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. What was the approximate population of Ceylon at the time of Chapter 15?

2. What was the greatest annoyance during the afternoon ride to Rameswaram in Chapter 13?

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

4. How long was the trip to Lahore?

5. What African language did Theroux hear on the train as it traveled through England?

Short Essay Questions

1. What was the Indian professor's view of Mr. Gopal's ignorance?

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

3. Why did Theroux think the Orient Express was used as the setting for many stories of criminal intrigues?

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

5. Why was Theroux unwilling to explain his first impressions of India to Vishnua Bhardwaj, the Accountant General on the train to Simla?

6. Why were the Ceylonese showing so much devotion to St. Jude?

7. Why was Theroux fascinated by the taxi driver's offer of a prostitute in the Bay of Bengal?

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

9. Why was the destruction of the coral reefs a perfect example of the improvidence of the Ceylonese?

10. What was Molesworth's attitude toward tourism?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The hippies seen on the trains throughout Turkey kept to themselves for the most part, not interacting with the Turkish people on board. Did Theroux think they were not experiencing authentic culture? How were Theroux's experiences in Turkey richer than those of the hippies? Do you think Theroux would have met the people he met in Turkey if he had stayed in cars with mostly Americans? Do you think the hippies were having a rich experience in Asia? How do you think Theroux felt about their apparent attitude toward the locals?

Essay Topic 2

Theroux opened the book with a description of his childhood love of trains. What was it about trains, as opposed to other forms of transportation, that fascinated him so much? Why did he choose to travel by train through Asia? Would he have had the same rich experiences he had by train if he had instead flown from city to city in Asia? Would he have met the same people and had the same fascinating conversations?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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