upper-class and middle-class individuals who seem to have more opportunities in life. This resentment fuels his anger and rebellion against the social and political systems that he sees as oppressive.

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Jimmy’s role in the play is to expose the hypocrisy and inequality of society. He embodies the frustrations of his generation who despite being educated and intelligent find themselves stuck in dead-end jobs with limited prospects. Jimmy’s blunt and confrontational manner of speaking challenges the social norms and expectations of his time. He expresses his dissatisfaction with the complacency and conformity of the middle-class often using sarcasm and biting wit to criticize their values and choices.

One of the key aspects of Jimmy’s character is his complex relationship with Alison his wife. Although he loves her he frequently lashes out at her due to his frustration and disillusionment with their marriage and their stagnant lives. Jimmy’s treatment of Alison can be seen as a reflection of his desire for change and his disappointment with himself and the world around him.

Overall Jimmy Porter is a character who represents the anger and restlessness of his generation. Through his frustrations he challenges the status quo and exposes the inequalities and hypocrisies of post-war Britain. His character serves as a catalyst for change and prompts audiences to reflect on the social and political issues of the time.

(7)

In “Fences” by August Wilson, the theme of parental irresponsibility is explored through the character of Troy Maxson. As a father, husband, and head of the household, Troy exhibits various behaviors and attitudes that reflect his lack of responsibility. He refuses to accept responsibility for his past mistakes, turning away from his family and ignoring their needs. He is an alcoholic who eventually abandons his family and creates a wedge between himself and them. He also neglects to provide financially, pushing the responsibility of the household onto his son. Troy is unable to accept his role as a father and instead allows his anger and misdeeds to get in the way of a meaningful relationship. Ultimately, Troy’s inability to be a responsible parent leads to the emotional destruction of his family. The message of the play is that parental responsibility is paramount to allowing children to have a chance at a successful future.

(8)

(i) Rose Maxson: Rose is the wife of Troy Maxson and the mother of Cory Maxson. She is a strong and loyal woman who is deeply committed to her family. Despite the challenges she faces in her marriage Rose remains steadfast and dedicated to her husband. She is known for her nurturing nature and acts as a voice of reason in the family. Rose is also a symbol of resilience and inner strength as she endures the trials and tribulations of her family life with grace and dignity. Her character represents the sacrificial love and endurance of many women during that time period.

(ii) Cory Maxson: Cory is the son of Troy and Rose Maxson. He is a talented football player and dreams of pursuing a career in the sport. Cory is initially seen as being disrespectful towards his father as he challenges Troy’s authority and decisions. However as the play progresses Cory grows and matures as a character. He learns valuable lessons about responsibility and respect from his father and begins to reconcile with him. Ultimately Cory represents the younger generation’s desire for change and a better future as he defies the limitations placed upon him by society and seeks to forge his own path.

(9)

“The Grieved Land of Africa” by Agostinho Neto is a powerful poem that captures the mood of sadness grief and despair that pervades the African continent. The tone of the poem is mournful reflecting the deep anguish and suffering experienced by the people of Africa due to colonization and oppression.

The mood of the poem is established from the very beginning with the title itself foreshadowing the sense of grief and sorrow. Neto’s choice of words such as “grieved creates an atmosphere of sadness and mourning. This sets the tone for the rest of the poem as Neto explores the various aspects of Africa’s suffering.

Throughout the poem the poet describes the devastating impact of colonization on Africa portraying the continent as a land that has been torn apart a victim of exploitation and destruction. The tone becomes more somber as Neto highlights the loss of African culture and identity painting a picture of a land that has been stripped of its heritage and forced to adopt the customs and beliefs of the colonizers.

The use of imagery in the poem further enhances the mood and tone. Neto describes Africa as a “torn body” and a “bleeding land imagery that evokes a sense of violence pain and suffering. The repetition of words like “tears” and “blood” reinforces the mournful tone emphasizing the deep anguish felt by the people of Africa.

The significance of the mood and tone in “The Grieved Land of Africa” lies in its ability to evoke empathy and understanding for the plight of Africa. Neto’s words elicit a visceral response making readers feel the pain and sorrow of the African people. By conveying this emotion the poem raises awareness of the injustices faced by Africa and calls for action to address and rectify these issues.

