Ragtime Themes

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.
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One of the central events in a novel that is packed with background incidents concerns the abuse and humiliation that Coalhouse Walker Jr. receives from the members of the Emerald Isle firehouse. Their actions against him are clearly based on classic bully mentality: he is different than them; they are jealous because he has a nicer car than most of them could afford; and they outnumber him. The novel is quite clear about the fact that early-1900s society allows the continued victimization of Coalhouse because he is black. Not only do the police refuse to help him when he wants justice for the damage to his car, but they actually arrest him, and the legal system is effective in tying up his civil litigation. At each step in the process, well-intentioned people advise him to drop his complaint and be thankful that the damage against...

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This section contains 1,161 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Ragtime Study Guide
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Novels for Students
Ragtime from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.