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Answer and mark scheme to secondary two normal academic + express literature examinations eoy2011

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3 October 2011 Secondary Two Express and Normal Academic Literature Examinations 2011

3 October 2011 Secondary Two Express and Normal Academic Literature Examinations 2011


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  • 1. Answer and Mark Scheme for Secondary Two Normal Academic / Express 1Literature Examinations EOY 2011 prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee and Ms.AbidahGafoor Section A: Emily of Emerald Hill by Stella Kon Passage-based Questions (Compulsory) 25 marksQuestion 1Read the passage below carefully and answer all the questions which follow.Emily turns away from the sleeping baby.The phone rings. She answers it.Doris? Hello Doris, yes, Mother here. Where are you calling me from?Washington! What are you doing in Washington, I thought you were withAunt Lucy in Philadelphia… 5What did you say? You’re going to get married? What are you telling meDoris Gan…?Steve Jackson: an American is he? How long have you known him?... Sixweeks? Oh you’ve made up your mind have you – you don’t care if I don’tsend you money – you’re going to be independent, are you? And after 10that, do you think you’re coming back to Singapore?Emily takes receiver from her ear in distress. Then she seems to think.Wait a minute, Doris. Let me think about it. Don’t cry, girl! Let Motherthink.Doris, why do you want to marry this man? You’ve only known him a short 15time – is it because you want to stay in America? You don’t want to comeback home?All right, you listen to me Doris. I don’t forbid you to get married. I will sendyou some money to support you there. But I advise you – I – I beg you asyour mother – to wait before you get married. You don’t have to come 20home. You can stay in America, study there, anything. After one year, ifyou still want to marry Steve, you go ahead, I won’t object.All right, you don’t worry about the Ling boy, I’ll explain to his parents. Butwill you please wait for a while, Doris?... Yes. Live your own life. Makeyour own decisions. But don’t rush into marriage just because you want to 25escape from me…All right Doris. You wait a few months. Keep in touch with Aunt Lucy. I willsend you money. 1
  • 2. Answer and Mark Scheme for Secondary Two Normal Academic / Express 2Literature Examinations EOY 2011 prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee and Ms.AbidahGafoorSlowly Emily sets down the receiver, and opens her hand with a gesture ofreleasing, of setting free. 30The lights go down slightly.Emily puts on a pair of spectacles. She seems older.When Charles got married, I gave a very big party at Emerald Hill. I hiredcooks and waiters; there were forty tables set out on the lawn under a bigmarquee, the whole house was flood-lit, and a brass band played all night 35beside the goldfish pond. Then he went to his house in Clementi Road.Next Edward got married, I gave another big dinner. Then he went to livein Ang Mo Kio – alamakgua, Ang Mo Kio, right in the ulu, middle ofnowhere. So the house is a bit quiet now, but I can still go out in the carwith the driver to do my shopping and call on my friends. Now and again 40the children come to call on me, and Mabel’s children and Molly’s childrencome to visit the old auntie.Hullo Annie, nice of you to drop in. How’s your son? Seven years oldalready, when are you going to have another one?... Don’t want any more!You believe in small families, better opportunity for them!... Eh, these 45modern ways of thinking tsk tsk… Well, how’s your mother? She went toAunty Bee Choo’s place the other day – why is Aunty Bee Choo worried?No place to stay? Her house is going to be demolished and she can’tafford to go somewhere else? I know she doesn’t have much money. Butyou can’t simply give charity to people… All right Annie, thanks for telling 50me.(a) Secondary Two Normal Academic Question: [8 marks] [8] Explain the importance of Emily Gan’s telephone conversation with Doris for our understanding of the mother-daughter relationship. Secondary two Express Question: [9 marks] Explain the significance of Emily Gan’s telephone conversation with Doris. Do not mark based on points alone. Mark holistically. The student’s answer should cover some or most of these reasons. Do not penalize if student’s response tends to be repetitive. Do not penalize if student repeats parts of response from one sub-question in another sub-question unless it severely mars the quality of the response or if the regurgitated part is substantial or significantly irrelevant. - Emily’s attitude towards her children’s happiness has 2
