Ragtime Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is worrying Mother back in New Rochelle?

2. With whom is Father planning to travel to the North Pole?

3. Why does The Girl like the strike?

4. What does Tateh have that finally makes them money?

5. Why is Houdini brooding while walking the streets of New York?

Short Essay Questions

1. How is Father sent off on his trip with the Perry expedition to the North Pole?

2. What is Perry's attitude towards the Esquimo people?

3. What is Evelyn doing with Younger Brother after Tateh and The girl leave?

4. What does The boy see Mother do in the back garden?

5. What is Mother's concern about Younger Brother?

6. Explain how Harry K. Shaw gets to see Harry Houdini.

7. Who are the famous psychologists who visit New York at this time and what is their reaction?

8. How does Evelyn lose The Girl?

9. What are Tateh's plans for him and The Girl as they leave New York?

10. Why does socialite Mrs. Stuyvesant Fish bring Houdini and circus freaks to her house?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write your personal review of RAGTIME and make a recommendation for other readers. Write this paper as though you are a book reviewer for a large newspaper or national magazine. Be honest about what you liked or did not like about the book. [That it was required reading in class does not count as a reason to dislike the book.] Be specific when giving your reasons by quoting passages from the novel.

Essay Topic 2

Write a paper about the transformation of Tateh in the novel from the time he was scandalized by his wife and Evelyn until he romps on the beach in Atlantic City. Discuss what you think makes the transformation. Is there a tendency for the poor to be judgmental of the morals of the rich? If so, why? How does affluence change a persons attitude toward all things in society? What are the good and bad points of such changes?

Essay Topic 3

Write a paper explaining the difference between an anarchist and a socialist. These strange bedfellows come together in the meeting Tateh takes Evelyn to. Anarchists oppose any form of government and socialists promote total government control. Explain why Tateh did not agree with anarchism or communism. Why was he a socialist? Then decide if his later affluence changed his political ideas and why.

(see the answer keys)

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