Allama iqbal open university, islamabad (Department of English Language & Applied Linguistics) warning

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(Department of English Language & Applied Linguistics)




Course: English Literature Semester: Autumn, 2015

Course Code: 1426 Total Marks: 100

Level: BA/BS Pass Marks: 40


(Units 1–4)
Q.1 Read pages 8-14 of unit 1. We have given you brief explanation about the different types or genres of literature with examples, such as:

  • Poetry

  • Drama

  • Novel

  • Prose

Explain briefly in your own words these types or genres of literature and give example of each. (10)

Note: Please do not copy the examples from the book and add one different example for each genre.

Q.2 On pages 15-20 of unit 1 you have read about some of the ‘key elements of literature’. In other units of the book we have given enough examples and exercises to help you understand these elements. One of the key elements of literature is ‘Setting’.

Setting is one of the most important elements in literature. If readers don’t know where and when the story has taken place, they’ll get lost and confused, and it will be hard for them to enjoy the piece of literature whether it is short story, novel or poem. Therefore, the setting of a story is the place where the story happens and the time when it happens. The setting doesn’t have to be a real and can be imaginary,
Here is an interesting exercise that will help you choose the appropriate settings for the story. Can you think of some interesting settings for the kind of stories listed below? (15)

  1. Settings





Q.3 On page 30 of unit 1 we have told you about a figure of speech or literary device that writers use to give a humorous effect to their writing. It is called ‘Pun’. A pun is a play of words in which a humorous effect is produced by using a word that suggests two or more meanings or by exploiting similar sounding words having different meanings. A pun can:

  • Make you laugh

  • Make you think

  • Increase clarity

Do you ever remember a time when your friend said 'we have an hour to kill before we go home’? Do you really think that your friend was really going to kill sixty minutes or make sixty minutes die? Therefore, this sentence has a ‘pun’ in it. On page 30, we have given you examples of puns. Let us take the first sentence:

  • A gossip is someone with a great sense of rumour.

In this sentence there is an effect of humour or joke that is created by the word ‘rumour’. The sentence actually means that a person who gossips is someone who spreads rumours or stories.

Choose any five (5) sentences from the examples given on page 30 and then write what each sentence is actually trying to convey. (10)
Q.4 On page 49 0f unit 2 we have briefly listed the kind of stanzas poets employ in their poems. Stanza is a very widely used term to refer to groupings of poetic lines. For example:

  • A couplet is a two lines stanza.

Read the following lines or stanzas taken from different poems and then write which kind of stanza each is. (05)

Q.5 On pages 69 -70 of unit 2 we have explained one of the poetic devices called ‘Onomatopoeia’. Onomatopoeia is defined as a word, which imitates the natural sounds of a thing. It creates a sound effect that mimics the thing described, making the description more expressive and interesting. For instance, saying, ‘The gushing stream flows in the forest’ is a more meaningful description than just saying, ‘The stream flows in the forest’. The reader is drawn to hear the sound of a ‘gushing stream’ which makes the expression more effective.

Read each sentence and circle the onomatopoeic word. Also explain what makes this noise. (10)

1. The best part about our music class is that one can bang on the drums.

What made the noise? .

2. The thirsty dog slurped the dirty water from the puddle.

What made the noise? .

3. Though she stepped very lightly, her heels still clacked on the floor.

What made the noise? .

4. When he got home after a long day at school, he threw his books down with a thud.

What made the noise? .

5. They knew that the principal was coming because they heard the jingle of his keys.

What made the noise? .

6. I woke up to the sound of the egg sizzling in a frying pan.

What made the noise? .

7. The candidate tried to focus on the final exam but the ticking clock kept breaking his concentration.

What made the noise? .

8. She was so nervous during her test that she started tapping her pencil on the desk.

What made the noise? .

9. They enjoyed their picnic at the seaside and loved the rumbling waves against wet rocks.

What made the noise? .

10. The floor creaked as I walked across it.

What made the noise? .

