Question 4

In this section, there are contextual questions set on the following short stories:In this section, there are contextual questions set on the following short stories:

  • ‘FORBIDDEN CLOTHES’ by Jamila Gavin
  • ‘SWIMMING PARTNERS’ by Timwa Lipenga

Read the following extracts from the TWO short stories and answer the questions
set on each. The number of marks allocated to each question serves as a guide to
the expected length of your answer.

NOTE: Answer the questions set on BOTH extracts, i.e. QUESTION 4.1 AND


4.1.1 Refer to line 1. (‘Nasreen! Nasreen! Come on, we’ll miss the bus!’)
Explain in your OWN words the reason for Louise’s anxiety. (1)

4.1.2 Choose the correct answer to complete the following sentence.
Write only the letter (A−D) next to the question number (4.1.2) in the

In line 3 Nasreen squirts ‘lacquer’ on her hair because it needs …
A gloss.
B growth.
C a wash.
D a fragrance. (1)

4.1.3 How are Louise and Nasreen described in this short story?
Give TWO descriptions for EACH character. (4)

4.1.4 Refer to lines 8−10. (‘From her demure … weeks to buy.’)
Explain the irony in these lines in the context of the story as a whole. (2)

4.1.5 Refer to lines 10−11. (‘They flattered her … and narrow waist.’)
(a) Identify the figure of speech in this line. (1)
(b) Explain why this figure of speech is appropriate. (1)

4.1.6 Refer to lines 17−18. (‘God! Your mum … a blooming fit.’)
(a) Identify Louise’s tone in this line. (1)
(b) Why is Louise’s tone appropriate at this stage in the story? (2)

4.1.7 Discuss the theme of deception as it is evident in the story as a whole. (3)

4.1.8 Do you sympathise with Nasreen in this extract? Discuss your views. (2)

4.2.1 Refer to line 2. (‘But taking a plunge into the city …?’)
Explain in your OWN words ‘taking a plunge into the city’. (1)

4.2.2 Refer to line 4.
(a) Quote FOUR consecutive words to prove that the following statement is FALSE. Aisha does not put pressure on Linda to follow her to the city. (1)

(b) What was Linda’s reaction? (1)

4.2.3 Refer to lines 9−12. (‘I missed her … an attractive catch.’)
Explain the following in the context of the extract.
(a) ‘keep an eagle’s eye’ (1)
(b) ‘an attractive catch’ (1)

4.2.4 Give a reason why women thought that Itimu was wealthy. (1)

4.2.5 Refer to line 16. (‘It was the … five years.’)
Explain fully why you think Aisha never returned to the village in the five years. (2)

4.2.6 Explain fully what Itimu and Aisha had in common as it is revealed in this text. (2)

4.2.7 Refer to lines 20−21. (‘And what better … my childhood one?’)

(a) Which word in this sentence tells us that Linda did not reject
Aisha? (1)

(b) Identify Linda’s tone in these lines. (1)

(c) Why is Linda’s tone appropriate at this stage in the story? (2)

4.2.8 Discuss the suitability of the title of the short story, ‘Swimming
Partners’. (3)



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