Past Paper Questions – The English Teacher


You will have the option of picking from one of two questions on this paper. Each question is worth 40 marks and you should spend about 45 minutes on your chosen question. Only answer one!



May 2010:

1.       Examine the changes in the relationship between Krishna and Susila throughout the novel.

2.       ‘Finding out about oneself is the main theme of The English Teacher.’ How far do you agree with this statement?


November 2009:

1.       How is Susila presented within the culture and traditions shown in this novel?

2.       Show how successfully the theme of love is developed throughout this novel.


May 2009:

1.       What does Krishna’s role as a teacher show the reader about his character?

2.       Narayan uses contrast very effectively in this novel.’ How far do you agree with this statement?


November 2008:

1.       Krishna is changed by his wife’s death. Contrast how Narayan presents Krishna before and after his wife’s death.

2.        ‘This novel is loosely based on the writer’s own experiences.’ How successfully has the writer made the story seem real?


May 2008:

1.       ‘We see different qualities in Krishna when he is with Susila and when he is with the Headmaster.’ To what extent do you consider this statement to be true?

2.       What do you learn about responses to suffering in this novel?


November 2007:

1.       What can we learn from a study of Krishna and Susila’s relationship?

2.       Narayan is very successful at involving the reader in his story.’ Write about two episodes, or situations, to show how far you agree with this statement.


May 2007:

1.       Narayan presents Krishna as a wholly admirable character in this novel.’ How far do you agree with this opinion?

2.       Explain the importance of the settings in this novel.


May 2006:

1.       Explain the way in which children affect Krishna’s life

2.       Choose two episodes in The English Teacher and explain how they make you think more about the power of love.


November 2005:

1.       How is Leela’s headmaster shown to affect the lives of his own family, his pupils and Krishna?

2.       ‘The English Teacher portrays a happy marriage between Susila and Krishna.’ How far do you agree with this statement?


May 2005:

1.       How does your understanding of the character of Krishna deepen from the way in which he behaves during his wife’s illness until immediately after her death?

2.       ‘This is a story about disappointment.’ With close reference to the novel, show how far you agree with this statement.