WAEC 2023 - LITERATURE II ANSWER
The play explores the spate of cabal or conspiracy which is a secret agreement between two or more people to perform an unlawful act. The conspirators in this play includes Lamboi and Musa. One of their selfish aims or objectives is not only to take charge of the chiefdom but also to kill and maim at will.
Firstly, Lamboi together with Musa, the seer and medicine man nurses a plan to poison and have chief Gbanya murdered for passing the Chiefdom to Yoko, a mere woman. Lamboi then compels Musa to poison chief with Alligator gall when Yoko is not available in the courtyard. Part of Lamboi bitterness is the fact that he advised Gbanya not to undertake the Caulker campaign, but Yoko told him she needed more slaves to work on the farm he’d given her, so they had to go to war which was not their own. Consequently, many of their finest fighters, young men died just to satisfy the want of a woman. The fear of Yoko turning the chiefdom and leading Senehun astray makes them come with their plan to eliminate Gbanya.
In addition, as soon as Lamboi’s plan to take over from Gbanya yield no fruit.
This time around, they intend to kidnap and kill Ndapi’s daughter, Jeneba, bury her in a shallow grave. They will therefore trick and manipulate the people to believe Yoko used her as a sacrifice for more power and authority.
The play opens in the morning, near the village center on the edge of the market. The ‘bush’ school, that is, the village school Lakunle, the school teacher is nearly twenty-three years old, dressed in an “old style and worn-out English suit, rough but not ragged, but clearly “a size or two too small”. Sidi carried a pail of water on her head and Lakunle complains bitterly about such an act because she is at risk of shortening her neck and also because she has exposed her shoulders for everyone in the village to feast his lustful eyes on. Sidi defends such an action when she says at she decides to fold the wrapper high so that she can breathe, and Lakunle insists that she could have worn something on top as most model do. Sidi becomes furious and reprimands Lakunle to desist from being a village gossip and also calls him “the mad man/of llunjunle. because of his meaningless words, but Lakunle is undaunted because he feels that women's brain is naturally small, women are the weaker sex, only weaker breeds pound yams, bend to plant millet. He foresees that one, two years to come when machines will do those things and he also hints at his intention to turn llunjunle around for good. Sidi becomes fed up with the meaningless dialogue and demands her pail back angrily but debunks the payment of bride price.
Part of Lakunle’s meeting with Sidi is to make known his intention to marry her and she insists that her bride price must be paid according to their custom and tradition and that marrying him without a price would make people think that she is no virgin and that would bring shame to her family.
But Lakunle resists the idea and describes it as a savage custom that is barbaric and uncivilized. He goes further to educate Sidi on the implication of payment of the bride price and his plan. Lakunle calls Sidi a bush and uncivilized girl who does not want to appreciate and accept civilized romance and ideology.
The introductory part of this play between Sidi and Lakunle shows the cultural gap versus modernity.
The love between Jimmy and Helena is portrayed as complicated and filled with tension. Their relationship is marked by conflicts, power struggles, and unhealthy dynamics. Jimmy's love for Helena may be genuine, but it is also intertwined with anger, resentment, and societal frustrations. The play delves into the complexities of love and relationships, portraying the nuances and contradictions that can exist within them.
While Jimmy's behavior towards Helena is often harsh, resentful, and even abusive, there are moments in the play that suggest a deep, albeit troubled, love for her. Here are a few factors that shed light on Jimmy's feelings for Helena
Despite his anger and mistreatment of Helena, Jimmy appears emotionally dependent on her. He seeks her company, wants her attention, and becomes jealous when she interacts with other men. This suggests that he has a deep emotional connection to her.
Moments of Tenderness: Amidst their conflicts, there are instances where Jimmy displays moments of tenderness towards Helena. He shows concern for her well-being, demonstrates vulnerability, and occasionally shares intimate moments of affection. These moments indicate that he does have genuine feelings of love for her.
Jimmy's anger and bitterness often mask his vulnerability and insecurities. It is suggested that Helena is one of the few people with whom he allows himself to be vulnerable. His need for her presence and emotional support indicates a level of emotional attachment and love.
Jimmy's self-destructive behavior and his tendency to push away those closest to him, including Helena, can be seen as a reflection of his fear of intimacy and emotional connection. His actions may be driven by a combination of love and a subconscious desire to protect himself from being hurt.
Cliff is Jimmy's flatmate and close friend, and their contrasting personalities create an interesting dynamic throughout the play. Jimmy says that he is the only friend of his that still stays around especially after Hugh went abroad.
