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Third Level Summary

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Last updated date: 13th Jul 2024
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An Introduction

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

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 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 waking 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 realised 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, but he didn'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 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.


CBSE Class 12 English Third Level Summary: A Detailed Explanation 

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 for. The protagonist says he himself has been to the third level. Charlie, the protagonist and narrator, was reminiscing about 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 has 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 in the newspaper- June 11, 1894. Charlie after realising his time travel, wanted to go to Galesburg with his wife Louisa. While he went looking for tickets at the ticket counter he found that the currency in use was different from 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.


Write About the Main Character of Class 12 English Chapter “Third Level”

The chapter majorly revolves around just three characters - Charlie, Sam and Louisa. Let us talk in detail about these three characters of the chapter “Third Level”.


Charlie: Charlie is the protagonist of the story and also the narrator of the story. He is a thirty one-year-old man. He was not happy with his present life, and one night he had a weird incident when he experienced the third level of the Grand Central Station of New York, which supposedly has only two levels. He saw people with old fashioned dresses on this third level and he also found a newspaper saying the date June 11, 1894. Charlie started to believe in the existence of this third level, which was operated in the 1890s. When he told about this experience to his wife (Louisa), she started to worry about him and sent him to his psychiatrist friend, Sam. he told Charlie that because he was unhappy with his life, he experienced “a waking dream wish fulfilment”.


Sam: Sam is the second most important character in the story. He is a psychiatrist and a friend of the protagonist, Charlie. When Charlie experiences the presence of the third level in the grand central station of New York, he visits Sam for consultation due to his wife. Sam said that Charlie is unhappy with his life due to which he got this experience and called Charley’s experience as “waking dream wish fulfilment” and declared it a mere “Temporary refuge” from the tensions of the real world. But after some time, he finds himself entangled in this imaginary world. Sam has to listen to the worries of many psychic patients daily, which affects Sam’s life badly. And to escape this stressful life, he got caught in the imaginary world.


Louisa: Louisa Mebbin was the protagonist’s wife. She was a shrewd and cunning woman, who perfectly knew how to grab any opportunity that comes at her door. She was also called an opportunist in the story. She got worried when her husband told her about his experience of the third level of Grand Central Station of New York.


Author of Class 12 English Chapter “Third Level” 

The author of class 12 English chapter “Third Level” is an American author, Walter Braden “Jack” Finney. He was born on October 2, 1911, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. He is very famous for his works on science fiction and thriller stories, “The Body Snatchers” and “Time and Again” are some of his best works.

FAQs on Third Level Summary

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, and stress. He hallucinated himself to a time before the deadly World Wars took place. He resorted to escaping the harsh and 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.

3. Who is the author of chapter “Third Level Summary” of class 12?

The chapter “Third Level Summary” is written by an American author, Walter Braden “Jack” Finney. He was born on October 2, 1911, in Wisconsin, USA and is very famous for his pieces on science fiction and thriller stories. Some of his best works include “The Body Snatchers” and “Time and Again”.

Jack’s father died in the war when he was just three years old and was given the name Walter Braden Finney in honour of his father, but still, he got famous by his nickname Jack, and was called “Jack Finney”. In this chapter, he talks about the harsh realities of war and its irreversible consequences.

4. What is the third level of this chapter of class 12?

The third level refers to an additional floor of the Grand Central Station of New York. Though the Grand Central Station of New York has only two levels in it, the protagonist (Charley) was hallucinating one night and reached the third level. Charley started to believe in the existence of this third level, which operated in the time frame of the 1890s. The entire story revolves around this hallucination of the third level. Charley’s psychiatrist friend Sam calls it “waking-dream-wish-fulfilment”.

5. Give details about the character “Sam” in the “third level” chapter?

In the story, Sam was a psychiatrist and also a close friend of Charley (the protagonist of the story). When the protagonist fantasises about the presence of the third level in the grand central station, he visits Sam for consultation. Sam called Charley’s fantasy “waking-dream-wish-fulfilment” and declared it merely a “Temporary refuge” from the tensions of the real world. 

The students can know more about the character of Sam by referring to the summary of the English chapter “Third Level” provided by Vedantu.