Name ___________________________________ Section__________________________________ English 10 INGL 121-1310 Mr.

Ramos The Third Level


I. Read the short story, “The Third Level”, found on the following link: II. Answer the following questions on the short story “The Third Level”. Hand in the answers along with this sheet on Monday 19, 2012. The assignment is to be printed not hand written, double spaced, Times New Roman, size 12. 1. According to Charley’s psychiatrist, how can Charley’s visit to the third level be explained? 2. What makes Charley think he has traveled to another time? 3. What proof does Charley think he has traveled to another time? 4. Contrast life in your modern world and life in Galesburg in 18945. What evidence suggests that Charley feels out of place in modern times? 6. In what two ways does the stamp collection provide a link to life in Galesburg? 7. How does Sam’s attitude toward the third level change during the story? 8. What leads some people to believe that life in previous times was simpler or better than life in the present? Do you agree or disagree?

Charlie mentioned a man who took out his stopwatch too check the time. According to Charlie’s psychiatrist. the information center was wooden and old and people’s clothes and facial hair fashions looked as if from the 19th century. Charlie proved that he had warped back to the year 1894 by walking over to the paper boy and looking at the stack of papers at his feet. 2. 3.1. the lights were replaced by open flame gaslights. pretty much anyone can get around on a subway train . which hadn’t been published for years. Nowadays you can get your ticket by sliding a credit card across a machine which will provide the tickets. Judging from Charlie’s clothes descriptions. Charlie believes he has traveled back in time because the whole environment of grand central suddenly changed into a typical 1800’s train station. The cover page read something about President Cleveland. Today. In the present we just glance at the watch upon our wrists. most of the people at the station seemed like they belonged to a high class social group. so he knew it had been printed June 11. 1894. Charlie had seen this article at the library files. The newspaper was called “World”. A train station in 1894 and 2012 are actually quite similar when referring to the essence of a train station. Yet the aspects that mark the difference between the two are innumerable. Back then you would have ticket booths to pay for transportation. 4. suggesting that back in 1894 only the wealthy could afford this kind of transportation. among other reasons. Charlie’s visit to the third level was nothing more than a “waking dream wish fulfillment” due to his unhappiness.

Sam discontinued to search for the third level. . peaceful or even rational leads to the belief that it is all a product of human advancement and modernism. fear and worry that the modern age brings. The fact that nothing in their time seems to be happy. This letter contained a message from Sam which briefly explained how life in Galesburg was a lot better. These are some of the many differences between the present day and 1894. If we can learn from our mistakes (revealed across history) then it is illogical to think that past times were more socially stable than the present’s since man’s advancement is progressive.because the cost is minimum. 7. Charlie feels out of place in modern times because of all the insecurity. war. Charlie’s stamp collecting caused him to stumble upon his grandfather’s “first day cover” letter (which was actually a letter sent by Sam from the past). 8. 5. After a while. and his stamp collecting is the closest thing to doing so. He wishes he could escape from reality (or at least from modern times). 6. for reasons which include his wife’s request to do so and his personal surrender. I strongly disagree with this way of thought and consider it a fallacy. The belief in this fallacy is caused by personal emotional problems in the individual. hence their belief that the solution to a happy environment lies in a past time or era.





and he started my collection. too. things were pretty nice and peaceful in his day. He said I was unhappy. That made my wife kind of mad. from all I hear. for example. It's a nice collection. blocks of four of practically every U. ducked into an arched doorway heading for the subway — and got lost. . Well. I don't know why this should have happened to me.The presidents of the New York Central and the New York. who doesn't? Everybody I know wants to escape. where the suburban trains leave from. Grand Central because it's faster than the bus. you know. And I wasn't trying to escape from anything. Then I walked down another flight to the second level. first-day covers. I've taken the obvious step: I talked to a psychiatrist friend of mine. President Roosevelt collected stamps. Yes. among others. my wife. fear. too. but they don't wander down into any third level at Grand Central Station. war. But I say there are three. I passed a dozen men who looked just like me. Once I got into a tunnel about a mile long and came out in the lobby of the Roosevelt Hotel. thirty-one years old. Another time I came up in an office building on Forty-sixth Street. I've been in and out of Grand Central hundreds of times. but I'm always bumping into new doorways and stairs and corridors. and that I just want to escape. My stamp collecting. issue. maybe. But that's the reason. and so on. I just wanted to get home to Louisa. That's easy to do. but he explained that he meant the modern world is full of insecurity. they claimed. New Haven and Hartford railroads will swear on a stack of timetables that there are only two. I told him about the third level at Grand Central Station. but my grandfather didn't need any refuge from reality. hell. I turned into Grand Central from Vanderbilt Avenue. Anyway. and he said it was a waking-dream wish fulfillment. I was in a hurry to get uptown to my apartment so I decided to take the subway from. and my friends all agreed. One night last summer I worked late at the office. worry and all the rest of it.S. here's what happened at Grand Central. and I was wearing a tan gabardine suit and a straw hat with a fancy band. that's a temporary refuge from reality. Well. he said. because I've been on the third level at Grand Central Station. I'm just an ordinary guy named Charley. Now. Everything points to it. and went down the steps to the first level. where you take trains like the Twentieth Century. three blocks away.

