First of all this novel is about the music and a hard life of a black musician at the beginning of the 20th century. Many stylistic devices are used here. But we can say that most of them serve to describe the music Coalhouse played and the impression it makes on the listeners. In order to create this E. Repetition is also used in this extract. She climbed to the third floor. Doktorow serve the only purpose — to create the atmosphere of rag, to reproduce its rhythm with the help of words.
Music can be regarded here as a symbol of hope. Things go well until he is humiliated by a racist fire crew, led by Will Conklin, who vandalize his Model T Ford. He begins a pursuit of redress by legal action but discovers he cannot hope to win because of the inherent prejudice of the system.
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Sarah is killed in an attempt to aid him, and Coalhouse uses the money he was saving for their wedding to pay for an extravagant funeral. Having exhausted legal resources, Coalhouse begins killing firemen and bombing firehouses to force the city to meet his demands: that his Model T be restored to its original condition and Conklin be turned over to him for justice. Mother unofficially adopts Sarah and Coalhouse's neglected child over Father's objections, putting strain on their marriage.
With a group of angry young men, all of whom refer to themselves as "Coalhouse Walker", Coalhouse continues his vigilante campaign and is joined by Younger Brother, who brings his knowledge of explosives. Coalhouse and his gang storm the Morgan Library , taking the priceless collection hostage and wiring the building with dynamite.
Father is drawn into the escalating conflict as a mediator, as is Booker T. Coalhouse agrees to exchange Conklin's life for safe passage for his men, who leave in his restored Model T. Coalhouse is then shot as he surrenders to the authorities.
Interwoven with this story is a depiction of life in the tenement slums of New York city, focused on an Eastern European immigrant referred to as Tateh, who struggles to support himself and his daughter after driving her mother off for accepting money for sex with her employer. The girl's beauty attracts the attention of Evelyn Nesbit, who provides financial support.
When Tateh learns Nesbit's identity, however, he takes his daughter out of the city. Tateh is a talented artist and earns a living cutting out novelty paper silhouettes on the street. He tries working in a factory, where he experiences a successful workers' strike, but becomes disillusioned when he sees it change little about the workers' lives, although in the final chapter he still describes himself as a socialist.
He starts making and selling moving picture books to a novelty toy company, becoming a pioneer of animation in the motion picture industry.
Tateh becomes wealthy and styles himself "the Baron" in order to move more easily through high society. They adopt each other's children, as well as Coalhouse's son, and move to California.
Mixed into the interwoven stories are subplots following prominent figures of the day, including those named above as well as in the Historical figures section below. The novel is unusual for the irreverent way that historical figures and fictional characters are woven into the narrative, making for surprising connections and linking different events and trains of thought about fame and success, on the one hand, and poverty and racism on the other.
The novel was adapted for an eponymous movie and musical. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the novel. For other uses, see Ragtime disambiguation.
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Dewey Decimal. October 16, Conversations with E. University Press of Mississippi. March Doctorow Biography". Encyclopedia of World Biography.
Postmodernism, or, The cultural logic of late capitalism. Duke University Press. Works by E. Categories : American novels American historical novels American novels adapted into films Books with cover art by Paul Bacon Cultural depictions of American people Cultural depictions of Booker T.
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