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 does Houdini do in Germany?

2. What causes the Little Girl to stop working?

3. What happens with Tateh and his little girl after they left the Goldman lecture?

4. Who was the royal person who came to see Houdini fly his plane?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What happens when Tateh is working in the Mills in Lawrence, Massachusetts?

2. What becomes the fashion among the rich in turn of the century America?

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

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

5. What does newspaperman Riis find when he goes to the docks to interview Stanford white about housing for the poor?

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

7. How are Tateh and The Girl rescued from being separated?

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

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

10. What does The Boy recover from the trash?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Look up information of minstrel shows which were popular in America from the late 1800s through the 1930s. Describe them and give your opinion about them as entertainment. Even Scott Joplin performed in minstrel shows during his lifetime. Al Jolson, a Jewish man, became famous blacking his face and performing in minstrels. It was of course a demeaning representation of black people as a whole and contributed to the stereotype of the race that went on into the movies until the late 1950s. Discuss how much you think such entertainments delayed the civil rights movement in America.

Essay Topic 3

Look up information on Henry Ford and the assembly line production of Model-T cars and write a brief paper. What did Ford's assembly line have to do with Coalhouse Walker's ability to own a brand new Model-T? What does Coalhouse's car symbolize to the men at Emerald Isle Fire Station? Does ownership of the car give Coalhouse an air of superiority? Analyze how the car might have affected Father who never really liked Coalhouse. When Father and The Boy go into New York to the Giants game, they take the train. Even though he can afford a car, why does the family not seem to have one?

(see the answer keys)

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