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. Who is on the mind of Mother's Younger Brother?

2. Where does the story of RAGTIME begin?

3. What does the arrival of the immigrants symbolize?

4. At the trial, how does Evelyn depict herself at age fifteen?

5. What does The Boy think happens to people, animals, or objects in a motion picture?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How do the second generation Irish feel about the new immigrants?

3. What is the gossip about Evelyn's disappearances to visit The Girl?

4. Why is Houdini thrown out of Bellevue Hospital?

5. What are the lead workers doing as Perry comes leisurely behind?

6. What idea does Tateh have that makes them money.

7. What sight as they sail out of New York Harbor depresses Father?

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

9. What does The Boy recover from the trash?

10. What infatuation comes over Mother's Younger brother?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Gather information of President Howard Taft and write a short paper about him. Taft's rise to power corresponded with the turn of the century idea that obesity, especially in men, was a sign of material success. Taft weighed over 300 pounds and it is said that a special bathtub had to be installed in the White House to accommodate him. Your paper should include characters in the book as examples of men who fit that accepted image of success. By contrast Houdini and Younger Brother are of athletic build and represent change in the novel. Explain.

Essay Topic 3

On their trip out of New York, Tateh observes a completely different country from what he had known in New York. Doctorow says that for the first time Tateh began to think he might be able to live in America. Use examples of what Tateh and The Girl see on their trip that are so different from anything they had ever seen in New York and explain how those sights began to change Tateh's outlook on America. Then look at Freud's visit to New York and what they force him to go see. Give your opinion as to whether Freud might have had a different opinion of America if he had seen the more rural side of the country.

(see the answer keys)

This section contains 714 words
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