Q.6 In unit 2 you have learnt about poetic devices. Two poetic devices which are explained are ‘metaphor’ and ‘simile’ Read pages 61-64 and then define: (05)

1. What is a metaphor?

2. What is a simile?
b. Identify which sentence contains a simile and which a metaphor. (10)
Simile or Metaphor

  1. The car engine sounded like a lion's roar.
  2. Our dog is the security guard of our house.

  3. My little brother is as sweet as pie.

  4. The tired boy was as slow as a turtle.

  5. My mother is a superhero with no wings.

  6. The music was as soothing as rain.

  7. The grass is a green carpet for the cricketers.

  8. It’s as hot as an oven here.

  9. His life was an open book.

  10. Your smile is sunshine to me.

Q.7 In unit 3 you have learnt how to analyze a poem in detail. Read carefully William Wordsworth’s poem ‘Daffodils’ and John Masefield poem ‘Beauty’ analysis. Now read the poem given below and then answer the questions that follow.

When you are Old

William B. Yeats

WHEN you are old and gray and full of sleep


  And nodding by the fire, take down this book,


  And slowly read, and dream of the soft look


Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;



How many loved your moments of glad grace,


  And loved your beauty with love false or true;


  But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,


And loved the sorrows of your changing face.



And bending down beside the glowing bars,


  Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled


  And paced upon the mountains overhead,


And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

    1. The poem has three stanzas. Read the first two stanzas carefully and notice how the poet describes the character or person in the poem. What words and phrases the poet uses that create images in readers’ minds? Here is an example: (05)

  • Old

2. After reading the poem, do you think certain words or phrases the poet has used might have some symbolic meanings? For example:

  • The phrase ‘take down this book’ symbolizes the book of memories of a life spent.

Try and find two more phrases or words from the poem that you think the poet has used symbolically and to express what. (10)

  1. What is the main ‘Theme’ of the poem? (05)

Q.8 Read the following excerpt taken from the book ‘The Graveyard Book’ by Neil Gaiman. Answer the questions that follow.

The Graveyard Book

By Neil Gaiman

There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife. The knife had a handle of polished black bone, and a blade finer and sharper than any razor. If it sliced you, you might not even know you had been cut. The knife had done almost everything and it was brought to that house to do what it is good at. 

The street door was still open, just a little, where the knife and the man who held it had slipped in, and wisps of night time mist slithered and twined into the house through the open door.

The man Jack paused on the landing. With his left hand he pulled a large white handkerchief from the pocket of his black coat, and with it he wiped off the knife and his gloved right hand which had been holding it. The hunt was almost over. He had left the woman in her bed, the man on the bedroom floor, the older child in her brightly colored bedroom, surrounded by toys and half-finished models. That only left the little one, a baby barely a toddler, to take care of. One more and his task would be done.

He flexed his fingers. The man Jack was, above all things, a professional, or so he told himself, and he would not allow himself to smile until the job was completed. His hair was dark and his eyes were dark and he wore black leather gloves of the thinnest lambskin.

The toddler's room was at the very top of the house. The man Jack walked up the stairs, his feet silent on the carpeting. Then he pushed open the door and walked in. The moon shone through the window. Its light was not bright, and it was diffused by the mist, but the man Jack would not need much light. The moonlight was enough. It would do.

He could make out the shape of the child in the crib, head and limbs and torso. The crib had high sides to prevent the child from getting out. Jack leaned over, raised his right hand, the one holding the knife, and he aimed for the chest.....and then he lowered his hand. The shape in the crib was a teddy bear. There was no child. The child had been here. It was here no longer. The man Jack went down the stairs and inspected the bathroom, the kitchen, the airing cupboard, and, finally, the downstairs hall, in which there was nothing to be seen but the family's bicycles, a pile of empty shopping bags, a fallen diaper. 

