CBSE Board Class 12 English Core Previous Year Question Papers 2009
CBSE Board Previous Year Question Papers 2009 for Class 12 English Core
ENGLISH (Core) 2009
Time allowed : 3 hours Maximum Marks: 100
General Instructions :
(i) This paper is divided into three sections: A, B and C. All the sections are compulsory.
(ii) Separate instructions are given with each section and question, wherever necessary.
Read these instructions very carefully and follow them faithfully.
(iii) Do not exceed the prescribed word limit while answering the questions.
SECTION A : READING
1. Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow :
1 Millions of men and women, thousands of leaders, a succession of social, religious and
political movements - it is impossible to draw up a full list of the makers of India even
on a limited 1000-year basis. “All that can be attempted here is to present a few
representative names, some of them inspirational still. All of them remind us of the
course we have traversed, and how we have come to where we are. Let us make a start
with the best ever Indian.
2 Implied in Toynbee’s assessment was the deduction that Gandhi was not just an Indian
phenomenon. No doubt India derived unequalled benefit from his leadership. By fitting
the freedom struggle into the framework of a philosophy of justice and fairness, he
3 The true measure of his impact on history is that it is not dependent on the successful
completion of his mission in India. The others who soldiered on with him in the epic war
of independence - Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel included - will be remembered
for what they did in India and for India; they were essentially Indian personalities. So,
for that matter, was Jinnah whose life’s work boiled down to the creation of a state on
what rapidly proved to be a dubious premise.
4 Gandhi soared above them all because he dealt essentially with ideas and theories
relevant to all mankind. Like Buddhism, Gandhism lost ground in the land out of which
it evolved. But, like Buddhism, it has been embraced by distant peoples who see in its
tenets the promise of a meaningful life. It was as though Gandhi’s involvement with
India was merely incidental to his larger involvement with what he persistently called
Truth. Raja Rao put it pithily when he wrote: “For Gandhi India was only the symbol
of a universal principle. All countries were, for Gandhi, India.” When we look at him in
this perspective, we realise that it was his universality, the transcendent quality of his
life and thought, that made Gandhi Gandhi.
5 He will be greater than not just Stalin and Hitler - two characters who are rather too
one-dimensional to be contrasted with the vastness that was Gandhi. Gandhi personifies
the greatness of the time-honoured propo sition that Love is superior to Hatred, that
Good is better than Evil. Great personages of history who based their “greatness” on
Hatred and Evil, on conquests and oppression, have all gone under. The Byzantines and
the Ottomans, the Mongols and the Mughals, the British and the Spanish once strode
the earth as if they owned it. Today only Britain and Spain survive, and that as
second-class entities confined to Europe. Alexander, the first king in history to be called
“The Great,” died a lonely death as a disillusioned and defeated man at the incredible
age of 33. Nothing of his greatness remains today even in his native Macedonia which is
now but an appendage to the horrible tragedy of Yugoslavia.
6 Greatness built on murder and acquisition passes. Greatness rising out of compassion
and service abides. The Buddha abides. Christ abides. The great unknown thinkers of
the Upanishads abide. Gandhi carried that tradition through to our times. He might
have been let down by the “Gandhians” who, armed with political power, have turned
India into a mess. That too is parallel to the way quarrelling Buddhists, exploitative
Christians and lately-intolerant Hindus have been letting down their preceptors. But
their smallness does not detract from the true greatness of the sages who opened the
path of enlightenment for them and for the world. They abide because they gave without taking.
They were not men of arms. They were men of ideas. Parithranaya sadhunam,
they appear from age to age. They appear to teach us that the world can be conquered,
not with force, but with ideas. It was the lesson of this Millennium too - taught by the
Man of the Millennium.
(a) (i) What did Gandhi achieve through his philosophy of justice and fairness ? 2
(ii) How will Jawahar Lal Nehru and Sardar Patel be remembered ? 1
(iii) According to Raja Rao, what did Gandhi represent ? 2
(iv) The author talks of two types of greatness. Which one is much appreciated and
admired ? 2
(v) What was the lesson of this millennium ? 2
(b) Pick out one word from the passage that means the same as : 3
(i) continuous decrease/fall (para 2)
(ii) strong effect (para 3)
(iii) rose quickly (para 4)
2. Read the passage given below :
The tests of life are its plus factors. Overcoming illness and suffering is a plus factor for
it moulds character. Steel is iron plus fire, soil is rock plus heat. So let’s include the
plus factor in our lives.
Sometimes the plus factor is more readily seen by the simple-hearted. Myers tells the
story of a mother who brought into her home - as a companion to her own son - a
little boy who happened to have a hunchback. She had warned her son to be careful not
to refer to his disability, and to go right on playing with him as if he were like any
The boys were playing and after a few minutes she overheard her son say to his
companion : “Do you know what you have got on your back ?” The little boy was
embarrassed, but before he could reply, his playmate continued: “It is the box in which
your wings are and some day God is going to cut it open and then you will fly away and
be an angel”.
Often it takes a third eye, or a change in focus, to see the plus factor. Walking along the
corridors of a hospital recently where patients were struggling with fear of pain and
tests, I was perturbed. What gave me fresh perspective were the sayings put up
everywhere, intended to uplift. One saying made me conscious of the beauty of the
universe in the midst of pain, suffering and struggle. The other saying assured me that
God was with me when I was in deep water and that no troubles would overwhelm me.
The import of those sayings also made me aware of the nether springs that flow into
people’s lives when they touch rock-bottom or lonely, or even deserted. The
nether springs make recovery possible, and they bring peace and patience in the
midst of pain and distress.