  • 3. Answer and Mark Scheme for Secondary Two Normal Academic / Express 3Literature Examinations EOY 2011 prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee and Ms.AbidahGafoor changed. - She is still as agitated as ever but she seems to remember the lesson she has learnt from Richard’s death. - She tries to see the situation from Doris’s point of view. - She controls her impulse and does not act rashly. - She no longer tries to control or limit Doris’s freedom. - She learns enough (after having lost Richard, her eldest son) to let Doris work things out on her own, in order to hold on to her daughter, not to lose her. - She tries to pacify Doris not to act rashly. - She advises / begs Doris to listen to her to avoid rushing into any marriage arrangements. - She wants Doris to think on her own. - She wants Doris to be truly happy. - She is even prepared to call off any previously made marital or engagement arrangement with the Ling family. - She gives Doris breathing space. - She no longer resorts to emotional blackmailing to lure Doris. - Emily wants Doris to be safe, calm and collected to think about her own life and future happiness.(b) Secondary Two Normal Academic Question: [8 marks] [8] Apart from Doris, do you think Emily is coping well with the “changes” in the Gan family as time passes? Explain with close reference to the extract and any other relevant parts of the play. Secondary Two Express Question: [8 marks] Apart from Doris, how do you think Emily is managing the other “changes” around her? Explain with close reference to the extract and any other relevant parts of the play. Do not mark based on points alone. Mark holistically. The student’s answer should cover some or most of these reasons. Do not penalize if student’s response tends to be repetitive. Do not penalize if student repeats parts of response from one sub-question in another sub-question unless it severely mars the quality of the response or if the regurgitated part is substantial or significantly irrelevant. The student should be able to spot these “CHANGES” - These “changes” are quite beyond Emily – she has no control over them. - Singapore – becoming industrialized - Orchard Road – land around Emerald Hill Mansion – 3
  • 4. Answer and Mark Scheme for Secondary Two Normal Academic / Express 4Literature Examinations EOY 2011 prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee and Ms.AbidahGafoor becoming commercialized - Family wealth and fortune dwindling - Outside pressure for Emily to sell parts of original estate to others - Family planning - Small families for better opportunities - Charles gets married, builds own house in Clementi Road - Edward gets married and goes to live in Ang Mo Kio - Emerald Hill Mansion – very much a shadow of its past now because only Emily alone lives there The student should then proceed to explain Emily’s response – whether she is coping well with the “changes”. - There is precious little the aging Emily can do to prevent change from taking place. - She may mock at “small families for better opportunities” but she is not going to be able to do anything to stop Charles or Edward from starting “small families” away from Emerald Hill Mansion. - She adjusts to her new familial situations by trying to hold on to old habits - But she has learnt to cope with being “alone” now in the big house. - She gets used to her children growing up, getting married, living apart from her now. - She copes with the changes with the strength of her personality and temperament for as long as they can be sustained. Generally: Emily is a survivor. She goes with the flow to make sure that her family stays afloat. She sees it as her duty and responsibility to take care of Emerald Hill Mansion and all those whom she holds dear.(c) Secondary Two Normal Academic Question: [9] Compare and contrast Emily Gan’s attitude and behaviour towards others in this extract with elsewhere in the play. How is it similar and how is it different? Explain your answers with specific examples. [9 marks] Secondary Two Express Question: In comparison with what you have read about Emily elsewhere in the play, how does reading the above extract change your overall impressions of Emily Gan? [8 marks] Do not mark based on points alone. Mark holistically. The 4
  • 5. Answer and Mark Scheme for Secondary Two Normal Academic / Express 5Literature Examinations EOY 2011 prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee and Ms.AbidahGafoor student’s answer should cover some or most of these reasons. Do not penalize if student’s response tends to be repetitive. Do not penalize if student repeats parts of response from one sub-question in another sub-question unless it severely mars the quality of the response or if the regurgitated part is substantial or significantly irrelevant. The student should be able to bring out SOME of the major similarities and the differences. As a struggling junior daughter-in-law/young wife/young woman, Emily needs to: - enforce, in her own way, a sense of traditional respect of authority in the Gan household - safeguard her own interests in the Gan Family - assert her authority on those working for her - keep peace with those who are on par with her - manage her relationships with her father and mother-in- law to her advantage - fight off any potential rivals which may threaten her position or her son’s position to inherit the largesse of the Gan family - constantly pick the right things to do to improve herself - constantly work hard to provide for all in the Gan family - maintain a social calendar to entertain the rich and the famous to keep them in the Gan family orbit - conduct herself as the perfect host for all social occasions held in Emerald Hill - control her children, especially Richard - control her husband through careful attention to his needs and wants, making certain that he needs her and cannot do without her - safeguard her position against her husband’s mistress, Diana Lee - cherish her friendship with Bee Choo because of the good that Bee Choo’s mother has done for her in the past. BUT in Act 2 the matriarch of Emerald Hill Mansion, - she still runs her household competently - she still controls her husband and her children - she is now the most powerful person in her house which is no longer as powerful, or as wealthy, as before. - she does not admit it but Richard’s death bothers her still. - She cannot understand Joo Kheong’s affection for 5
