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 the arrival of the immigrants symbolize?

2. What does Tateh do for the strike organizers?

3. What do they do the day before the expedition heads out for the North Pole?

4. Who was in the opposite cell of The Tombs as the great escape artist worked his feat?

5. What is worrying Mother back in New Rochelle?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Tateh notice about The Girl on their train trip.

3. How does Evelyn lose The Girl?

4. What is it that Evelyn Nesbit does not understand when she sees The Girl tied to her father?

5. What does The Boy think bronze statues are?

6. What causes Harry K. Shaw to propose marriage to Evelyn Nesbit?

7. What crime is Harry K. Shaw accused of committing?

8. What is the nature of Evelyn's testimony in Harry's trial?

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

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

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

Write a paper on racial discrimination in the North at the turn of the century. The commonly held belief is that racial discrimination is exclusive to the South. The story of RAGTIME takes place in New York, Philadelphia, New England, and Atlantic City. Point out the many examples Doctorow gives of discrimination against blacks and Jews in the novel.

Essay Topic 3

Coalhouse Walker, Jr., plays Scott Joplin ragtime in the novel. Do some research and write a brief paper about the composer Scott Joplin. Why does Doctorow use the musical genre as the title of his book? To what extent do you think the music of an era defines that era?

(see the answer keys)

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