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. How does the knowledge of Coalhouse Walker's activities eventually become known?

2. At that time, who was at the top of the business pyramid in the USA?

3. What is the first response to the police from the museum?

4. What does Morgan bring back from Europe every year?

5. Who becomes alarmed when a full military assault on the museum is suggested?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. After Coalhouse arranges for his gang to escape, what happens to him?

3. What does Younger Brother do that the family is completely unaware of?

4. What brings Younger Brother back to life after his breakup with Evelyn?

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

6. What does Morgan think about making automobiles available to the masses?

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

8. What does Father decide to do to make up for the time he has not spent with The Boy?

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

10. When the police cannot find Coalhouse, what does Father do?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Do some research and write a brief paper on J. Pierpont Morgan. Political cartoons of his time pictured Morgan as being bigger than Uncle Sam. In fact, he did bail out the U.S. economy at one time. There is even an undertone of racism in Morgan in the novel when he cables the D. A. to give Coalhouse his auto and hang him. From your research, explain how Doctorow's use of Morgan in the novel is believable.

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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