  • 6. Answer and Mark Scheme for Secondary Two Normal Academic / Express 6Literature Examinations EOY 2011 prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee and Ms.AbidahGafoor another woman - she cannot understand why Joo Kheong does not want her at his deathbed - when she ages into the late seventies and early eighties, she must have realised that there are “changes” which she has no control - she let go of Charles and Edward to start their own small families - she let go of Doris to pursue a life of freedom and self- determination - she accept the diminishing influence of Emerald Hill Mansion over her own children and other friends to the family as the fortune of the Gans continue to decline - she is still true, however, to Bee Choo and helps her secure a home to live in her own house in Sennett Estate - she is still the feisty housewife in the wet market fighting for the best deal - she is still the demanding housekeeper who drives her servants around with her exacting wish lists of chores to be performed to her satisfaction What are some of the plausible explanations for Emily’s change in attitude or behaviour? What about some other aspects which have remained unchanged? - Loss of Richard - Growing up of her other children - Betrayal by Gan Joo Kheong - Loss of Joo Kheong - Thinning out of family members living with her in Emerald Hill Mansion - Emily is also growing old and aging in her own ways. - Forces at play which Emily has no control Societal forces from 1960’s to 1970 -80’s – smaller families became fashionable Commercialisation of Orchard Road Losing influence of traditional Peranakan families 6
  • 7. Answer and Mark Scheme for Secondary Two Normal Academic / Express 7Literature Examinations EOY 2011 prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee and Ms.AbidahGafoorRemember to answer your questions with close reference to the text. Section B: Emily of Emerald Hill by Stella Kon Essay Questions Answer one question from this section (25 marks)EitherQuestion 2A reader made the following comment after reading “Emily of Emerald Hill”:“Emily is merely an insecure woman who believes in being ‘the very devil of awife and mother’ to ‘control her family members and keep them in the palm of herhand’ – being always quick to judge others, she has forgotten how to love.”(a) Secondary Two Normal Academic Question: [13] Do you agree or disagree with this view? Explain with close reference to specific incidents in the play to support your answer. [13 marks] Secondary Two Express Question: Do you agree or disagree with this view? Explain with close reference to specific incidents in the play to support your answer. [15 marks] Arguments for “agreeing with this view” may include: - she comes from a broken family - she knows what it is like to be “unwanted” and seen as a piece of rubbish fit for the gutter. - She has been a child bride at 14 - She has been at the receiving end from the others in the Gan family at her starting off years as Joo Kheong’s wife. - She competes for attention, respect, power using herself or her children - She needs herself to be above reproach – to be better at serving the needs of the Gan household than other daughters-in-law - at first for mere survival but gradually for power - She takes care of the others in the family so that they become totally dependent on her. - Power grubbers have no time to feel secure. Emily cannot afford to lose guard. 7
  • 8. Answer and Mark Scheme for Secondary Two Normal Academic / Express 8Literature Examinations EOY 2011 prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee and Ms.AbidahGafoor Argurments for “disagreeing with this view” may include: - she loves herself well enough to seek self-improvement when married into the Gan family - she genuinely takes care of Richard - she grooms him to be the heir of Emerald Hill Mansion - she is concerned and protective of Richard’s future - she is at least true to Bee Choo - only a matriarch who loves her home can devote herself to making serious efforts at home improvements.(b) Secondary Two Normal Academic Question: [12] To what extent would you then consider Emily to be responsible for the loss of the following people in her life? [12 marks] Secondary Two Express Question: To what extent would you then consider Emily to be responsible for the loss of the two most important men in her life? [10 marks] (i)Richard, her eldest son and EMILY is responsible when she… actually does not allow Richard to lead a life that is fitting for a 22-year-old man: a chance to pursue his dream job / a taste of independence / doing the things he really likes to do / making his own decisions and bearing responsibilities for it and so on, leaving Richard with no alternatives. Emily has actually thought that she can control Richard’s thinking and actions based on what she wants or needs him to do. But RICHARD is old enough to have challenged Emily’s plans for him. Taking his own life is quite an unfortunate thing to do. (ii) Gan Joo Kheong, her husband. - Emily marries Joo Kheong in her mid-teens. - An arrange marriage of convenience and a break for Emily from poverty and, a change of luck - We do not know about the love life of the couple because Emily does not tell much about her life with her husband except for the usual things: her husband leaves her alone to deal with the other womenfolk at 8
