CSS English (Precis & Composition) 2011

Q.2. Make a précis of the given passage and suggest a suitable heading: (20 + 5 = 25)

The Psychological causes of unhappiness, it is clear, are many and various. But all have something in common. The typical unhappy man is one who having been deprived in youth of some normal satisfaction, has come to value this one kind of satisfaction more than any other, and has, therefore, given to his life a one-sided direction, together with a quite undue emphasis upon the achievement as opposed to the activities connected with it. There is, however, a further development which is very common in the present day. A man may feel so completely thwarted that he seeks no form of satisfaction, but only distraction and oblivion. He then becomes a devotee of “Pleasure”. That is to say, he seeks to make life bearable by becoming less alive. Drunkenness, for example, is temporary suicide; the happiness that it brings is merely negative, a momentary cessation of unhappiness. The narcissist and the megalomaniac believe that happiness is possible, though they may adopt mistaken means of achieving it; but the man who seeks intoxication, in whatever form, has given up hope except in oblivion. In his case the first thing to be done is to persuade him that happiness is desirable. Men, who are unhappy, like men who sleep badly, are always proud of the fact. Perhaps their pride is like that of the fox who had lost his tail; if so, the way to cure it is to point out to them how they can grow a new tail. Very few men, I believe, will deliberately choose unhappiness if they see a way of being happy. I do not deny that such men exist, but they are not sufficiently numerous to be important. It is common in our day, as it has been in many other periods of the world’s history, to suppose that those among us who are wise have seen through all the enthusiasms of earlier times and have become aware that there is nothing left to live for. The man who hold this view are genuinely unhappy, but they are proud of their unhappiness, which they attribute to the nature of the universe and consider to be the only rational attitude for an enlightened man. Their pride in their unhappiness makes less sophisticated people suspicious of its genuineness; they think that the man who enjoys being miserable is not miserable.

Q.3. Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow: (5 x 4 = 20)

Knowledge is acquired when we succeed in fitting a new experience in the system of concepts based upon our old experiences. Understanding comes when we liberate ourselves from the old and so make possible a direct, unmediated contact with the new, the mystery, moment by moment, of our existence. The new is the given on every level of experience – given perceptions, given emotions and thoughts, given states of unstructured awareness, given relationships with things and persons. The old is our home-made system of ideas and word patterns. It is the stock of finished articles fabricated out of the given mystery by memory and analytical reasoning, by habit and automatic associations of accepted notions. Knowledge is primarily a knowledge of these finished articles. Understanding is primarily direct awareness of the raw material.

Knowledge is always in terms of concepts and can be passed on by means of words or other symbols. Understanding is not conceptual and therefore cannot be passed on. It is an immediate experience, and immediate experience can only be talked about (very inadequately), never shared. Nobody can actually feel another’s pain or grief, another’s love or joy, or hunger. And similarly nobody can experience another’s understanding of a given event or situation. There can, of course, be knowledge of such an understanding, and this knowledge may be passed on in speech or writing, or by means of other symbols. Such communicable knowledge is useful as a reminder that there have been specific understandings in the past, and that understanding is at all times possible. But we must always remember that knowledge of understanding is not the same thing as the understanding which is the raw material of that knowledge. It is as different from understanding as the doctor’s prescription for pencitin is different from penicillin.


(i) How is knowledge different from understanding?

(ii) Explain why understanding cannot be passed on.

(iii) Is the knowledge of understanding possible? If it is, how may it be passed on?

(iv) How does the author explain that knowledge of understanding is not the same thing as the understanding?

(v) How far do you agree with the author in his definitions of knowledge and understanding? Give reasons for your answer.

Q.4. Write a comprehensive note (250 – 300 words) on any ONE of the following: (20)

(i) Child is the father of man.

(ii) Life succeeds in that it seems to fail.

(iii) Yellow Journalism.

(iv) The violence of war can be diluted with love.

(v) Love is a beautiful but baleful god.

Q.5. (a) Use ONLY FIVE of the following in sentences which illustrate their meaning: (05)

(i) To eat one’s words. (ii) Dog in the manger (iii) A close shave

(iv) A Freudian Ship (v) A Gordian knot (vi) A cog in the machine

(vii) A sugar daddy (viii) A wet blanket.

(b) Use ONLY FIVE of the following Pairs of words in sentences which illustrate their meaning: (10)

(i) Capital, Capitol (ii) Assay, Essay (iii) Envelop, envelope

(iv) Decree, Degree (v) Desolate, Dissolute (vi) Species, Specie

(vii) Tortuous, Torturous (viii) Wet, Whet

Q.6. (a) Correct ONLY FIVE of the following. (05)

(i) Please speak to the concerned clerk.

(ii) You have got time too short for that.

(iii) Not only he was a thief, but he was also a murderer.

(iv) They thought that the plan would be succeeded.

(v) It is unlikely that he wins the race.

(vi) My uncle has told me something about it yesterday.

(vii) I hoped that by the time I would have got there it would have stopped raining.

(viii) They prevented the driver to stop.

(b) Change the narration from direct to indirect or indirect to direct speech. (05)

(i) “I couldn’t get into the house because I had lost my key, so I had to break a window”, he said.

(ii) “Would you like to see over the house or are you more interested in the garden”? She asked me.

(iii) “Please send whatever you can spare. All contributions will be acknowledged immediately”, Said the Secretary of the disastrous fund.

(iv) She asked if he’d like to go to the concert and I said I was sure he would.

(v) I told her to stop making a fuss about nothing and said that she was lucky to have got a seat at all.

(vi) The teacher said, “You must not forget what I told you last lesson. I shall expect you to be able to repeat it next lesson by heart.”

(vii) He asked me if he should leave it in the car.

(viii) He said, “May I open the window? It’s rather hot in here.”