Students can refer to the following Sample Paper ICSE Class 10 English Literature Set A with Answers provided below based on the latest syllabus and examination guidelines issued for ICSE English Literature. All specimen papers have been prepared covering all chapters given in ICSE English Literature book for Class 10. You should also refer to ICSE Class 10 English Literature Solutions.
Sample Paper ICSE Class 10 English Literature Set A with Answers
STD: X Total Marks: 80
Time : 2 Hours
LITERATURE IN ENGLISH
Answer to this Paper must be written on the paper provided separately.
You will not be allowed to write during the first 15 minutes.
This time is to be spent in reading the question paper.
The time given at the head of this paper is the time allowed for writing the answers.
Attempt five questions in all from only three text books.
You must attempt at least one question from each of the Sections A, B and C and not more than two other questions from the same books you have already compulsorily chosen.
The intended marks for questions or part of questions are given in brackets.
Sample Paper ICSE Class 10 English Literature Set A
SECTION-A ( DRAMA)
Answer one or more questions from the following play:
The Merchant of Venice : Shakespeare
Q. 1. Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow:
I am sorry thou wilt leave my father so:
Our house is hell, and thou, a merry devil,
Didst rob it of some taste of tediousness.
But fare thee well, there is a ducat for thee:
And, Launcelot, soon at supper shalt thou see
Lorenzo, who is thy new master’s guest:
Give him this letter; do it secretly;
And so farewell: I would not have my father
See me in talk with thee.
Adieu! Tears exhibit my tongue. Most beautiful
Pagan, most sweet Jew! If a Christian did not play
The knave and get thee, I am much deceived. But,
Adieu : these foolish drops do something drown
My manly spirit: adieu!
i. Where are the speakers now? How are they related? 
ii. Who is Jessica? What does she think of her father and her home? What does she ask Launcelot to do? 
iii. Who Launcelot’s new master? What does Launcelot desire? 
iv. What is Jessica’s plan? Why does she decide to leave her father’s home? 
v. Later in the play, what happens to Jessica and her lover Lorenzo?
Q2. Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow:
That thou shalt see the difference of our spirits,
I pardon thee thy life before thou ask it:
For half thy wealth, it is Antonio’s;
The other half comes to the general state,
Which humbleness may drive unto a fire.
Ay, for the state, not for Antonio.
Nay, take my life an all; pardon not that:
You take my house when you do take the prop
That doth sustain my house; you take my life
When you do take the means whereby I live.
i. How does Portia turn the tables on Shylock? 
ii. What makes Shylock completely helpless? 
iii. What tells you the extreme agonized state of Shylock? 
iv. Does Shylock accept the conditions imposed on him? How does he leave the court? 
v. What reward is demanded by Portia from Bassanio, and by Nerissa from Gratiano?
What is their purpose?
Q3. Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow:
There’s more depends on this than on the value.
The dearest ring in Venice will I give you,
And find it out by proclamation:
Only for this, I pray you, pardon me.
I see, sir, you are liberal in offers
You taught me first to beg; and now methinks
You teach me how a beggar should be answer’d.
i. Where are the speakers? What offer was made to Portia by Bassanio on winning the case? 
ii. What has Portia demanded? Why Bassanio reluctant? What offer does he make? 
iii. Why does Portia refuse the offer? In which mood is she? 
iv. ‘You teach me how a beggar should be answer’d’. Explain. 
v. Does Bassanio fulfil Portia’s demand? How? 
The Mousetrap: Agatha Christie
Q4. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
Trotter: Where was he? Here?
Mollie: He went across country to get some wire netting for our chickens.
Trotter: Bring it back with him?
i. Who are Mollie and Trotter talking about? What answer did Trotter get to his question? Where does Trotter suggest this person was instead? 
ii. What proof does Trotter offer to support his statement? What is Mollie’s reaction? 
iii. Who enters the scene after Trotter leaves? What confession follows? 
iv. What advice does Mollie give this person? 
v. Why is Mollie feeling very vulnerable and unsure of everything? How can you gather this from her conversation with this person? 
Q5. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
Trotter: Your maiden name was Waring?
Trotter: Miss Waring. You taught school – in the school were those little children went.
i. What does Trotter accuse Mollie of? 
ii. What is Mollie’s reply in defence? 
iii. What does Trotter do then? What does he reveal about himself? 
iv. Why does Trotter decide to drop the revolver? What does he do next? What tune does he whistle? What is its significance? 
v. Narrate the role played by Major Metcalf and Miss Casewell in foiling Trotter’s plans? 
Q6. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
Mollie: Oh, I know, and therefore it all seems to point to Christopher. But I don’t believe it is Christopher. There must be other possibilities.
Sample Paper ICSE Class 10 English Literature Set A
SECTION B – POETRY
A Treasure Trove of Poems
Q7. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
It was a summer evening,
Old Kaspar’s work was done,
And he before his cottage door
Was sitting in the sun,
And by him sported on the green
His little grandchild Wilhelmine.
i. What kind of situation is presented here? 
ii. Where was the old man sitting? What mood was he in? 
iii. Who were two grandchildren of old Kaspar? What do you think of them? 
iv. How did Kaspar react when his grandchildren wanted to know about the war fought at Blenheim? Whom did people give credit for the victory? 
v. Why were they confused about their grandfather’s claims of the war? 
