Ragtime Test | Lesson Plans Mid-Book Test - Hard

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Father do with all the family watching?

2. The winter The Boy was skating on the pond, where were Tateh and The Girl?

3. What does Evelyn see that causes her to order the driver to stop the car?

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

5. What began to be heard in the ghettos?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Father return alone to New York, leaving the family in Atlantic City.

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

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

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

5. Describe Morgan's buildings on Madison Avenue in Murray Hill.

6. What does the Franklin Novelty Company do with Tateh's books?

7. What is Father's condition when he returns form the Arctic?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Write a paper comparing Evelyn Nesbit with notorious movie stars of the 20th century. A good comparison might be to Marilyn Monroe. Compare their beginnings, Evelyn's posing nude for a statue and Marilyn appearing nude in Playboy Magazine, their notoriety in the press, and their many romantic entanglements. Doctorow suggests that Evelyn is the model for all the show business women who followed her. This should be a fun paper to write.

Essay Topic 2

Look up information of Theodore Dreiser and write about his impact on the American novel. It is interesting that Doctorow chooses Dreiser to put in his book. It might be a message about his own feelings about book critics. Dreiser was never recognized in his own time for the quality of his novels. Perhaps his most famous novel, AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY, was made into a movie in the 1950s called A PLACE IN THE SUN. What is your opinion about why Doctorow chose this novelist to include briefly in RAGTIME.

Essay Topic 3

Write about how Doctorow uses The Boy and The Girl to represent change in the novel. Perhaps because he is a young boy when the novel begins wearing sailor suits and grows into the beginnings of young manhood where he discovers girls, change is most noticeable in The Boy. When they meet in Atlantic City, neither of them recall looking eye-to-eye years ago on the street in New Rochelle. Tateh first becomes aware of The Girl's maturation on the train trip out of New York. Show how this growing up process works as a good benchmark for the passing of time in the novel.

(see the answer keys)

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