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. Who does Younger Brother attach himself to in Mexico?

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

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

4. What do the police discover as they go through the wreckage of the demolished building?

5. What are the ages of Coalhouse's followers?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Look up information of Theodore Dreiser and write about his impact on the American novel. It is interesting that Doctorow chooses Dreiser to put in his book. It might be a message about his own feelings about book critics. Dreiser was never recognized in his own time for the quality of his novels. Perhaps his most famous novel, AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY, was made into a movie in the 1950s called A PLACE IN THE SUN. What is your opinion about why Doctorow chose this novelist to include briefly in RAGTIME.

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

Write a paper on racial discrimination in the North at the turn of the century. The commonly held belief is that racial discrimination is exclusive to the South. The story of RAGTIME takes place in New York, Philadelphia, New England, and Atlantic City. Point out the many examples Doctorow gives of discrimination against blacks and Jews in the novel.

(see the answer keys)

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