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 is the funeral described?

2. Why do the police pay little attention to burglaries at Father's fireworks factory?

3. What innovation of Henry Ford's was about to revolutionize American manufacturing?

4. What new activity does Younger Brother take up?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Sarah try to do to help Coalhouse?

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

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

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

6. How do the police learn about the history of Coalhouse Walker, Jr.?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Write about how Doctorow uses The Boy and The Girl to represent change in the novel. Perhaps because he is a young boy when the novel begins wearing sailor suits and grows into the beginnings of young manhood where he discovers girls, change is most noticeable in The Boy. When they meet in Atlantic City, neither of them recall looking eye-to-eye years ago on the street in New Rochelle. Tateh first becomes aware of The Girl's maturation on the train trip out of New York. Show how this growing up process works as a good benchmark for the passing of time in the novel.

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)

This section contains 685 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
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