  • 9. Answer and Mark Scheme for Secondary Two Normal Academic / Express 9Literature Examinations EOY 2011 prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee and Ms.AbidahGafoor home / he is not proactive in managing their children’s schooling matters / there are moments whereby the couple appears in social gatherings both at home or in town / There are moments whereby the couple do things together but such narration does not appear as regularly as it should have - Emily takes care of her husband, like the rest in her family, to such an extent that he probably, becomes totally dependent on her for almost everything to get by day to day. - Emily shapes Joo Kheong’s political career from scratch - Emily prods Joo Kheong along in matters related to his career - She is tolerant with Joo Kheong’s seeing another woman, Diana Lee initially - She carries on to care for Joo Kheong even after he moved in to live with Diana Lee - She refuses to give in to Joo Kheong’s request for a divorce. - She acts out the part of being the perfect wife to Councillor Gan Joo Kheong still at official or important functions. BUT Joo Kheong has chosen to: - change his objection of affection from Emily to Diana Lee - Move in to live with Diana Lee at Amber Road - Ask Emily for a divorce - Refuse to see Emily at his deathbed Joo Kheong may have lost the emotional connection with Emily. Emily is so busy dealing with all matters concerning the Gan family that she may have neglected her husband. But then again, Joo Kheong, by taking Diana Lee as a lover, has made a conscious move to stray from the path of a married person. - Explain your answers with relevant examples from the play.OrQuestion 3“Emily of Emerald Hill” is a “one-woman play” with Emily being the only characterspeaking to the reader or the audience.(a) Secondary Two Normal Academic Question: [10] 9
  • 10. Answer and Mark Scheme for Secondary Two Normal Academic / Express 10Literature Examinations EOY 2011 prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee and Ms.AbidahGafoor How open and honest with you, the reader, do you think Emily has been in relating her experience and revealing her emotions in the following: - (i) the ways she manages her grief upon and after Richard’s death and (ii) the ways she deals with Joo Kheong’s relationship with Diana Lee [10 marks] Secondary Two Express Question: How open and honest with you, the reader, do you think Emily has been in relating her experience and revealing her emotions in the following: (i) the ways she manages her grief upon and after Richard’s death and (ii) the ways she deals with Joo Kheong’s relationship with Diana Lee Explain with close reference to the whole play. [15 marks] TAKE NOTE: In general, Emily is less open and honest with her own feelings with regard to Richard’s tragic death but she is more open with the reader / audience by displaying her sense of insecurity and vulnerability and helplessness as a wife watching her husband taking up with another woman. Although here again, she seems unable to think it through for herself why Joo Kheong turns away from her and seeks solace from another woman. - [i] the ways she manages her grief upon and after Richard’s death and - She grieves and cries but she has never quite shared with us how much she feels responsible for Richard’s death. She seems to have bottled up everything about Richard and his final meeting in Salisbury with him. - She allows herself to be comforted by her other children at Richard’s low key funeral but she keeps a low profile as Richard’s suicide is being covered up. - In Act 2, Emily makes no mention about Richard after the funeral except for a fleeting mention that with the deaths of Richard and Joo Kheong, she becomes the rightful owner of Emerald Hill Mansion. Everything else about her and the Gan household seems to be back to normal. 10
  • 11. Answer and Mark Scheme for Secondary Two Normal Academic / Express 11Literature Examinations EOY 2011 prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee and Ms.AbidahGafoor - There is a moment – a late moment in Act 2 which reveals to us finally that Emily feels guilty about Richard’s passing on. In her soliloquy, Emily seems quite unlike her normal self – she seems to be calling out in vain by saying: “Richard, I was a good mother to you! Kheong, I was a good wife! Why did you both hate me then? I didn’t do anything wrong!” Her sense of having done the right thing for Richard is blocking out her other emotions for what happens to him. Her love and all the things she has done for him to secure a bright future is preventing her from reflecting on her role she has played in Richard’s decision to take his own life. (ii) the ways she deals with Joo Kheong’s relationship with Diana Lee - Emily knows of Joo Kheong’s going astray. - She also knows Diana Lee and the mildly sarcastic tone she uses to talk to her or about her betrays her displeasure / confusion / insecurity / bitterness concerning Diana Lee’s affair with Joo Kheong. - She does not approve of Joo Kheong’s behaviour but proclaims