English CSS Paper 1984

ENGLISH (Précis and Composition)

Time allowed: 3 hours Maximum marks: 100

  1. Write a precis of the following passage and suggest a suitable title.
    It is no doubt true that we cannot go through life without sorrow. There can be no sunshine without shade. We must not complain that roses have thorns, but rather be grateful that thorns bear flowers. Our existence here is so complex that we must expect much sorrow and much suffering. Many people distress and torment themselves about the mystery of existence. But although a good man may at times be angry with the world, it is certain that no man was ever discontented with the world who did his duty in it. The world is a looking-glass, if you smile, it smiles, if you frown, it frowns back. If you look at it through a red glass, all seems red and rosy: if through a blue, all blue, if through a smoked one, all dull and dingy. Always try then to look at the bright side of things, almost everything in the world has a bright side. There are some persons whose smile, the sound of whose voice, whose every presence seems like a ray of sunshine and brightens a whole room. Greet everybody with a bright smile, kind words and a pleasant welcome. It is not enough to love those who are near and dear to us. We must show that we do so. While, however, we should be grateful, and enjoy to the full the innumerable blessings of life, we cannot expect to have no sorrows or anxieties. Life has been described as a comedy to those who think, a tragedy to those who feel. It is indeed a tragedy at times and a comedy very often, but as a rule, it is what we choose to make it. No evil, said Socrates, can happen to a good man, either in Life or Death.

  2. Read the following passage carefully and answer any TWO questions given at the end.
    During the last few decades medicine has undoubtedly advanced by huge strides in consequence of innumerable discoveries and inventions. But have we actually become healthier as a result of this progress? Admittedly, tuberculosis or cholera is today a much rare cause of death in many countries. On the other hand, various other no less dangerous diseases have appeared, which we term “time diseases”. They include not only certain impairments of the heart and the circulatory system, of the skeletal structure and internal organs, but also an increased psychic instability, the addiction to all manner of drugs etc., and states of nervous shock and exhaustion.
    According to Bodamer, “Man’s hysterical and vain attempt to overtax and do violence to his nature in order to adjust it to the technical world leads to a dangerous threat to health.” In other words, our organs can no longer cope with the noise, the bustle and all the inevitable concomitants of our modern civilization. A man’s body is simply not a machine to be used as he thinks fit, and as long as he likes. It is something living, a part of the image of God in which we were created. That is why the body has a rhythm of its own, a rhythm that can make itself heard. The most deep-seated of all the diseases of our time is that man no longer takes God into account, that he has lost confidence in God’s dominion over the world, that he considers the visible as the ultimate, the only, reality. But man without God suffers from his fate because he cannot accept it from the hand of God. He suffers from the world because he senses its disordered state without being able to put it right. He begins to suffer from his work because it exhausts him without satisfying him. He begins to suffer from his fellowmen because they are not his neighbours, to whom God would have him turn, but because he lets them get on his neighbours, to whom God would have him turn, but because he lets them get on his nerves and make him ill. And he suffers from himself because he finds himself out of tune and dissatisfied with himself. It is only because our time is no longer centered in God that its structure is increasingly becoming what critics of our civilization call “pathological” dominated by the fear of life as well as by the lust for life, ending in the splitting of personality.
    (a) How does the expression “time diseases” indicate that these various ailments have something fundamental in common? Explain.
    (b) Why does modern man suffer from his time? It is not because he has not adapted his body sufficiently to the demands of the machine. It is not rather because he has surrendered his should to time and its powers.
    (c) What cure would you suggest to combat these ills?
    (d) Explain the last sentence fully.

  1. Make sentences to illustrate the meaning of any FIVE of the following.
    (i) To look a gift horse in the mouth (ii) To have an axe to grind (iii) To wash one’s dirty linen in public (iv) To pocket and insult (v) To take to one’s heels (vi) To win laurels (vii) A gentleman at large

  2. Examine the following word groups. Explain and use any FIVE of them in sentences to determine where genuine differences of meaning and function exist within the group.
    (i) Table, Brand (ii) Opinion, Judgement (iii) Uninterested, Disinterested (iv) Revolt, Mutiny (v) Decay, Spoil (vi) Adjourn, Postpone (vii) Ignore, Neglect (viii) Conspiracy, Plot

  3. Discuss each of the following situations and determine the validity of the direct testimony involved.
    (i) A witness testifies to seeing a holdup and identifies one of the gunmen. It is established that this witness was about two hundred yards from the scene of the crime. Under cross-examination, the attorney for the defence brings out the fact that the witness habitually wears glasses to correct a severe condition of nearsightedness, but that on the day of holdup, his glasses were broken and he had just left them to be repaired.
    (b) A series of witness agrees that a particular crime was committed by a man who is bald, walks with a slight lip, is about 5.10 tall, and wears thick glasses. They differ on the matter of the colour of his clothing, the type of shoes he was wearing, and the size of satchel he was carrying.


Explain as clearly as you can any TWO of the following statements.
(a) The political structure of a society is always the power structure of that society.
(b) It is better to be silent and be thought stupid than to speak and prove it’s true.
(c) The only knowledge worth having is that which is applicable to some part of the economic life of the community.
(d) Any “labour-saving” device is the most inhuman aspect of work.


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