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. Where do the cars come from that are used in the attacks?

2. What finally really captures Morgan's attention in the world?

3. What does Coalhouse Walker, Jr., do to identify himself.

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

5. What physical abnormality does Pierpont Morgan have?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. That spring, what happens at the Matteawan State Prison Farm?

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

4. What happens on Houdini's tour of Europe?

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

6. What is the beginning of the trouble with Coalhouse Walker?

7. What becomes of Younger Brother?

8. What suddenly worries Sarah after the Fire House incident?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following 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

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 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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