to the audience that she cannot do anything about it. - She watches as her husband fails to come home and then eventually moves in with Diana Lee at her Amber Road home. - Her attempts to confront Joo Kheong fail as he progressively lose interest in her. - Emily gives in to Joo Kheong in front of others - At home she goes after him to remind him of his need to be discreet and his responsibility as the head of the household and his need to keep a public front for himself and his family because of his political career - Emily is open about not granting Joo Kheong his request for a divorce – “she does not do anything wrong”. - Emily however is not quite honest with herself when it comes to reflecting on her part in the failed marriage. - All we hear from her is duties and responsibilities there she has performed as the wife. - Even when the marriage is being tested severely, Emily 11
  • 12. Answer and Mark Scheme for Secondary Two Normal Academic / Express 12Literature Examinations EOY 2011 prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee and Ms.AbidahGafoor cares more for keeping up with appearance for the newspaper and the public. - She has never at least once think about what exactly turns Joo Kheong away from her. - She heaps the blame mainly on Joo Kheong and Diana Lee. She mocks and scorns Diana Lee, but never quite in her face. - When Joo Kheong finally returns to the Gan household, Emily is triumphant but Joo Kheong slips further into unhappiness and their marriage takes a turn for the worse because by now, hatred may have thickened. - At his deathbed, Joo Kheong refuses to see Emily. Explain with close reference to the whole play.(b) Secondary Two Normal Academic Question: [15] To what extent are you moved by the play? Why is Emily sometimes quite a likeable character and other times a rather dislikeable character to you? Explain with relevant examples from the play. [15 marks] Accept any reasonable response to the question: to what extent are you moved by the play? Why is Emily a likeable character? - works hard at winning the hearts of the members of Gan family. - Knows how to manage her own life - Continually improves herself - Understands where she stands to survive - Dutiful to all in her orbit - Responsible to family, husband and children - Loving in her own ways to her children - Always conscious of her own lowly familial background before marrying into the Gan household - True to her real friend – Bee Choo - Helpful to Bee Choo – resolve her accommodation problems - She changes her attitude and behaviour for the better in the way she treats her other children in Act 2. Why is Emily a dislikeable character? - tough mistress who demands a lot from those who work for her - overprotective – as in the case of her management of Richard 12
  • 13. Answer and Mark Scheme for Secondary Two Normal Academic / Express 13Literature Examinations EOY 2011 prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee and Ms.AbidahGafoor - partly to blame for Richard’s death - mistreats her husband, Joo Kheong – leading him to waste his life away (contentious point here) Secondary Two Express Question: (b) To what extent are you moved by the play? What do you think it is trying to convey to us on the theme of “love”? [10 marks] Accept any reasonable response to the sub-question: to what extent are you moved by the play? Accept any reasonable response to the sub-question: what do you think it is trying to convey to us on the theme of “love”? Student’s answer should at least cover some aspects of the following: - Understanding of self-worth - Sense of duty and responsibility towards one’s family - Parents’ love for their children - A wife’s devotion to her husband - Love between a man and a woman - How love bonds family members together Section C: The Unseen Both Secondary Two Normal Academic and Express Questions are the same in Section C. Passage-based Questions Answer one question from this section (25 marks)EitherQuestion 4A few days later my brother and I awoke to shouts and terrifying screams.We converged on the landing holding an array of makeshift weapons – I, adripping toilet brush; he, a long wooden shoehorn – until my father raced 13
  • 14. Answer and Mark Scheme for Secondary Two Normal Academic / Express 14Literature Examinations EOY 2011 prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee and Ms.AbidahGafoorup the stairs followed by my mother. He looked pale and gaunt, as if, in thehours between sleep and awake, he’d lost a stone in weight. 5“I said it, didn’t I?” my father told us, the fog of madness obscuring thefamiliarity of his features. My brother and I looked at each other. “I saidwe’d win, didn’t I? I am a lucky man,” and he sat down on the top stair andwept.