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

2. What kind of music does Coalhouse play?

3. In reality, who are the baron and his daughter?

4. Who were most of the mourners at Sarah's funeral?

5. What returns to Father at the sea in Atlantic City?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. Why is Emma Goldman arrested after Coalhouse takes over the museum?

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Gather information of President Howard Taft and write a short paper about him. Taft's rise to power corresponded with the turn of the century idea that obesity, especially in men, was a sign of material success. Taft weighed over 300 pounds and it is said that a special bathtub had to be installed in the White House to accommodate him. Your paper should include characters in the book as examples of men who fit that accepted image of success. By contrast Houdini and Younger Brother are of athletic build and represent change in the novel. Explain.

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Describe the rags-to-riches story of Tateh, aka Baron Ashkenazy. Tateh's story is the embodiment of the American dream--the poor immigrant who eventually achieves success. While you write this account focus on the moral shift in Tateh's thinking. Note the difference in his uptight morality that drove his wife and Evelyn away in the early part of the story and his romping with Mother in Atlantic City as the reinvented Baron Ashkenazy. There are even sexual overtones to the scene where they are searching for The Boy and The Girl and eventually they marry.

(see the answer keys)

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