Cliff Lewis plays a significant role as one of the main characters. Cliff serves as the voice of reason and the counterpoint to the protagonist, Jimmy Porter. Cliff is of the same age as Jimmy. But unlike Jimmy, Cliff is short, dark and big-boned. In Act I, he wears a pullover and grey new but very creased trousers. He is teased by Cliff and Alison for not being able to take care of his new trousers. This is indicative of his lower class background which is supposed to be crude. Cliff is relaxed, easy and lethargic.
The stage direction also states that Cliff has the sad natural intelligence of the self-taught. This means that though Cliff might not have been educated like Jimmy, he still tries to 'better himself' as can be seen in his seriousness at reading newspapers in the play. Cliff is the foil of Jimmy in the play.
Cliff's role in the play is multifaceted. He serves as a bridge between the working class and the middle class, embodying a more moderate and accepting attitude towards life. Cliff has a job, is content with his position, and has aspirations of running a sweet stall, which contrasts with Jimmy's constant dissatisfaction and desire for something more.
In many ways, Cliff represents the ordinary, everyday person who tries to find happiness and contentment within the limitations of their circumstances. His presence highlights the contrast between Jimmy's turbulent nature and the possibility of a more balanced and accepting approach to life.
Cliff Lewis plays a crucial role as a grounding and moral figure, providing a contrasting perspective to the play's central themes of anger, frustration, and disillusionment.
In the play "Fences", written by August Wilson, Troy's perception of death serves as a significant reflection of his character and experiences. Troy's views on death are shaped by his life experiences, struggles, and the barriers he has faced.
Troy views death as a powerful force that is ultimately inevitable and unyielding. He often speaks of death with a sense of acceptance and resignation, believing that it will come for everyone eventually. This perspective is rooted in his own experiences with hardship and disappointment, which have led him to adopt a pragmatic and somewhat fatalistic outlook.
Troy's perception of death is also influenced by his own personal battles and the sense of confinement he feels in his life. He sees death as a way to escape the limitations and struggles of his existence. This viewpoint is particularly evident in his conversations with his friend Bono, where he expresses a longing for release and a desire to be free from the burdens of responsibility and disappointment.
Troy's experiences of racial injustice and his dashed dreams of a career in baseball have instilled in him a sense of bitterness and resentment. His perception of death is tinged with a belief that life is inherently unfair and that it ultimately leads to disappointment and unfulfilled dreams. This outlook is exemplified in his conversations with his son Cory, where he discourages Cory from pursuing a career in sports, projecting his own unfulfilled aspirations onto his son.
Through Troy's perspective on death, The playwright explores themes of resilience, the weight of personal history, and the ways in which individuals grapple with their own mortality in the face of adversity.
Troy's perception on Death which is Mortality is predominant in the play. It is a form of foreshadow where Troy Maxson claims that he literally wrestled with death and won. We see several monologues throughout the play where he taunts and challenges death, almost daring it to try and take him again. Troy’s attitude towards death is relaxed, clam and peaceful. He sees death as inevitable end – a compulsory journey that everyone must embark on as he said ain’t anything wrong with talking about death? That’s part of life. Everybody gonna die. You gonna die, I’m gonna die. Bono’s gonna die. Hell, we all gonna die in his words.
Troy also sees death as being weak and powerless, because one can choose whether to allow it kill one or not. He also recounts how he fought with death in the middle of July, 1941. As he said It seems like death himself reached out and touched me on the shoulder. He touched me just like I touch you. I got cold as ice and death standing there grinning at me. Troy admits that while fighting with death and death throws off his attempt to fight and defeat death. Troy still believes that death will come after him someday because it is not easy to conquer death. “Death ain’t anything to play with. And I know… he’s gonna have to fight to get me” according to him
The fact that Gabe is partially sane, his words foreshadows death that later visits Troy in the end. Death therefore is seen as an ultimate chance for peace. Troy triumphs over death because he never lets fear of it control his life. Wilson seems to speak against Troy’s view of death, and how this view informs his approach to life and the people around him.
Bono is portrayed as a loyal and committed friend to the protagonist, Troy Maxson. Bono's dedication to their friendship can be attributed to several reasons such in a way that firstly Bono and Troy have a long history together, spanning many years. They have been friends since their time in prison, and this shared experience has created a bond between them. Bono values their history and the trust they have built over time, which strengthens his commitment to their friendship.
Secondly, on their mutual support as Bono is a constant source of support for Troy, and vice versa. They lean on each other during difficult times, sharing their triumphs and hardships. Bono often acts as a sounding board for Troy's struggles and offers advice and guidance when needed. This mutual support creates a sense of camaraderie and deepens their friendship.
Thirdly, Bono has a deep understanding of Troy's flaws, shortcomings, and complexities. Despite Troy's sometimes difficult and abrasive nature, Bono accepts him for who he is. He recognizes Troy's humanity and respects his experiences, allowing for a genuine connection based on acceptance and understanding.