“We’ve won the football pools,” my mother said matter-of-factly. The 10football pools win was to remain a secret to everyone outside of the family.Excluded from talking about our win to the world outside, we stoppedtalking about the win to our world inside, and it soon became somethingthat had momentarily happened to us, rather than the life-changing eventmost normal people would have allowed it to be. My mother still looked for 15bargains in the shops and her frugality became compulsive. She patchedour socks and even jeans.One day in June, about two months after “the win”, my father pulled up in abrand new silver Mercedes with blacked-out windows, the type usuallyreserved for diplomats. The whole street came out to witness the brutality 20of such ostentatious display of wealth. When the door opened and myfather stepped out, the street echoed with the sound of broken teeth asjaws dropped to the floor. My father tried to smile and said something wan,something about a “bonus” but unknown to him, he had inadvertentlyclimbed onto that ladder reserved for the elite, and was already looking 25down on the kind familiar faces he’d shared years of his life with. I feltembarrassed and went inside.We ate dinner in silence that evening. The subject on everyone’s lips was“that car” and it soured the taste of every morsel that passed it. Finally, mymother could stand it no more and calmly asked, “Why?” as she got up to 30get another glass of water.“I don’t know,” said my father. “I could, so I did.”My brother and I looked to my mother. “It’s not us. That car is not us. Itstands for everything ugly in this world,” she said. We turned to my father.“I’ve never bought a new car before,” he said. 35“It’s not the newness of the car, for God’s sake! That car’s a downpayment on a house for most people. That car says something that we’renot. That car is not a car. It’s a bloody statement of all that’s wrong in thiscountry. I shall never ride in it. Either it goes or I shall.“So be it,” said my father and he got up and left the table. 40 14
  • 15. Answer and Mark Scheme for Secondary Two Normal Academic / Express 15Literature Examinations EOY 2011 prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee and Ms.AbidahGafoorThat night, he stopped me in the kitchen and asked me about the car.“You like it, don’t you, Elly?”“Not really,” I said.“But it’s a beautiful car.”“But no one else has got one,” I said. 45“That’s a good thing, isn’t it? To stand apart and be different?” he said.“I’m not sure,” I said, quite aware of my own muted need to fit in, somehowsimply to hide. “I don’t want people to know I’m different.” Adapted from When God was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman(a) What are your impressions of the narrator’s father? [7] 1) Pt: He’s emotional about his win and it seems that he has been harbouring hope on the lottery win for the longest time. E: “I am a lucky man,” and he sat down on the top stair and wept. El: He seems not to be shy to display such overt emotions especially given that he is male and society has conditioned us to believe that males do not display their emotions so openly. 2) Pt: seems to want to show off his newly acquired wealth by engaging in ostentatious display of wealth when he purchases the Mercedes E: about two months after “the win”, my father pulled up in a brand new silver Mercedes with blacked-out windows, the type usually reserved for diplomats. El: He has clearly set himself apart by purchasing a Mercedes and in fact the crowd that gathered around his car had their ‘jaws dropped to the floor’ when they witnessed the car. 3) Pt: He does not think through his decision, and he appears to be flippant about life, as if he is living for the moment. E: “I could, so I did.” 15
  • 16. Answer and Mark Scheme for Secondary Two Normal Academic / Express 16Literature Examinations EOY 2011 prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee and Ms.AbidahGafoor EL: He bought a car because he could afford one and is not backed by any financial consideration. Furthermore, he did not consult his wife about his decision. 4) Pt: He is stubborn/convicted about his beliefs and refused to be convinced by his wife’s argument. He can also be viewed as egoistic. E: “So be it,” said my father and he got up and left the table. El: He refused to budge down even when his wife gave an ultimatum about choosing his wife or car. 5) Pt: He has a need to make his mark in society. E: “That’s a good thing, isn’t it? To stand apart and be different?” he said. El: He is individualistic and is keen to emphasise to others how he has elevated the status. Each set of P-e-e will be awarded a range from 2m to 3m. 2m-Incomplete P-e-e, repetition in elaboration and point etc 3m-Satisfying elaboration and is able to shed critical insight on the issue raised(b) What are your impressions of his mother? In what ways is she [8] different from her husband? 1) Pt: She is very grounded and is not easily impressed by such a win as probably she feels that it is immaterial to her or her family’s existence. This is different from the father who was was ‘racing up the stairs’ and the ‘shouts and terrifying screams’ heard by the narrator probably came from the father. E: We’ve won the football pools,” my mother said matter-of-factly El: She counters the father’s enthusiastic reaction by stating it ‘matter-of-factly’ which shows she is not at all impressed by the win. 2) Pt: The mother is very down-to-earth/humble and is not letting the win get to her head and this differs from her husband who immediately went to purchase a big-ticket item like a car. E: My mother still looked for bargains in the shops and her frugality became compulsive. She patched our socks and even jeans. El: Despite having the means to now lead a more sophisticated lifestyle to purchase expensive goods, the mother is still frugal and is still ‘looking for bargains’ and ‘patched our socks and even 16
