The Blues I'm Playing Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Describe the setting of "The Blues I'm Playing."

This story takes place in the time period of the 1920s in New York and Europe.

2. Describe Mrs. Ellsworth.

Mrs. Ellsworth is a wealthy white widow with no children who spends her time gaining musical protegees to support.

3. What does Mrs. Ellsworth enjoy spending her resources on?

Mrs. Ellsworth enjoys sharing her resources with creative people who show her beauty in their art.

4. Describe the soprano that Mrs. Ellsworth does not take interest in.

This soprano is very talented, but, because she smelled of garlic and had a sallow complexion, Mrs. Ellsworth decides not to take her on as a protegee.

5. How does Mrs. Ellsworth feel about her decision on the soprano later on?

Mrs. Ellsworth regrets her decision after she sees that the soprano ended up becoming popular with the New York critics.

6. Describe Oceola Jones.

Oceola Jones is a talented young African American pianist who becomes Mrs. Ellsworth's protegee.

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