The Third Level Class 12 by Jack Finney deals with the irreversible harsh consequences of war. A war leaves people witnessing it in a state of insecurity and fear. It is about modern-day problems, uncertainties, and stress which everybody wants to escape. It is a story of a 31-year-old man named Charlie and his psychological condition in which he hallucinates and visits a third level of the Grand Central Station which has only two levels. The story is very important from the Class 12 examination point of view. Given below is a detailed summary of Third Level.
Summary of Third Level Class 12 starts with the story revolving around a thirty-one-year-old man named Charlie who had a weird experience. While returning to his residence he reaches to the third level of the Grand Central station, which does not exist. He reminisces the entire experience with his friend Sam, who is a psychiatrist and terms this experience as “a walking dream wish fulfilment.” Charlie had hallucinated time travel to somewhere in 1894, a time before the world saw the two deadly World Wars. After he had realized that he had time travelled he wanted to buy two tickets to Galesburg, Illinois. He wanted to travel to Galesburg with his wife Louisa. According to Sam, his psychiatrist friend, he wanted to escape the reality of the harsh world.
The next day Charlie reached the station to look for that third level to visit Galesburg, and he doesn’t find it. Charlie hence resorts to his stamp collection which would distract him from his thoughts of the third level. While going through his stamp collections he finds out a letter from Sam who had gone missing recently. He wrote that he always believed in Charlie’s idea of the third level. He says he himself is present in the third level. He motivated Charlie and Louisa to keep looking for the third level. This is ideally The Third Level Class 12 summary.
The summary of Third Level starts with the narrator himself talking about the third level at the Grand Central Station which has only two levels in real life, which the President of New York Central and the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroads would vouch by. The protagonist says he himself has been to the third level. Charlie, the protagonist and narrator was reminiscing the entire incident with his psychiatrist friend Sam, who said that he was trying to escape the burden of the present reality.
Charlie said his stamp collection was proof that he needed refuge from reality. He adds on to say that his grandfather did not need any refuge from reality and that things were peaceful and simple during his times. He said that his grandfather also had started stamp collection but not out of insecurities. He added that even President Roosevelt collected stamps.
One night, the previous summer he was returning from his work and was in a hurry, so he decided to take a subway from the Grand Central station instead of a bus. He says that he was dressed ordinarily. He says that the station has been growing like a plant and he had often bumped into new corridors and doors. Hence he thought that he was walking through a secret tunnel and reached the third level of the station. He said when he reached the level he saw every room was smaller, there was a lesser number of ticket windows, information booths, and train gates. They were all old looking and made of wood. The station was dim-lit. There was the usage of open-flame gaslights.
People were dressed in old fashioned clothing and there were brass spittoons everywhere around. People had fancy beards and moustaches. His suspicion was validated by the date on the newspaper- June 11, 1894. Charlie after realizing his time travel, wanted to go to Galesburg with his wife Louisa. While he went looking for tickets to the ticket counter he found that the currency in use was different and that of the old times. The following day he withdrew all his savings and got it converted to the old century currency. This distressed his wife. He does not find the third level at the station the next day. His wife was worried when she got to know about it. After a while, he distracted himself with stamps. Somehow, Sam, the psychiatrist disappeared out of the blue.
This is the Third Level summary. Here the author indirectly describes the repercussions of war. The Third Level Class 12 summary shows the urge of people wanting to live in a peaceful environment without stress, fear, and anxiety.
1. Do you think that the third level was a medium of escape for Charlie?
Yes, the third level was a medium of escape for the protagonist Charlie. It was his escape and refuge from the reality of the harsh world full of pressures, tension, stress. He hallucinated himself to a time before the deadly World Wars took place. He resorted to escaping the harsh cruel reality unintentionally. He day-dreamed of a time when there was peace and things were much simpler. There were no insecurities as he says with reference to his grandfather.
2. Do you see an intersection of space and time in the story?
As per the Third Level summary Class 12, there are multiple instances of the intersection of space and time in the story. Charlie existed in the 20th century and hallucinated himself in the 19th century at a time about 1894. There was a huge difference between the currency, lifestyle, clothing between the two centuries which was evident from Charlie’s narration. There were architectural forms contradicting modern forms of architecture. There was also a letter from his psychiatrist friend Sam which was dated 1982.