  • 17. Answer and Mark Scheme for Secondary Two Normal Academic / Express 17Literature Examinations EOY 2011 prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee and Ms.AbidahGafoor jeans’ which indicate that she does not want to waste money and learn to make do with what she has. 3) Pt: She is not pretentious and is conscious about portraying the the right image to the society. E: It’s not us. That car is not us. It stands for everything ugly in this world,” she said. El: She sees the car as being symbolic of the materialistic world and refused to be swallowed by this pretence. 4) Pt: She does not see these goods as representative of her self- worth. This is unlike her husband who sees the car as symbolic of his status and aligns it to his self –worth. E: That car says something that we’re not. That car is not a car. It’s a bloody statement of all that’s wrong in this country. I shall never ride in it. Either it goes or I shall. El: She views owning the car to be pretentious and is reflective of the consumerist society that they are living in. She obviously wants to keep herself grounded.(c) What is so surprising about the mother’s reaction when the father [10] buys a new car? Why has it become a source of conflict within the narrator’s family? )Pt: Instead of being happy about the father’s newly acquired wealth, her reaction was initially muted (devoid of feelings). E: matter-of-factly vs shouts and terrifying screams El: She seems to suppress her emotions and this is surprising as we would expect her to be ecstatic. 2) Pt: She is not at all impressed by the Mercedes and it is surprising especially one would expect that the wife to be happy when the husband is able to elevate his status by such a purchase. E: “It’s not the newness of the car, for God’s sake! That car’s a down payment on a house for most people. El: She feels that the car is an extravagant purchase. 3) Pt: It is also surprising that the whole family did not once talk about the lottery win and it was a conversation that was banned from the dinner table. E: “The football pools win was to remain a secret to everyone outside of the family. Excluded from talking about our win to the world outside, we stopped talking about the win to our world inside.” 17
  • 18. Answer and Mark Scheme for Secondary Two Normal Academic / Express 18Literature Examinations EOY 2011 prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee and Ms.AbidahGafoor E: We would expect the family to be talking about it excitedly and this to be a life-changing event. 4) Pt: She is still purchasing clothes at a bargain and her frugality has intensified which is surprising especially given the newly acquired wealth. Her actions are ironic as we would expect her to be spending more frivolously but instead, she seems to be operating even more so on a tight budget. E: My mother still looked for bargains in the shops and her frugality became compulsive. Maximum of 5m awarded for explaining what was surprising about the mother’s reaction and how it is ironic Source of conflict Pt: The parents have different philosophy or values system and this has led to the family to be in turmoil as the children have to take sides. E: “I’m not sure,” I said, quite aware of my own muted need to fit in, somehow simply to hide. “I don’t want people to know I’m different.” El: The children are confused especially when they are at an impressionable stage where they are shaped by their parents’ beliefs. It is also uncomfortable for the narrator when the father asks her a question which leads her to take sides. Pt: The lack of communication between the parents to convey the intent of their action has also escalated the tension in the family E: The father may have purchased the car for his family’s use especially since he claims that he has not purchased a car before but this is misconstrued by the mother as being a display of “something that we are not”. El: It also leaves the children confused as to whose intent or rational is sound as from the mother’s point of view, the father is being very flippant about his purchase. In contrast, from the father’s point of view, he is just doing something for his family by purchasing a car which he has never done so. Pt: The parents’ approach to resolving an argument has also led to the source of conflict in the family. Both of them gave an ultimatum to each other and were heated in their reactions. 18
  • 19. Answer and Mark Scheme for Secondary Two Normal Academic / Express 19Literature Examinations EOY 2011 prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee and Ms.AbidahGafoorRemember to support your answers with close reference to the text.OrQuestion 5Caged BirdA free bird leapson the back of the windand floats downstreamtill the current endsand dips his wing 5in the orange sun raysand dares to claim the sky.But a bird that stalksdown his narrow cagecan seldom see through 10his bars of ragehis wings are clipped andhis feet are tiedso he opens his throat to sing.The caged bird sings 15with a fearful trillof things unknownbut longed for stilland his tune is heardon the distant hill 20for the caged birdsings of freedom.The free bird thinks of another breezeand the trade winds soft through the sighing treesand the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn 25and he names the sky his own.But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreamshis shadow shouts on a nightmare screamhis wings are clipped and his feet are tied 19
