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Chapter 1- The Third Level Interview Questions Answers

Question 1 :
What does the third level refer to?

Answer 1 :

The third level is the world somewhere between desire or dream and reality. It is a world of fantasy that we create for ourselves and occasionally seek to escape to. Most of the time it is a picture of the simple past of our forefathers, who, we believe were happier. It is an escapist’s world which one weaves around to be off the current-day problems, worries, anxieties and tensions.

Question 2 :
Would Charley ever go back to the ticket-counter on the third level to buy tickets to Galesburg for himself and his wife?

Answer 2 :

Time travel is a temporary relief that man seeks to escape from the rush of his present existence. It was a world of fantasy that Charley too had created. So, he exchanged all his savings for 1894 currency to buy tickets from the third level to Galesburg, Illinois. However, he could not find the third level again as it did not exist.

Question 3 :
Do you think that the third level was a medium of escape for Charley? Why?

Answer 3 :

Life today is full of insecurity, fear and worries and time travel is man’s way of escaping from it. Occasionally, man seeks escape into the world of fantasy and his nostalgic memories, the happier • times of the past. Yes, the third level was Charley’s medium of escape from the mad rat race of modern times.

Question 4 :
What do you infer from Sam’s letter to Charley?

Answer 4 :

Sam’s letter shows man’s pining for the simple, less harassing and a happier era. He too had found respite from the hurry and worry of modern life in time travel. Sam had learnt to transport himself into the time period of his ancestors whose quality of life he considered was better than their present existence.

Question 5 :
The modern world is full of insecurity, fear, war, worry and stress. What are the ways in which we attempt to overcome them?

Answer 5 :

Man often creates in his fantasy a world which is somewhere between his desire and reality, and often seeks respite by transporting himself to it mentally. Time travel is another way of overcoming stress; we travel back in time to the past which we believe was a quieter and happier era. Nostalgic memories too are often a way of escape from the harassing present.

Question 6 :
Do you see an intersection of time and space in the story?

Answer 6 :

Yes, the story clearly shows an intersection of time and space. Firstly, the first two levels of Grand Central Station were located in the present time while the third level existed in the 1890s. Secondly Charley and his wife, Louisa, live in the present time yet Charley goes to get old currency to buy tickets to go to the Galesburg of 1894. The old architecture of the platform at the third level is different from the platform of the modern times. The archaic manner of dressing by the people and the newspaper, The World, dated June 11, 1894 also overlap with Charley’s real time world and existence. Finally, the letter that was mailed to Charley’s Grandfather on 18 July, 1894 highlights the intersection of time and space.

Question 7 :
Apparent illogicality sometimes turns out to be a futuristic projection? Discuss.

Answer 7 :

It is true that apparent illogicality sometimes turns out to be a futuristic projection. A good number of scientific inventions sounded ridiculous and absurd till some brilliant minds gave them a concrete shape. Before the Wright Brothers invented the first aeroplane, nobody could have dared to believe that man could fly. There are many other examples of inventions which were conceived in dreams but now are part of our everyday reality. All this emphasizes that fantasies of one point of time that seem illogical may turn out to be revolutionary things that change the future of the mankind. It would not be far-fetched to think about railway stations fitted with time-machine devices from one era to another. It is just a matter of time.

Question 8 :
Philately helps keep the past alive. Discuss other ways in which this is done. What do you think of the human tendency to constantly move between the past, the present and the future?

Answer 8 :

Besides philately, there are numerous other ways to keep the past alive. Collecting historical artefacts, paintings and statues in a museum, collecting and reading books, collecting stamps, first day covers, etc. are all a few ways of revisiting history.

Fond memories of the past are often kept alive through photographic collections, letters, etc. Man seeks refuge in the nostalgic memories, the happier times of the past. He transports himself to the world by travelling through time to escape the present. In fact, he is constantly moving between past for escape, and present and future.

This capacity to oscillate between the past, present and future is a great intellectual gift. This human tendency enables him to plan for the future in the present by reaping benefits from the past. Such a tendency helps in ensuring acceptance of the impact of important decisions taken at any point of time and learning from them.

Question 9 :
You have read ‘Adventure’ by Jayant Narlikar in Hornbill Class XI. Compare the interweaving of fantasy and reality in the two stories.

Answer 9 :

In ‘Adventure’ Jayant Narlikar expressed that many worlds exist simultaneously though they appear to be separated by time. He conveyed that the other world also existed and prospered with the world we are aware of.
In The Third Level, Charley, a young New York commuter wandering Grand Central Station by accident, finds a gateway that leads to the past of 1894. Charley attempts to escape the rat race by buying a one way ticket to his childhood town of Galesburg, Illinois. But circumstances forced him to postpone his plan to escape to the past.

Question 10 :
How does the narrator describe himself? What made him take the subway from Grand Central?

Answer 10 :

The narrator describes that he is Charley, 31. He is wearing a tan gabardine suit and a straw hat with a fancy band. One night last summer, he worked late at the office. So, he was in a hurry to be at his apartment. He took the subway from Grand Central because it was faster than the bus.


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