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. At what French station did the train join the Orient Express?

2. Why did the Ceylonese dynamite the coral reefs.

3. What term did the Accountant General use when describing the people trying to cheat the government or seek bribes?

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

5. What was the birthplace of the Indian who grew up in Britain and left because of racism?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Describe the city of Teheran as encountered by Theroux in Chapter 4.

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

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

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

6. Describe the Tamils as encountered by Theroux in Chapter 12.

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

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

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

10. Describe the English engineer's (encountered in Chapter 5) experiences with women.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Many of the religious processions and festivals observed by Theroux appeared to be much more colorful, exuberant, bloody (in some cases), and well-attended than religious activities in Western countries. Do you think people in poorer parts of the world pay closer attention to religion? On the flip side, do cultures tend to drift away from religious ritual as they become more prosperous? Is the change inevitable? Did the profound dedication to religious faith in poor countries that Theroux witnessed offer any important insights into those cultures?

Essay Topic 2

Yashar Kemal, the Marxist highly critical of the Soviet Union, was full of contradictions, according to Theroux. The author's traveling companion, Molesworth, commented that the Turks lacked character because they were neutral during World War II. Would the inability of a nation to take sides during that pivotal and generation-defining war affect the nation's character? What other nations were neutral during WWII? What impact, if any, did that have on their cultural development later on? Does neutrality lead to dullness or vice versa? Did Theroux seem to find the Turks dull?

Essay Topic 3

Throughout many of the countries Theroux visited for the book, there were many brothels and prostitutes available. Was this a unique phenomenon of Asian societies or was the prostitution simply more out in the open than in Western societies? Did prostitution seem more acceptable in the countries visited by Theroux? Did the greater availability to brothels suggest different cultural attitudes toward the world's oldest profession?

(see the answer keys)

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