The Train from Rhodesia

by Nadine Gordimer

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Student Question

What are three activities that begin when the train arrives at the station in "The Train from Rhodesia"?

Expert Answers

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When the train pulls into the station, several things happen simultaneously. The poor African villagers besiege the train, trying to sell their souvenirs or to beg. The children beg the white tourists on the train for pennies. Dogs and chickens go to the train's dining car, looking for food scraps. One passenger on the train throws candies that she doesn't like out the window for the dogs, but the chickens get them first. Finally, a young white woman on the train starts to buy a carved lion from an old African standing beside the train attempting to sell his wares to the passengers, but she decides the price is too high. It is from this encounter that the remainder of the story develops.

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