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Questions for “Where Worlds Collide”


  1. What is an example of two cultures colliding?

  1. Can cultures collide in a good way? Give examples.

  1. What words would you use to describe the atmosphere in the essay?

  1. What is Iyer’s (implied) opinion about Los Angeles International Airport as a junction for colliding worlds?

  1. Who are the “they” that Iyer refers to in the opening line?

  1. How does point of view affect meaning?

  1. This essay is told from the third-person point of view. How would it be different if told from another point of view or perspective?

  1. Iyer uses juxtaposition (the arrangement of two or more things for the purpose of comparison) in his presentation of unlike images. Why?

  1. How do travelers’ expectations match the reality they see when they arrive?

  1. To what extent does one’s cultural makeup determine the way a person views others and the world?

  1. A text can contain more than one theme. What universal ideas about life and society does the author convey in this essay?

  1. What stylistic techniques does Iyer use to convey theme (tone, diction, point of view, organizational structure, etc.)?

  1. Is the theme explicit or implicit? Explain.

  1. Think about an experience in which you were put into a culturally foreign situation. In what way(s) was the experience similar to or different from the disorienting experience described in “Where Worlds Collide"? How were students’ perceptions changed as a result of the experience?

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