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Furthermore the use of a mournful tone in the poem also serves as a form of resistance and empowerment. It gives a voice to the silenced and marginalized urging readers to confront the atrocities committed against Africa and work towards justice and liberation. The poem serves as a reminder that despite the grief and despair there is also resilience and strength within the African people.

In conclusion the mood of sadness and grief along with the mournful tone in “The Grieved Land of Africa” reflects the profound suffering experienced by the African continent. The significance of these elements lies in their ability to evoke empathy raise awareness and inspire action to address the injustices faced by Africa. Through his powerful imagery and poignant words Agostinho Neto gives a voice to the silenced while also reminding readers of the resilience and strength of the African people.

(10)

“Leader and the Led” by Niyi Osundare is indeed an allegorical poem that takes on a deeper meaning beyond its literal interpretation. Through this allegory, Osundare explores the power dynamics between individuals who hold authority (the leaders) and those who obey their orders (the led). The leader is portrayed as a powerful figure who demands obedience and submission from the led, using their authority to take advantage of the vulnerable. In contrast, the led are depicted as powerless, having no say in the matter and being forced to submit to the leader’s will.

The poem sheds light on the ways in which power imbalances can be exploited and abused, as well as the risks that result from such unequal relationships. By addressing this difficult and complex subject in a poetic form, Osundare is able to raise awareness around an important issue while also conveying his important message in a creative and meaningful way.

(11)

The theme of change in “Bat” by D.H. Lawrence is presented through the perspective of the narrator’s observations of the bat and its physical and behavioral transformations. Throughout the poem, the bat undergoes various changes, reflecting upon broader themes of adaptability and evolution. These changes are especially observed in the bat’s transformation from initially being a “moth-like thing” to its eventual embracing and mastery of the art of flight. The narrator also highlights the bat’s ability to adapt to different environments, commenting on its physical changes as it develops the strength to fly and is able to live in tree-tops and walls. Lawrence ultimately implies through his poem that change is universal and inevitable, emphasizing the need for humans to learn to embrace and accept it.

(12)

“Journey of the Magi” is a poem written by T.S. Eliot that tells the story of the three wise men who traveled from the east to visit the birth of Jesus Christ. The poem is divided into three sections each reflecting a different aspect of the magi’s journey.

In the first section the speaker starts by describing the difficult and harsh conditions that the magi experienced on their journey. They faced challenges such as freezing weather rough winds and long distances. The speaker emphasizes the physical discomfort and the toll it took on the magi describing how their clothes were torn and their feet cracked with frost.

The second section introduces a more reflective and introspective tone as the speaker explores the magi’s feelings and thoughts. He suggests that the magi were not only physically discomforted but also spiritually distressed by the journey. The magi question the purpose of their journey and whether it was worth all the sacrifices they had made. They also express doubt and disillusionment feeling that their search for the divine has led them to an empty and desolate place.

The third and final section of the poem brings a shift in tone as the speaker recounts the moment when the magi arrived at their destination and saw the birth of Jesus. The speaker describes the scene as being underwhelming and unimpressive lacking the beauty and grandeur typically associated with the birth of a divine figure. However despite the disappointment the magi feel a sense of realization and transformation.

The magi reflect on their journey and the knowledge they gained through it. They come to understand that the birth of Jesus signifies the end of an old era and the beginning of a new one. They realize that their journey not only led them to witness the birth of a significant figure but also marked the end of their former way of life and beliefs.

The poem concludes with the magi acknowledging that the birth of Jesus has changed them profoundly. They express a desire to return to their homeland and abandon their previous customs and beliefs. The magi’s journey has led them to a spiritual rebirth but it also signifies a loss of their old identity as they can no longer fully belong to their former ways of life.

Overall “Journey of the Magi” is a complex and thought-provoking poem that explores themes of suffering disillusionment and transformation. Eliot presents the magi’s journey as a painful and challenging experience yet one that ultimately leads to a profound spiritual awakening. The poem serves as a reflection on the meaning and significance of faith and the transformative power of encountering the divine.

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