Read the passage below and then answer questions 26 to 38
All his life Charles Dickens, one of the greatest novelists in the world, would remember a particular day when he was nine years old, and something his father said. They were out walking together and had stopped, as they often did, to admire a handsome brick house. With its lovely windows and neat lawn, it seemed as grand as a palace.
Then John Dickens told his son that if he worked very hard, someday he might live in that house. The thought took Charles’ breath away. The sort of person who would live in that house would be a distinguished man of taste and education. His father believed that Charles could someday be like that. All he had to do was work hard.
He could not have known on that day how far he would fall and how high he would rise, and that he really would live in that house, and that he would die there.
When Charles looked back on his childhood, these were happy years. They lived in a small house which had a little garden and, across the road; there was a playground for the children. He had a nursemaid, Mary. Who comforted his childish sorrows? She also terrified him with blood-curdling horror stories that he adored, though they gave him nightmares. He spent wonderful hours in his tiny room reading from his father’s set of novels. He went for days imagining himself to be one of his storybook heroes.
But when Charles was ten, his father was transferred to London, and his happy childhood came to a sudden end. His father had many wonderful qualities. He worked hard at his job and was loving to his wife and children. He had many friends and loved to invite them to the house in the evening for a bowl of steaming porridge and lively conversation. But he had one terrible fault: he spent more money than he made.
In the ten years of Charles’ life, the family had lived in six different houses, each poorer than the one before. And as the number of mouths to feed kept growing, the family fell deeper and deeper into debt.
When they reached London, Charles was shocked to learn that he would not be sent to school -they couldn’t afford it. He stayed at home and made himself useful by cleaning his father’s boots and minding the younger siblings. His parents seemed to have forgotten him and all his ambitions.
Two days after his twelfth birthday, Charles was sent to work at a factory. From eight in the morning till eight at night, he worked in a dark room, covering pots of boot polish and pasting on labels. Other children worked there, too, but they were not like his old friends. They were poor boys with rough manners who referred to him scornfully as the “young gentleman.”
Worse still, two weeks later his father was arrested for debt and sent to prison, where he had to stay until his debts were paid. His wife and children were allowed to join him there. The whole family living in one room- everyone, that is, except Charles. The factory was too far from the prison for him to get back before the gates were shut at night. So he lived in a cheap boarding house. From Monday morning to Saturday night, he was on his own with “no advice, no counsel, no encouragement. no consolation, no support from anyone”.
At night he wandered through the dark city. His clothes were shabby. He had no friends. Instead of growing into a fine gentleman, he had descended to the streets.
The memory of that time was so painful that, even as a grown man. Charles could not walk through those streets without the sting of tears coming to his eyes. And years later, when he became a famous writer, his stories were filled with orphaned and abandoned children, debtors’ prisons, factories, and the grim and degrading lives of the poor.
(Adapted from (‘charles Dickens, the Man who had Great Expectations by Diane Stanley and Peter Vennema. Published by Morrow Junior Books: New York, 1993)
26. The fact that Charles never forgot what his father told him when he was only nine shows that he
a. had a good memory
b. respected his father
c. took his father’s words seriously
d. Was a very good child.
27. From the first paragraph we can conclude that palaces are
a. A. magnificent buildings
b. places young boys admire
c. homes for special people
d. Unique homes.
28. Why did John Dickens tell his son he could live in ‘that house” one day?
a. To encourage him to think big.
b. Lie really liked the house.
c. He knew the future was bright.
d. To motivate him to work hard
29. ‘The thought took Charles’ breath away’ means
a. he was unable to breathe
b. lie was greatly surprised
c. his father had frightened him
d. his father made him feel sick
30. What do we learn about Charles’ life from the third paragraph?
a. He fell down and then rose up again.
b. He suffered a lot but later succeeded.
c. He had high hopes in spite of hardships
d. . He lived a life full of disappointments
31. Which of the following statements is not true?
a. The stories by Mary were interesting but scaring
b. Charles did not mind listening to horror stories
c. The stories Mary told truly fascinated Charles.
d. Perhaps Charles merely pretended to be frightened.
32. How do we know that moving to London affected Charles life drastically?
a. life suddenly become more difficult and miserable.
b. His father brought friends who ate all the porridge.
c. There was no time for him to play anymore.
d. He had been very happy in his previous home
33. Which of the following best describes Charles Dickens’ father’s character?
a. Wonderful, hardworking. loving and friendly
b. Friendly. caring, hardworking but extravagant
c. Sociable, lively, generous and loving.
d. Hardworking, jolly, hospitable and carefree.
34. We can tell that Charles loved school because he
a. was very disappointed when he wasn’t sent to school
b. enjoyed reading novels in his father’s collection
c. had dreams of becoming a great writer
d. Knew it was the only way to achieve fame.
35. How did that society violate children’s rights?
a. By not doing enough to meet their needs
b. .By making them looks after young siblings.
c. By making they work in factories.
d. By not punishing irresponsible parents..
36. ‘Rough manners” means that the boys at the
a. did not impress Charles at all
b. were probably naughty and rude
c. did not know how to behave properly
d. made Charles rather uncomfortable
37. Which one of these pairs of words accurately describes Charles’ feelings when his family moved to the debtors’ prison’?
a. unhappy and angry
b. hurt and miserable
c. helpless and desperate
d. lonely and hopeless
38. What would be the best summary of this passage?
a. Accumulating debts is a dangerous habit.
b. Suffering does not mean we cannot succeed.
c. No experience in life is useless
d. careless father can cause untold heartaches
Maurice A. Nyamoti is a teacher by profession and has passion for assisting students improve performance
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