  • 20. Answer and Mark Scheme for Secondary Two Normal Academic / Express 20Literature Examinations EOY 2011 prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee and Ms.AbidahGafoorso he opens his throat to sing 30The caged bird singswith a fearful trillof things unknownbut longed for stilland his tune is heardon the distant hillfor the caged birdsings of freedom. 35 By Maya Angelou(a) How differently does the poet portray the “free bird” from the “caged [10] bird” based on Stanzas 1 and 2 of the poem? The quality of the answer will depend on the student’s ability to use textual evidence to the fullest advantage, coupled with his own interpretation. STANZA 1 A free bird leaps on the back of the wind and floats downstream till the current ends and dips his wing in the orange sun rays and dares to claim the sky. STANZA 2 But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage can seldom see through his bars of rage his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing. Pt: The free bird is portrayed to be always on the move and is free to travel wherever he wishes E: as seen from the line “ leaps on the back of the wind and floats downstream” El: It conveys the freedom that the free bird enjoys. Pt: he is also portrayed as being together with nature and thus 20
  • 21. Answer and Mark Scheme for Secondary Two Normal Academic / Express 21Literature Examinations EOY 2011 prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee and Ms.AbidahGafoor being able to enjoy his full freedom. E: He is described to be ‘on the back of the wind’ and is able to ‘dip his wing in the orange sun rays’. El: The sun and the wind are all elements of nature and the free bird is able to enjoy being with nature. Pt: It is also suggested that the free bird is daring to take charge of his life as seen from the line E: dares to claim the sky. El: It suggests that the free bird is able to fly the expansive sky and is daring to show that he deserves to be rightfully up there, thus claiming its territory. In contrast, Pt: The caged bird’s movement is limited and is living in fear compared to the freedom enjoyed by the free bird. This is suggested from E: ‘stalks down his narrow cage’ El: The verb ‘stalk’ implies that he is moving stealthily and is probably on the lookout for something. The cage as we know is an enclosed space which has very limited space and the word ‘narrow’ reminds us again of the confinement that the caged bird is in. Pt: The caged bird is also unable to enjoy the elements of nature and he is unable to see beyond E: ‘his bars of rage’ El: This implies the anger pent up in him as he feels his freedom stifled and being trapped has enraged him. Pt: The caged bird’s wings are clipped and his feet are tied hence reinforcing again the restriction he faces as opposed to the free bird who ‘dares to claim the sky’ and is able to soar and claim the expansive territory. E: his wings are clipped and his feet are tied El: The caged bird is thus trapped in the cage and to add sorrow to his situation, his feet is further bound and wings clipped which show that he is doubly trapped.(b) What is suggested about the “free bird” in line 26 – [5] “and he names the sky his own”? 21
  • 22. Answer and Mark Scheme for Secondary Two Normal Academic / Express 22Literature Examinations EOY 2011 prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee and Ms.AbidahGafoor He can fly to wherever he likes and no one is able to stop him from flying in whichever direction that he pleases. The sky is a wide expanse and this suggests the freedom the “free bird” enjoys by flying to his heart’s content. The sky is his “own” – his home – he is able to claim the territory as his own. So he is freedom and he has full control of his life. Freedom is priceless; freedom is home. It could also imply that there is nothing to hold him back or there is nobody else vying to occupy this expansive sky.(c) What is suggested about the “caged bird” in line 28 – [5] “his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream”? We know that a shadow does not and cannot “shout”. A caged bird’s shadow shouts, this emphasizes the pain the creature is suffering in its state of imprisonment. When its shadow “shouts”, it is actually “protesting” against the treatment it is receiving. What is scarier is that the impact is even stronger when the “shout” is made “on a nightmare scream”. The “caged bird” is not only suffering in pain, it is also protesting in agony and fear.(d) Describe and explain how you feel after reading the poem. Write [5] briefly about one situation in your life which may be similar to the fate of the caged bird. Accept any reasonable answer for sub-question – Describe and explain how you feel after reading the poem. But the answer should be able to focus on “freedom” and “imprisonment” or “to be free to do what one pleases” versus “to be in pain, agony and fear and being unable to do as one pleases”. The answer should include the contrast in the experience and “feeling” felt by the “free bird” vis-à-vis that of the “caged bird”. Accept any coherent response for sub-question – Write briefly about one situation in your life which may be similar to the fate of the caged bird. 22
  • 23. Answer and Mark Scheme for Secondary Two Normal Academic / Express 23Literature Examinations EOY 2011 prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee and Ms.AbidahGafoorRemember to support your answers with close reference to the poem. End of Paper 23