IGCSE English (First Language): Specimen Questions with Answers 147 - 147 of 179


Many years ago, China was in the middle of a great war. The Emperor said that one man from each Chinese family must leave his family to join the army. Mulan, a teenage girl who lived in a faraway village of China, heard the news when she was outside, washing clothes. Mulan ran into the house. Her father was sitting in a chair, carving a piece of wood. “Father!” she said. “Did you hear what the Emperor says each family must do?” “Yes,” said her old father, “I heard about it in town. Well, I may as well go pack up.” He put down his carving, stood up and walked very slowly to his room. “Wait!” said Mulan, “Father, you have not been well. If I may say so, why at your age must you keep up with all those young men?” “What else can be done?” said her father. “Your brother is a child. He cannot go.” “Of course, that՚s true,” said Mulan. “He is too little. But I have an idea.” She poured her father a cup of tea and handed it to him. “Father, have some tea. Please sit for a minute. I will be right back.” “Very well, dear,” said the father. Mulan went into her room. With her sword, she cut off her long, black hair. She put on her father՚s robe. Going back to her father, Mulan said, “Look at me. I am your son now. I will go in your place. I will do my part for China.” “No, my daughter!” said the old man. “You cannot do this!” “Father, listen please,” said Mulan. “For years, you trained me in Kung Fu. You showed me how to use a sword.” Mulan swung the sword back and forth with might. “Only so that you could stay safe!” said her father. “I never meant for you to go to war. If they find out you are a woman, you know as well as I do that you will die!” “No one will find out, Father,” said Mulan. She picked up her sword. “Mulan!” said the Father. He tried to get up but had to hold on to his chair. The daughter kissed him goodbye. “I love you, Father,” she said. “Take care of yourself. Tell my brother I said goodbye.” She climbed on a family horse. And off she went to join the Emperor՚s army. In the army, Mulan proved to be a brave soldier. In time, she was put in charge of other soldiers. Her battles went so well that she was put in charge of more soldiers. Her battles kept on going well. After a few years Mulan was given the top job – she would be General of the entire army. Not long after that, a very bad fever swept through the army. Many soldiers were sick. And Mulan, the General of the army, became sick, too. When the doctor came out of Mulan՚s tent, he knew the truth. “The General is a woman?” yelled the soldiers. “How can this be?” Some called out, “She tricked us!” and “We will not fight for a woman!” They said, “Punish her! Make her pay! The cost is for her to die!” But others called out, in voices just aloud, “With Mulan, we win every battle!” They said, “Stay away from our General!” Just then, a soldier ran up. “Everyone!” he called. “A surprise attack is coming!” Mulan heard this from inside her tent. She got dressed and went outside. She was not yet strong, but stood tall. She told the soldiers where they must go to hide so they could attack when the enemy came. But they must get there fast! The soldiers, even those who did not like that their General was a woman, could tell that Mulan knew what she was talking about. It worked! The battle was won. It was such a big victory that the enemy gave up, at last. The war was over, and China was saved! You can be sure that after that last battle, no one cared anymore that Mulan was a woman. The Emperor was so glad that Mulan had ended the long war, he set aside the rule about being a woman. “Mulan, stay with me in the palace,” he said. “Someone as smart as you would be a fine royal adviser.” Mulan bowed deeply. “You are too kind, Sire,” she said. “But if you please, what I wish most of all is to return home to my family.” “Then at least take these fine gifts,” said the Emperor. “So, everyone at your home and village will know how much the Emperor of China thinks of you.” Mulan returned to her village with six fine horses and six fine swords. Everyone cheered that she was safe. The person who had saved China was their very own Mulan!

Question 147 (1 of 6 Based on Passage)


Write in Short

Short Answer▾

Write an Essay describing the following characteristic qualities of Mulan. (Marks 25)

  • Lovable daughter - Mulan
  • Her Patriotism
  • Her Valour
  • Her Humbleness
  • Conclusion


  • Introduction: Mulan is a heroic Chinese teenage girl. She saved her country from the enemy army with her courage and talent. She showed various characters in this story.
  • Lovable daughter - Mulan: The Chinese emperor ordered that one man from each family must join the army. As soon as Mulan came to know about this order, she didn՚t want her father to join the army in his old age. She was lovable to her father. She loved her country too. So, she decided to join the army instead of him.
  • Her Patriotism: In those days girls were not allowed in the army. So, she cut her hair short and groomed herself like a boy. She fought bravely despite her father՚s opposition.
  • Her Valour: Though she was sick, she reacted bravely and strategically to a surprise attack made by the enemy. This time she victorious ended the war.
  • Her Humbleness: Admiring her valour and bravery in the war, the Emperor set aside the rule against girls participation in the war. Emperor was willing to appoint her as the royal advisor. She refused humbly and returned to her village to see her father and brother.
  • Conclusion: Mulan, a multifaceted personality showed her love for her country by fighting bravely. She also, exhibited her love for her father and brother.

Developed by: