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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 Sherlock Holmes story did Theroux allude to in Chapter 19?
2. What was the American woman shown at the tea house ceremony?
3. What did Theroux write was a common form of Japanese courtesy among parents?
4. Where did the tattooed American think he needed to go to earn a lot of money?
5. What festival was being celebrated as Theroux arrived in Calcutta in Chapter 16?
Short Essay Questions
1. Why were there no skiers on the mountain in Japan, despite the large amount of perfect snow?
2. How did the family planning experts react to Theroux's questioning about the sizes of their own families?
3. What was Theroux's reaction to the sight of the Goktiek Viaduct?
4. Why did Theroux leave behind his passport and camera while trying to go to the Goktiek Viaduct?
5. How was Theroux treated at the hotel in Mandalay?
6. What are the differences between Japanese and American consumers?
7. What common prostitution story did Theroux hear numerous times during his travels and how did the story told in Laos differ?
8. Why did Theroux say that the Malay smile was misleading?
9. How did Mr. Bernard treat Theroux at his mansion in maymyo?
10. What did Theroux find disturbing about Osaka?
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
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?
This section contains 1,075 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)