Reading Comprehension – Mode of transportation affects the travel experience


Slot – 3 – RC



Mode of transportation affects the travel experience and thus can produce new types of travel writing and perhaps even new “identities.” Modes of transportation determine the types and duration of social encounters; affect the organization and passage of space and time; . . . and also affect perception and knowledge—how and what the traveler comes to know and write about. The completion of the first U.S. transcontinental highway during the 1920s . . . for example, inaugurated a new genre of travel literature about the United States—the automotive or road narrative. Such narratives highlight the experiences of mostly male protagonists “discovering themselves” on their journeys, emphasizing the independence of road travel and the value of rural folk traditions.

Travel writing’s relationship to empire building— as a type of “colonialist discourse”—has drawn the most attention from academicians. Close connections have been observed between European (and American) political, economic, and administrative goals for the colonies and their manifestations in the cultural practice of writing travel books. Travel writers’ descriptions of foreign places have been analyzed as attempts to validate, promote, or challenge the ideologies and practices of colonial or imperial domination and expansion. Mary Louise Pratt’s study of the genres and conventions of 18th- and 19th-century exploration narratives about South America and Africa (e.g., the “monarch of all I survey” trope) offered ways of thinking about travel writing as embedded within relations of power between metropole and periphery, as did Edward Said’s theories of representation and cultural imperialism. Particularly Said’s book, Orientalism, helped scholars understand ways in which representations of people in travel texts were intimately bound up with notions of self, in this case, that the Occident defined itself through essentialist, ethnocentric, and racist representations of the Orient. Said’s work became a model for demonstrating cultural forms of imperialism in travel texts, showing how the political, economic, or administrative fact of dominance relies on legitimating discourses such as those articulated through travel writing. . . .

Feminist geographers’ studies of travel writing challenge the masculinist history of geography by questioning who and what are relevant subjects of geographic study and, indeed, what counts as geographic knowledge itself. Such questions are worked through ideological constructs that posit men as explorers and women as travelers—or, conversely, men as travelers and women as tied to the home. Studies of Victorian women who were professional travel writers, tourists, wives of colonial administrators, and other (mostly) elite women who wrote narratives about their experiences abroad during the 19th century have been particularly revealing. From a “liberal” feminist perspective, travel presented one means toward female liberation for middle- and upper-class Victorian women. Many studies from the 1970s onward demonstrated the ways in which women’s gendered identities were negotiated differently “at home” than they were “away,” thereby showing women’s self-development through travel. The more recent poststructural turn in studies of Victorian travel writing has focused attention on women’s diverse and fragmented identities as they narrated their travel experiences, emphasizing women’s sense of themselves as women in new locations, but only as they worked through their ties to nation, class, whiteness, and colonial and imperial power structures.

Q.1 From the passage, we can infer that travel writing is most similar to: ?
  1. autobiographical writing.
  2. political journalism.
  3. historical fiction.
  4. feminist writing.
Answer: 1

Q.2 According to the passage, Said’s book, “Orientalism”: ?
  1. illustrated how narrow minded and racist westerners were.
  2. argued that cultural imperialism was more significant than colonial domination.
  3. explained the difference between the representation of people and the actual fact.
  4. demonstrated how cultural imperialism was used to justify colonial domination.
Answer: 4

Q.3 From the passage, it can be inferred that scholars argue that Victorian women experienced self-development through their travels because:?
  1. their identity was redefined when they were away from home.
  2. they were on a quest to discover their diverse identities.
  3. they were from the progressive middle- and upper-classes of society.
  4. they developed a feminist perspective of the world.
Answer: 1

Q.4 From the passage, we can infer that feminist scholars’ understanding of the experiences of Victorian women travellers is influenced by all of the following EXCEPT scholars’:?
  1. perspective that they bring to their research.
  2. knowledge of class tensions in Victorian society
  3. awareness of the ways in which identity is formed.
  4. awareness of gender issues in Victorian society.
Answer: 2

Q.5 American travel literature of the 1920s:
  1. showed participation in local traditions
  2. presented travellers’ discovery of their identity as different from others.
  3. celebrated the freedom that travel gives.
  4. developed the male protagonists’ desire for independence.
Answer: 3