Q8. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
I wandered lonely as a cloud,
That floats on high over vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodil;
Beside the lake, beneath the tress,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
i. What was the poet doing? In what sense was he like a floating cloud? 
ii. What pleasant sight attracted his attention? 
iii. Why does the poet compare himself to an object of nature and an object of nature to a human being? 
iv. The poet later uses a simile to describe the beauty of the daffodils. What is that simile? 
v. Whom did the daffodils seem to surpass in vigour and liveliness? 
Q9. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
He gave out a cry of frustration and anguish
His dreams and his efforts dashed in the dirt
But as sure as I’m standing here telling the story
Now it’s a strange one, but here’s what occurred.
i. Who is ‘he’ referred to here? 
ii. What made him cry out? 
iii. What strange thing happened? 
iv. Why did the eight contestants give up their competitive spirit? 
v. Why were all participants in the race awarded with gold medals? 
Sample Paper ICSE Class 10 English Literature Set A
SECTION C – Prose
A Treasure Trove of Short Stories
Q10. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
‘Well, what’s the matter?’ he asked, his anger giving way to concern. ‘What are you crying for?’ The boy would not answer or look up. His body continued to be racked with silent sobbing. ‘Come on, boy, you shouldn’t be out here at this hour. Tell me the trouble. Look up!’
The boy looked up. He took his hands from his face and looked up at his teacher. The light from Mr. Oliver’s torch fell on the boy’s face – if you could call it a face.
i. Why did the torch from Mr. Oliver’s hand fall? 
ii. Why did Mr. Oliver tell the boy that he should not be out there at this hour? 
iii. What did Oliver do when the saw the face of the boy? 
iv. What did he see when he was running towards the school building? 
v. Who did Mr. Oliver stumble upto? What was his condition at that time? 
Q11. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
Death touches the spring of our common humanity. This woman had been despised, scoffed at, and angrily denounced by nearly every man, woman, and child in the village; but now, as the fact of, her death was passed from lip to lip, in subdued tones, pity took the place of anger, and sorrow of denunciation. Neighbours went hastily to the old tumble-down hut, in which she had secured little more than a place of shelter from summer heats and winter cold: some with grave-clothes for a decent interment of the body; and some with food for the half-starving children, three in number.
i. How did the mother die? 
ii. How did the people of the village treat the woman during her life? What was their attitude towards her after her death? 
iii. Where did the woman live? How many children did she have? 
iv. What did people carry with them when they visited the woman’s house on her death? 
v. Who was the dead woman’s youngest child? How did she become a disabled person? 
Q12. Answer the following questions with reference to T.S. Arthur’s ‘An Angel in Disguise’.
i. Why does Joe Thompson refer to scripture while talking to his wife? 
ii. How does Joe Thompson use reverse psychology to convince his wife to keep Maggie? 
iii. What do you know of the ‘Angel in Disguise’? How is the title of the story significant? 
Q13. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
The animals had their breakfast, and then Snowball and Napoleon called them together again.
“Comrades,” said Snowball, “it is half-past six and we have a long day before us. Today we begin the hay harvest. But there is another matter that must be attended to first.”
i. Who is Snowball? What did he do about the name of the farm? 
ii. What had happened the previous night? 
iii. What did the pigs reveal after the extract? How did they manage that? 
iv. Describe the harvest. 
v. What did the pigs reduce the principles of animalism to? List them. 
Q14. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
At one end of the big barn, on a sort of raised platform, Major was already ensconced on his bed of straw, under a lantern which hung from a beam. He was twelve years old and had lately grown rather stout, but he was still a majestic-looking pig, with a wise and benevolent appearance in spite of the fact that his tushes had never been cut.
i. Where were the animals? What do you know about the owners of The farm? 
ii. Who attended the meeting? 
iii. What does the Major say about England? 
iv. How is Man’s selfishness highlighted by the Major? 
v. What does the Major ask the animals to remember, in conclusion? 
Q15. Answer the following questions with reference to George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm.’
i. Why was it important for the animals to project Animal Farm as a success? 
ii. Who was Benjamin? What was his opinion all along? How did he have the last word? 
iii. Analyze the character of Clover. [8
The Call of the Wild : Jack London
Q16. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
Buck did not read the newspapers, or he would have known that trouble was brewing, not alone from himself, but for every tide water dog, strong of muscles and with warm, long hair, from Puget Sound to San Diego.
i. Who is Buck? Where did he live? 
ii. What was the trouble brewing? Why was it brewing? 
iii. How old was Buck? What do you know about his father and mother? 
iv. Who was responsible for Buck’s trouble? Why? 
v. How was Buck taken away from his home? 
Q17. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
“T’row down de club,” Perrault commanded.
Francois complied, whereupon Buck trotted in, laughing triumphantly, and swung
around into position at the head of the team.
His traces were fastened, the sled broken out, and with both men running they dashed out on to the river trail.
i. What was the disagreement between men and dog? 
ii. How had Buck earned his place? 
iii. What was the fear instilled in Buck about the club? 
iv. Describe the run. How was it a record run? 
v. How did Buck prove to be good at his new position? 
Q18. Answer the following questions with reference to Jack London’s ‘The Call of the Wild’:
i. How did the Buck defend Thornton? 
ii. Why did Buck feel the need to get away into the wild? Describe his feelings then. 
iii. Narrate the havoc Buck causes when he discovers the Yeehats at the camp.