The Great Railway Bazaar: By Train Through Asia Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why was Theroux unable to get food at Meshed in Chapter 5?

2. Why was the Canadian couple going to Australia?

3. What was on the marble slabs at the Galta temple entrance?

4. In Chapter 8, Theroux was told there was no train to which country?

5. Whose alleged grave site did Theroux visit in Ceylon?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Mr. Gopal, the embassy liaison man showing the tourist sites to Theroux in Chapter 11.

2. How did Theroux describe the Australians he encountered on the trains?

3. Why had Sadik still not taken a pilgrimage to Mecca when he met Theroux in Chapter 4?

4. Why did Duffill appear to be so mysterious to Theroux?

5. Why did Paramahansa Yogananda, the guru followed by Mr. Gupta in Chapter 9, go to America?

6. What were Theroux's impressions of the Pakistani city of Peshawar?

7. What was Theroux's reaction to the German drug addict he met in India in Chapter 8?

8. What were Theroux's impressions of the alleged tombs of Cain and Abel?

9. How had Afghanistan changed since the military coup of 1973?

10. Why did Theroux have an early childhood fascination with train travel?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In Japan, Theroux found the Japanese had some robotic qualities (automatically waiting in lines everywhere, doing group calisthenics at the office, etc.). Did that seem like a fair portrayal? What do you think caused the Japanese to behave in this manner? Do you think they had always been like that or had their history played a role in shaping their modern-day attitudes?

Essay Topic 2

While most of the trains boarded by Theroux were rather slow and, in many cases old, some of the trains he rode in Japan were extremely fast. As a result, he felt he did not have rich experiences. Did the speed of the trains interfere with his ability to have revealing conversations with others? Or was some of that due to the Japanese character? How would slower trains facilitate conversation?

Essay Topic 3

Theroux visited what were declared to be the tombs of Cain and Abel while traveling through Ceylon. The country was in dire straits when Theroux traveled through and continued to have significant problems. What was the significance of the location of the alleged tombs of Cain and Abel? Does the fact that the "first murderer" was buried in Ceylon say anything about the country's likely fate? Do you think that the Ceylonese (who showed signs of religious devotion) viewed the tombs as somehow significant in terms of their condition? Did the decrepit condition of the tombs indicate a desire to suppress the tradition that this was the burial place of Cain and Abel?

(see the answer keys)

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