the men smoking cigars and talking quietly. To be back there with the First World War still twenty years off. and frowned. And the man in the booth wore a green eyeshade and long black sleeve protectors. Then I looked around and saw that everyone in the station was dressed like eighteen-ninety-something. in a peaceful world. He snapped open the cover. glanced at his watch. sideburns and fancy mustaches in my life. In the year 1894. she wore a dress with. and across the station a glint of light caught my eye. summer evenings were twice as long. a very small Currier & Ives locomotive with a funnel-shaped stack. There were brass spittoons on the floor. I walked over to a newsboy and glanced at the stack of papers at his feet.Sometimes I think Grand Central is growing like a tree. and he had a big. It was the World. and it was printed June 11. And then I knew. And maybe — because for so many people through the years Grand Central has been an exit. A woman walked in through the train gate. huge lawns and tremendous trees whose branches meet overhead and roof the streets. and the World hasn't been published for years. and the information booth in the center was wood and oldlooking. I caught a glimpse of a locomotive. a way of escape — maybe that's how the tunnel I got into … But I never told my psychiatrist friend about that idea. 1894. they were openflame gaslights. leg-of-mutton sleeves and skirts to the top of her highbuttoned shoes. Illinois. out on the tracks. but I saw the room was smaller. and people sat out on their lawns. pushing out new corridors and staircases like roots. The corridor I was in began angling left and slanting downward and I thought that was wrong. To make sure. the women waving palm-leaf fans. one way. The clerk figured the fare — he glanced at my fancy hatband. a man was pulling a gold watch from his vest pocket. He wore a derby hat. and maybe another to Central Park. a black four-buttoned suit with tiny lapels. And I wanted two tickets to Galesburg. there were fewer ticket windows and train gates. I went down a short flight of stairs and came out on the third level at Grand Central Station. I've found that front page since. and World War II over forty years in the future … I wanted two tickets for that. but he figured the fare — and I had enough for two coach tickets. Then I heard that sort of hollow roar ahead that means open space and people talking. with the fireflies all around. The lights were dim and sort of flickering. handle-bar mustache. All I could hear was the empty sound of my own footsteps and I didn't pass a soul. For just a moment I thought I was back on the second level. Have you ever been there? It's a wonderful town still. but I kept on walking. I never saw so many beards. in the Public Library files. Then I saw why. on its way to Times Square. I turned toward the ticket windows knowing that here — on the third level at Grand Central — I could buy tickets that would take Louisa and me anywhere in the United States we wanted to go. black. But when I counted out the money and . And in 1894. The lead story said something about President Cleveland. Back of her. The tunnel turned sharp left. There's probably a long tunnel that nobody knows about feeling its way under the city right now. with big old frame houses.

But now we're both looking. and the postmark proves the date. do you know what a first-day cover is? When a new stamp is issued. even in 1894. You can buy old money at almost any coin dealer's. And that was that. among my oldest first-day covers. all right. the clerk was staring at me. Illinois July 18. Naturally. that's what the address on the envelope said. I suppose. eggs were thirteen cents a dozen in 1894. There's nothing nice about jail. He nodded at the bills. and different-looking. although I've tried often enough. but I sort of suspected because Sam's a city boy. but you have to pay a premium. but I didn't care. Next day. and after a while I stopped. And that's where he is. every week end. and bought old-style currency (that really worried my psychiatrist friend). But there it was. That ain't money. when the envelope came to Granddad in the mail. and he glanced at the cash drawer beside him. It read: 941 Willard Street Galesburg. 1894 Charley: . I turned away and got out fast. nearly all we had. with a picture of President Garfield. Because one night. My friend Sam Weiner disappeared! Nobody knew where. But I've never again found the corridor that leads to the third level at Grand Central Station. My three hundred dollars bought less than two hundred in old-style bills. I found one that shouldn't have been there. That night. it went right into his collection and stayed there — till I took it out and opened it. Louisa was pretty worried when I told her all this. during lunch hour. I went back to my stamps. And it had been there since July 18. mister. They're never opened. and if you're trying to skin me you won't get very far. stamp collectors buy some and use them to mail envelopes to themselves on the very first day of sale. and I used to tell him about Galesburg — I went to school there — and he always said he liked the sound of the place. fussing with my stamp collection. because now we have proof that the third level is still there. In 1894. he said. It was there because someone had mailed it to my grandfather at his home in Galesburg.looked up. 1894 — the postmark showed that — yet I didn't remember it at all. and didn't want me to look for the third level any more. I left the same way I came. half again as big as the money we use nowadays. dull brown. The envelope is called a first-day cover. The stamp was a six-cent. I drew three hundred dollars out of the bank. you just put blank paper in the envelope. I found — well. The paper inside wasn't blank. Of course the money in his drawer was old-style bills.

I found the third level! I've been here two weeks. he always said that's what he really wished he could do.691 genre: nameGenre . selected details citation: Collier's. Charley. Sam was my psychiatrist. and he certainly can't go back to his old business. Then I got to believing you were right. His old business? Why. At the stamp and coin store I go to. I found out that Sam bought eight hundred dollars' worth of old-style currency. Not in Galesburg. someone is playing a piano. it's true. That ought to set him up in a nice little hay. down the street at the Dalys'. feed and grain business. Come on back. Illinois. believe me! The note was signed Sam. October 7. Charley and Louisa. 1950. and they're all out on the front Porch singing. 126(15):36 teaser: None words: 1. “Seeing Nellie home.I got to wishing that you were right. in 1894. And.” And I'm invited over for lemonade. Keep looking till you find the third level! It's worth it. and right now.

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