Further more Bono is fiercely loyal to Troy. He stands by him through thick and thin, even when Troy's actions or decisions may be questionable. Bono remains steadfast and committed, demonstrating his unwavering loyalty to their friendship.
Additionally, Bono and Troy share certain values and beliefs. They both have a strong work ethic and a sense of responsibility. They understand the importance of providing for their families and the struggles faced by black men in a racial and more also these shared values further solidify their bond and commitment to each other.
It's clear that Bono sees beyond Troy's flaws and remains dedicated to their friendship, embodying the qualities of a steadfast and loyal friend.
The poet presents the reader with contrasting emotions throughout the poem. It contains different moods.
The initial two stanzas depict the circumstances leading to the appointment of the "Government Driver" who had diligently served for thirty years and was now retiring.
“...today retires he home…” lines 3
In the following stanza, the poet introduces the reader to the jubilation and delight felt by the driver due to his retirement and the recognition he receives for his dedicated service.
“…more joy to send him home"
"a brand new car in his name…” lines 17-18
The poet initially portrays the government driver's anticipation and excitement about his retirement. However, there is a sudden shift in mood as the driver's exhilaration intensifies upon receiving the car gift. This change in mood fuels his rejoicing even further.
...“Come friends and rejoice more, Joy till no more joy to joy..."
In the final stanza, the initial mood of excitement and fulfillment diminishes as the same excitement ultimately leads to the driver's demise. This turn of events evokes a mood of "pity and shock" as the poem concludes.
The initial excitement that pervaded stanzas 1 to 5 dissipates as the driver indulges in alcohol, impairing his vision and sound judgment.
..."Booze boozed his vision and clear judgement, he boomed his brand new car and it sent him home to rest in peace..."
The poem begins with an exciting narrative, but as the story unfolds, it gradually transitions into a somber and gloomy atmosphere. These two prevailing moods permeate the entire plot of the poem.
"Do not go Gentle into that Good Night" is a powerful and poignant poem written by Dylan Thomas. The poet's diction in this poem is striking and deliberate, creating a sense of urgency and emotional intensity.
The poet's choice of words is vivid and evocative, allowing the reader to connect with the poem on an emotional level. The repeated use of the imperative phrase "Do not go gentle" throughout the poem emphasizes the poet's plea for resistance and defiance in the face of death. The word "gentle" itself conveys a sense of surrender and acceptance, contrasting with the poet's desire for his loved ones to fight against the inevitable.
Furthermore, the poet employs strong, resonant language to depict various stages of life and the emotions associated with them. He uses contrasting pairs of words to heighten the emotional impact, such as "light" and "dark," "day" and "night," and "life" and "grave." These choices create a sense of tension and emphasize the importance of living fully and passionately, even in the face of death.
The poet's use of vivid imagery is another noteworthy aspect of the poem's diction. Thomas employs vivid metaphors and descriptive language to depict different types of people and their attitudes towards death. For instance, he describes "wise men" as "the good," while "wild men" and "grave men" represent those who have lived passionately or with regret. This imagery adds depth and complexity to the poem, inviting readers to reflect on their own lives and the choices they make.
The poem "Caged Bird" by Maya Angelou depicts powerful use of imagery, which serves to highlight the stark contrast between freedom and oppression, and to convey the emotional experiences of the caged bird.
Throughout the poem, the poet employs vivid and evocative imagery to draw a parallel between the bird's physical and emotional confinement. For example, she describes the bird's wings as "clipped and its feet tied," symbolizing the restrictions imposed upon it. This visual imagery creates a sense of imprisonment and helplessness, emphasizing the bird's inability to fly and experience the freedom it desires.
The poet also utilizes contrasting imagery to emphasize the stark divide between the caged bird and its free counterpart. She describes the free bird's flight as "the orange sun rays beating on its wings," painting a picture of unbridled movement and the warm embrace of sunlight. In contrast, the caged bird's experience is characterized by "bars of rage" and a "grave of dreams." These vivid descriptions evoke a sense of confinement and frustration, emphasizing the emotional toll of captivity.
In addition, the poem's imagery draws upon natural elements to further enhance its impact. Angelou employs images of a "sighing wind" and a "fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn" to create a vivid sense of the outside world that the caged bird longs for. These natural images serve as symbols of freedom and possibilities, highlighting the stark contrast between the bird's confined existence and the vastness of the world beyond.
The use of sensory imagery also plays a significant role in the poem. Angelou appeals to the reader's senses, allowing them to imagine the bird's experience more vividly. The reader can almost hear the caged bird's "trill of things unknown" and feel its frustration through the images of the "shadow shouts" and "fearful trill." These sensory details contribute to the emotional impact of the poem, enabling readers to empathize with the bird's longing for freedom.