Ragtime Test | Final 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 became the decorating theme of that day after Morgan talked to Henry Ford?

2. Who gets the rebuilt Model-T?

3. What happens at the Emerald Isle Fire Station?

4. Who does Coalhouse plan to kidnap and exchange for Willie Conklin?

5. What is the result when the newspapers succeed in getting the Model-T raised from the pond?

Short Essay Questions

1. How have the fortunes of Tateh and The girl changed?

2. What becomes fashionable because of Morgan's obsession with Egyptology?

3. What causes the theater to shake where Houdini is performing?

4. How does Mother's and Father's relationship change in Atlantic City?

5. What remarkable innovation in manufacturing took place about this time?

6. What causes Younger Brother to run out of the parlor one evening after dinner?

7. Why does J. P. Morgan want to meet with Henry Ford?

8. What plans do Father and Mother make to get away from the Coalhouse problem?

9. What is Sarah's funeral like?

10. What is Younger Brother's first act as a revolutionary and outlaw?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write about Harry Houdini's fixation on finding a way to communicate with his dead mother. The attachment of Houdini to his mother is a documented fact. He also spent the rest of his life looking for someone who could make contact with the dead. In the process he became an authority on fakes and charlatans who claimed special powers to channel the dead. In your paper, explain why you think Doctorow used Houdini as a major character in the book? Point out the societal changes that were happening at that time that Houdini symbolizes.

Essay Topic 2

Write a paper on child labor. Express your opinion about child labor at the turn of the 19th-20th century and in places in the world today. Perhaps Charles Dickens is the most famous novelist to address the issue of child labor. Doctorow describes child labor in America in the 1890s and early 1900s in two brief passages. One has to do with child abductions and sexual abuse and the other has to do with the reason manufacturers liked child labor. Your paper should use those examples and discuss the harmful effects on children when they are do devalued.

Essay Topic 3

Write a paper about class distinctions in the novel. Examine the fixation Americans had on Europeans and whether it still exists today. [Compare to America's fixation on the late Princess Diana.] Use the arrival of Freud and Young as one example and Mother's preference for the Europeans at Atlantic City as another. Show how that also influences Tateh to adopt the persona of Baron Ashkenazy.

(see the answer keys)

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