Ragtime Study Questions & Topics for Discussion

This Study Guide consists of approximately 66 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Ragtime.
This section contains 180 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Ragtime Study Guide

In Ragtime, Doctorow covers a broad canvas, blending historical and imagined characters and events into an challenging and entertaining novel.

1. Study the music of Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, Eubie Blake, or another famous ragtime musician. Describe the characteristics of the music, and explain how it applies to the story or to the structure of the novel.

2. Explore the debate represented by the "isolationist" theories of W. E. B. Du Bois and the "assimilationist" theories of Booker T. Washington. Explain which of these men would be supported by famous black leaders in today's world, and why you think so.

3. Discuss the use of real-life characters in the novel. Why was each personality selected? How would the novel be altered if a fictional character had been substituted for a historical one?

4. Discuss why it is that although civil rights laws are generally enforced, and bigotry is socially unacceptable, blacks...

(read more from the Key Questions section)

This section contains 180 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Ragtime Study Guide
Copyrights
Novels for Students
Ragtime from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.