Solutions:
Q.1 Refer to the following extracts, “Particularly Said’s book, Orientalism, helped scholars understand ways in which representations of people in travel texts were intimately bound up with notions of self, in this case, that the Occident defined itself through essentialist, ethnocentric, and racist representations of the Orient” and “The more recent poststructural turn in studies of Victorian travel writing has focused attention on women’s diverse and fragmented identities as they narrated their travel experiences, emphasizing women’s sense of themselves as women in new locations,…” from these extracts we can clearly see that travel writing had a large element of the notion of “self” by the people who wrote these types of books. Thus, it can be inferred that travel writing is most similar to autobiographical writing. Thus, option 1 is the correct answer.
Political journalism or historical fiction as with reference to imperial or colonial literature was only a part of the travel writer’s aims. Eliminate options 2 and 3.
Feminist writing in essence was different from masculine travel writings. It was a part of travel writing but it was also autobiographical in scope and tenor. Refer to the second extract above. Thus, option 4 can also be eliminated.
Hence, the correct answer is option 1.

Q.2 Refer to the relevant extract, ‘“Particularly Said’s book, Orientalism, helped scholars understand ways in which representations of people in travel texts were intimately bound up with notions of self, in this case, that the Occident defined itself through essentialist, ethnocentric, and racist representations of the Orient. Said’s work became a model for demonstrating cultural forms of imperialism in travel texts, showing how the political, economic, or administrative fact of dominance relies on legitimating discourses such as those articulated through travel writing. .. .”’ From this extract we can infer that Said’s book legitimized colonial dominance such as those articulated through travel writing. Thus, option 4 is the correct answer.
Option 1 is an inference relevant to contemporary times and not to the travel books of the past.
Option 2 is incorrect. Cultural imperialism through travel writings were used to justify colonial dominance.
Said’ book did not explain the difference between the representation of people and the actual fact. Instead it explained how cultural imperialism in the form of travel writings were used to justify colonial dominance. Eliminate option 3.
Hence, the correct answer is option 4.

Q.3 Refer to the following extract, “Studies of Victorian women who were professional travel writers, tourists, wives of colonial administrators, and other (mostly) elite women who wrote narratives about their experiences abroad during the 19th century have been particularly revealing. From a “liberal” feminist perspective, travel presented one means toward female liberation for middle- and upper-class Victorian women. Many studies from the1970s onward demonstrated the ways in which women’s gendered identities were negotiated differently “at home” than they were “away,” thereby showing women’s self-development through travel.” From this extract we can clearly see that Victorian women redefined their identities when they were away from home. Thus, option 1 is the correct answer.
Option 2 is incorrect. Victorian women were not on a quest to discover their diverse identities. The environment away from home enabled them to do so.
Option 3 is true but is not the reason as to why Victorian women redefined their identities away from home.
Option 4 is true since they were women but they already had a feminist perspective. The feminist perspective did not develop away from home. Eliminate option 4.
Hence, the correct answer is option 1.

Q.4 Options 1, 3 and 4 are all contained in the final paragraph. Refer to the following extract, “Many studies from the1970s onward demonstrated the ways in which women’s gendered identities were negotiated differently “at home” than they were “away,” thereby showing women’s self-development through travel. The more recent poststructural turn in studies of Victorian travel writing has focused attention on women’s diverse and fragmented identities as they narrated their travel experiences, emphasizing women’s sense of themselves as women in new locations, but only as they worked through their ties to nation, class, whiteness, and colonial and imperial power structures.”
Knowledge of class tensions in Victorian society has not been mentioned at all in the passage.
Hence, the correct answer is option 2.

Q.5 Refer to the following extract, “The completion of the first U.S. transcontinental highway during the 1920s . . . for example, inaugurated a new genre of travel literature about the United States—the automotive or road narrative. Such narratives highlight the experiences of mostly male protagonists “discovering themselves” on their journeys, emphasizing the independence of road travel and the value of rural folk traditions.” Thus, option 3 is the correct answer.
American travel writers did not participate in local traditions but rather came to understand the value of rural folk traditions. Eliminate option 1.
Option 2 cannot be inferred from the above extract. American travel writers “discovered themselves” but that is not to say that this means they discovered their identity as different from others.
Male protagonists’ discovered themselves but the emphasis was on independence of road travel. Eliminate option 4.
Hence, the correct answer is option 3.


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