The forces of death and destruction are not so much physical as they are psychic and
psychological. When malice, hate and hard-heartedness prevail, they get channelled as
forces of destruction. Where openness, peace and good-heartedness prevail, the forces of
life gush forth to regenerate hope and joy.
The life force is triumphant when love overcomes fear. Both fear and love are deep
mysteries, but the effect of love is to build whereas fear tends to destroy. Love is often
the plus factor that helps build character. It helps us to accept and to overcome
suffering. It creates lasting bonds and its reach is infinite.
It is true that there is no shortage of destructive elements - forces and people who seek
to destroy others and in the process, destroy themselves - but at the same time there
are signs of love and life everywhere that are constantly enabling us to overcome
setbacks. So let’s not look only at gloom and doom - let’s seek out positivity and
happiness. For it is when you seek that you will find what is waiting to be discovered.
(a) On the basis of your reading of the above passage make notes on it using headings and
sub-headings. Use recognizable abbreviations, wherever necessary. 5
(b) Write a summary of the above passage in 80 words using the notes made and also
suggest a suitable title.
SECTION B : ADVANCED WRITING SKILLS
3. You plan to sell some furniture of your house as you are going abroad. Draft a suitable
advertisement in not more than 50 words to be inserted in the classified columns of a
local daily, giving all necessary details of the furniture. You are Sushil / Sita, 18, Kamla
Nagar, Kochi. 5
You are Surya / Roshni, a social worker much concerned about the increase in the
number of road accidents. Draft a poster to create an awareness on how careless and
untrained driving can cost life and property.
4. You are Ram / Rohini, a student of Sun Public School, Pune. Your school organised
a visit to the local museum. Write a brief report in 100 -125 words for your school
magazine on what you saw, the exhibits you liked most and other special features of the
You are Krishna / Kritika. Attempt a factual description of a place of interest that you
visited recently in about 100 - 125 words. Mention its location, history and other special
5. You are Apoorva / Asha, 115, Netaji Nagar, Coimbatore. Read the advertisement given
below and write a letter to the advertiser, applying for the job. Also give your detailed
resume, which you would send along with your letter of application for the job. 10
Wanted experienced Post Graduate Teacher in Physics to teach classes XI and XII in a
reputed CBSE affiliated residential school. Fluency in English is a must. Working knowledge of
computers is preferable; salary commensurate with experience and expertise. Please apply to
: Box No. 9001, C/O The Hindu, Chennai - 2.
You are Apoorva / Asha, Sales Manager of Bharat Publishers Limited, Dehradun. You have
received a letter from the Librarian of Wisdom Public School, Mussoorie who placed an order
for books with your company two months ago on behalf of the school, expressing concern
over the undue delay in the supply from your end. Write a suitable reply giving reasons for
the undue delay and promising the delivery of the books at the earliest.
6. You are Bala / Sunita, a teacher and social worker. You are happy with the recent
introduction of scholarships by the Government to promote education of girls. But you
feel that it is not enough. Write an article in 150 — 200 words on how the education of girls
can be promoted by providing them with the required physical, economic and
emotional back-up. 10
You are Bala / Sunita, a social worker, much concerned about the accidents caused by
careless crossing of roads by pedestrians. Thinking in terms of the increasing population and
the increase in the number of vehicles, you feel that if there are more subways and the
existing ones are made safe and better maintained, the problem can be solved. Write an
article in 150 - 200 words on how pedestrians can use roads safely without getting involved
SECTION C : LITERATURE
7. (a) Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :
Freedom from the burden of ages, bending your head,
breaking your back, blinding your eyes to the beckoning
call of the future;
(i) Which freedom does the poet refer to ? 1
(ii) What is the ‘burden of ages’ ? 1
(iii) What is the effect of this burden ? 2
To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul’ that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What Man has made of Man.
(i) What does the poet mean by Nature’s ‘fair works’ ? 1
(ii) What is the poet’s belief ? 2
(iii) What made the poet sad ? 1
(b) Answer the following questions in 30 - 40 words each : 3×2=6
(i) Why does the poet call the lily a flower of light ?
(ii) Describe the contrast between the past and the present in ‘Once Upon a Time’,
(iii) Who ultimately won the gift of God in ‘The Plate of Gold’ ? How ?
8. Answer the following questions in 30 — 40 words each : 5×2=10
(a) How were the prisoners treated while being taken to the Andaman Islands ?
(b) What two major changes did the Gandhian movement bring about in the status of
(c) Mention any two reasons why Max Mueller calls India unique.
(d) How do machines affect emotions ?
(e) Why did Mr. Gupta accept a shilling from Maggie ?
9. Answer the following question in 125 — 150 words : 10
How is the title, ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ appropriate ?
Though victims of the same explosion, why could only Mr. Parsons come up in life and
not Markwardt ?
10. Answer the following question in 125 — 150 words : 7
The play, ‘The Hour of Truth’ describes some peoples’ greed for money. Support your
answer with examples from the text.
What is the task ahead for the youth of today ? How should the youth equip
themselves to accomplish it ?
11. Answer the following questions in 30 — 40 words each : 4×2 = 8
(a) Why did the Wangs call the river a demon ? How did they protect themselves from
(b) According to Chesterfield, why should one not speak about oneself ?
(c) C did not recognise Barin until the latter confessed. Give two examples from the
text in support of this statement.
(d) What makes you appreciate the lawyer in The Bet’ ?
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