The man Jack made a small noise then, a grunt that contained in it both frustration and also satisfaction. He slipped the knife into its sheath in the inside pocket of his long coat, and he stepped out into the street. There was moonlight, and there were streetlights, but the fog stifled everything, muted light and muffled sound and made the night shadowy and treacherous. He looked down the hill towards the light of the closed shops, then up the street, where the last high houses wound up the hill on their way to the darkness of the old graveyard

1. After reading the extract, what do you think is the genre or kind of the novel the extract is taken from. (02)

2. Read the extract carefully once again and describe briefly the setting given in it. What was the time of the day when the incident occurred? Illustrate your answer with at least two examples. (05)

3. What are your impressions about the character ‘Jack’? In other words who do you think he is? Can you pick out the details about him that suggest the kind of person the man is. (05)

4. Read the first line of paragraph 7, ‘The man Jack made a small noise then, a grunt that contained in it both frustration and also satisfaction’. Write why he experienced two feelings ‘frustration and satisfaction’ at the same time? (03)

(Units 5–9)

Total Marks: 100 Pass Marks: 40
Q.1 Unit 5 largely deals with the novel ‘The Kite runner’. You have done a number of exercises based on its setting, plot, characters, etc. Read the overview or the summary of the novel given on pages 156-161 and then summarise it further by writing the key points or incidents turning into a further shorter summary of the novel. (Not more than 100 words). (10)
Q.2 Read another extract taken from the novel ‘The Kite Runner’ given on pages 172 -173 and answer the following questions.

  1. After reading the extract what do you think is the social or economic standing of Amir’s father whom he calls ‘Baba’? (05)

  2. What happened to Hassan’s mother ‘Sanaubar’? What is implied or suggested when the writer says in the last three lines “Hassan lost his
    less than a week after he was born. Lost her to a fate most Afghans considered far worse than death: She ran off with a clan of travelling singers and dancers”. (05)

Q.3 Unit 6 deals with ‘Drama’. Read the introductory pages carefully and then differentiate between tragedy and comedy. (15)

Q.4 What are the five essential parts of a plot? Read pages 198 -199 to answer this question. (10)
Q.5 Unit 7 deals with the tragic drama ‘Hamlet’ by William Shakespeare. Read the entire unit carefully and answer the following questions.

  1. Which is the primary setting of the play Hamlet? (05)

  2. Write a brief character sketch of the protagonist Hamlet. (10)

  3. What are the basic themes of the play Hamlet? (10)

Q.6 On page 236, we have given you a diagram that differentiates poetry and prose. Prose follows writing conventions or rules and has complete sentences, paragraphs, and punctuation.  In poetry, one can often ignore those conventions to produce a special effect. On pages 237-239, we have given examples illustrating how a same idea can be expressed differently in a poem and in a prose passage. Here is another example that will further explain this point. Read each sample carefully.

Prose version:

A woman stands on a desolate mountain top with cold seeping into her body. She looks down the valley below as the wind whips around her. She cannot leave to go to the peaceful valley below where the sun shines from behind the clouds causing flowers to bloom, breeze sends quivers through the leaves of trees, and the water splashes and gurgles in a brook. All the woman can do is cry.

Prose version:

The woman stands upon the barren peak
Gazing down the world beneath

The lonely chill seeps from the ground into her feet
The angry wind whistles round her head
While she watches beyond the mountain

Sunshine peeks teasing flowers to thrive
And the breeze whispers through the leaves
Causing gentle quivers to sway the trees
Laughter gurgles as the splashing brook
Playfully tumbles over rugged rocks
While the woman above can only grieve.

i. Read the poem given below and rewrite it in prose form. (10)
I see this tree.

I see how he’s dying.

I beg him stop crying.

He sheds all of his tears in fall.

For winters kiss is near
I see this tree.

A home for the smallest.

This tree is a promise.

That even after winters death.

Life can be redeemed.
ii. Write an interesting prose passage (approximately 100 words) on the topic: ‘Life a gift of God’. (10)

Q.7 In unit 9 on page 263 we have explained the literary device ‘Anaphora’. Read the following lines taken from the novel ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ by Charles Dickens and find examples of ‘anaphora’ from the lines. (10)

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

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