Ragtime Test | Final Test - Hard

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What happens one night that shakes the theater where Houdini had just performed?

2. Why is Houdini's mothers grave covered with a mound of small stones?

3. What is the truth about Baron Ashkenazy?

4. What does Mother notice about the change in Sarah's face?

5. What could The Boy see in the polished rear doors of the Pierce Arrow hearse?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 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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