Multiple Choice Questions and Answers on Ayi Kwei Armah’s “The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born”


Multiple Choice Questions

‘Cheer!’ said Koomson. He looked ready to add something as he raised his glass, but the high voice of his wife cut the air to pieces.

‘This local beer,’ she was saying, ‘does not agree with my constitution.’

‘And what sort of constitution is it that you have?’ asked the man from his isolated place.


(1) What the writer feels for or towards the woman in this passage is ___________.

(a) love (b) sympathetic understanding (c) contempt (d) respect (e) deference

‘Ah, you know the chichidodo is a bird. The chichidodo hates excrement with all its soul. But the chichidodo only feeds on maggots, and you know the maggots best grow inside the lavatory. This is the chichidodo.’

(2) Which character in the novel is likened to this bird?

(a) Koomson (b) Oyo (c) The man (d) Teacher

(3) The use of the word ‘salt’ in the novel is suggestive of ___________.

(a) the corruption in political life (b) an indispensable commodity (c) the destruction of social values (d) an instrument of decay and cleansing

(4) By the coup which takes place towards the end of the novel, the writer suggest that

(a) there is very little hope for genuine change (b) all corrupt politicians shall be ousted (c) the military is the hope for salvation (d) the beautiful ones will soon be born

‘… No difference at all between the white men and their apes, the lawyers and the merchants, and now the apes of the apes, our Party men.’

(5) The statement above refers to Koomson’s

(a) commitment to the plight of the poor man (b) reaction to the politics of betrayal (c) change of attitude to the plight of the poor man (d) disgust with the white men who are apes

(6) Kofi Billy’s right leg was cut off by a machine in the novel because

(a) the young Englishman loaded too much tension into the steel ropes (b) he had been playing at work with the steel ropes (c) the steel ropes were old, slack and gave away (d) he has always wanted a wooden leg

(7) The central theme of the novel is

(a) hatred (b) corruption (c) poverty (d) morality

 “ … How can I look at Oyo and say I hate long shiny cars? How can I come back to the children and despise international schools? And then Koomson comes, and the family sees Jesus Christ in him ….”

(8)The statement above reveals a feeling of

(a) despair (b) envy (c) alienation (d) hope

(9) The title, The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born, implies that

(a) there could still be an upright man within an amoral society (b) there is a possibility of moral generation (c) the teacher is not involved in corruption (d) any corrupt government will be overthrown

(10) The dominant images in the novel are those of

(a) death and time (b) filth and time (c) death and decay (d) filth and decay

“The old man himself does not believe in it: But when people see you doing something to get ahead, they become jealous and shout the slogans against you.”

(11) What is being referred to in these lines?

(a) Christianity (b) Pan Africanism (c) Socialism (d) Capitalism

(12) The man in Armah’s novel is despised by his wife and family because he

(a) does not give them sufficient money to maintain the house (b) does not capitalize on his education and position to get ahead (c) does not join Koomson’s political party (d) fails in his campaign to get into the government house

“… checking the coins against the tickets, he began to count the morning’s take. It was mostly what he expected at this time of the month: small coins, a lot of pesewas …”

(13) What time of the month is being referred to in the above statement from the novel?

(a) Passion week (b) Passover week (c) pay day (d) rainy day

‘In Oyo’s eyes there was now real gratitude. Perhaps for the first time in their married life, the man could believe that she was glad to have him the way he was.’

(14) Why was Oyo happy with her husband?

(a) The man’s moral uprightness was vindicated at the end (b) she decided to love the man with all his weaknesses (c) she realized that money was not everything (d) The man suddenly came by a lot of money

‘Now take this boat business for instance. There is a lot of money to be made in it, but start something, and fools will start shouting slogans at you.’

(15) Who made the above statement?

(a) Amankwa (b) Oyo (c) Koomson (d) Osagyefo

(16) The Chichidodo is hypocritical because it hates

(a) shit (b) maggots (c) maggots but eats shit (c) shit but eats maggots

(17) What is the author’s perception of real change in the novel?

(a) a change of government (b) change of rulers (c) the elimination of opponents (d) the transformation of society

Check the answers below.


(1) C

(2) C

(3) D

(4) A

(5) C

(6) A

(7) B

(8) A

(9) B

(10) D

(11) C

(12) B

(13) A

(14) A

(15) C

(16) D

(17) D

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