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 POST: Share a thought about Doctorow's Ragtime

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Number of posts : 33
Registration date : 2006-09-06

PostSubject: POST: Share a thought about Doctorow's Ragtime   Sun Dec 03, 2006 10:10 am

Please share a thought, reflection, or idea concerning Doctorow's Ragtime, based on your reading of this amazing novel.

I look forward to hearing your ideas. study
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phNguyen

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PostSubject: Share a thought about Doctorow's Ragtime   Sun Dec 03, 2006 11:42 am

The book was alright I suppose. The part I liked most was probably the historical content of it. I think Doctorow should have written more about Houdini, Morgan, and leave Goldman and the rest of the real characters out. The other characters weren't interesting enough, and Goldman was just annoying. The characters like Mother, Father, etc. were good because I got a sense of what life was like in that period from the descriptions.
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BrianG.

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Share a thought about Doctorow's Ragtime   Sun Dec 03, 2006 8:38 pm

At first I was skeptical about reading this book. I figured it was probably going to be a crazy depiction coming from the mind of some deranged author. Turns out for the most part I was right.
However, unlike a few of the other pieces we have read, Ragtime really intrigued me. I enjoyed the integration of fictional characters along with historical characters and how Doctrow was clever enough to intertwine them into a pretty unique story.

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JohnN

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Share a thought about Doctorow's Ragtime   Mon Dec 04, 2006 12:05 am

I think that Doctorow did an amazing attempt to try to capture all aspects of American society at the turn of the century. Personally, I think his writing style is great; its short, concise, and sweet. Doctorow seems like an author who wasn't afraid to go past the boundaries and it shows in some of the things he writes about. Its intriguing to be able to go from character to character almost seamlessly in this novel; I'm jumping through different races, social classes, sexes, and occupations. Yet he manages to keep everyone connected, which brings the main point that I think the novel is about: we are all still on Earth. Ragtime has some of the lowest people of the time among some of the wealthiest men of all time, yet Doctorow keeps it somewhat believable. The issues that are covered in the book are great as well. I haven't ever read a book with such intensity between races and I'm surprised to read about some of the antics that they did to each other (which were rather unexpected). Overall, I can understand why this is such an acclaimed book, it almost seems too real although its merely historical fiction.
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GabyA

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Share a thought about Doctorow's Ragtime   Mon Dec 04, 2006 7:52 pm

I was really amazed at the novel's depiction of African Americans at the time and their false sense of freedom. By law, they know that they are indeed "free," but they are still discriminated against and are definitely not treated equally to white men. It really upset me that the officer did not even bother to take an interest in the destroyed Model T just because it was owned by a black man. I thought the author did a good job in capturing the feeling of inequality and accurately portrayed the struggles of African Americans.
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JeffAlmario



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Share a thought about Doctorow's Ragtime   Tue Dec 05, 2006 1:08 am

Doctorow's Ragtime shows the many aspects, good and bad, of American society. The obvious racism and stereotypes were portrayed very well throughout the novel. The idea of living the American dream was another important element that could be seen through Tateh, who used his talents and tremendous efforts to improve his and his daughter's lives. Also, the writing style of the novel is very contradicting to that of Flaubert. Doctorow does not use elegeant and grand descriptions of frivolous objects in the novel. He is very straightforward with his writing and leaves the extra fluff out of this novel.
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Sullivan4



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Share a thought about Doctorow's Ragtime   Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:50 am

I really liked the circle pattern that the book took. In the beginning, all of the characters were hard to follow independently, but as the book continued, each character interacted with another and you saw a different side to them. It helped me to follow the characters and had a great affect when you see all these different groups that were seperated by class and social status blending together.
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LeighAnne



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Share a thought about Doctorow's Ragtime   Tue Dec 05, 2006 5:23 pm

I reallllyyyyy liked this book. I'm not sure why because most kids have a hard time with the whole skipping around and no quotations but I enjoyed it. It wasn't very challenging for me, I kind of related it to the Gossip Girls series because the chapters are very short and each one talks about a different set or character at a different point. However Gossip Girls are a very low reading level book and this has a lot more depth and moral to it. I liked how there were real and fake characters also. I just thought it was a cool thing to write about everyone's stereotype at that point in the world and how they relate and differenciate between themselves and everyone else. Smile
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[ s y n n e ]

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Share a thought about Doctorow's Ragtime   Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:18 pm

Well...its sort of like - cliche race. White people are deemed superior, immigrents are out casted, and black people are treated like...

Its still kind of like that today - but thats besides the point...

I really like his style - its so laid back compared to Brovary and Demian...I just sat back and went with the flow. The style ((like I said in the classroom)) was like someone talking to you, "Oh, Houdini did such-and-such - THAT REMINDS ME EVELYN!! She got this and that - oh but then that family - yeah~~" ANd it reminded me of my friend's and I talking so it was easy for me to follow.
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hannahc



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PostSubject: A thought about Ragtime   Wed Dec 06, 2006 8:53 pm

I really like this book, I think Doctorow's unique style of blending historical characters/events with fictional ones is very clever and brilliant. Most people regard historical figures as irrelevant in today's society, but Doctorow was able to used these well-known characters and bring them into life, connecting them with ordinary people. The author uncovered their "masks" they posed to the public and revealed a more personal side, so readers can relate to them more. This way, these characters also cause the description of the turn of the century to be more vivid. Even though there are many characters and the portrayal of each is disrupted with interruptions, but the whole story falls into places in the end, connecting everyone with everyone else. It's like puzzle pieces creating a big picture, I just think he's way of writing is pure genius.
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Gina44



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Share a thought about Doctorow's Ragtime   Wed Dec 06, 2006 9:13 pm

Doctrow's writing style is simple and keeps the novel flowing. I liked the feeling of ease I got while reading and the smoothness of it all. The chapters tend to be left in a state of supspense. With this, I made the connection to the Gossip Girls series, due to the briefness and un-finished endings. Overall, it has been one of my favorite books this year.
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JanaeNae



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Share a thought about Doctorow's Ragtime   Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:11 pm

I think what i enjoyed most about this novel is the character Coalhouse Walker. He strayed from the stereotypical traits and roles most African American characters were caste in this time period. His stead-fast will power and commitment to equal rights kept me interested in the story line. Reading this went by surprisingly fast because each chapter was was extremely short. overall i really appreciated the novel and the way it portrayed this time era.
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knina



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Share a thought about Doctorow's Ragtime   Thu Dec 07, 2006 6:53 pm

This is one of the best books Iíve read in awhile. I never read anything like this where everyone becomes intertwined somehow. And having historical figures, like Emma Goldman and Harry Houdini, in the novel was one of the best parts. I actually wanted to read their story more than the fictitious characters. We already know who these people are since way when and then as you read it, Doctorow starts unraveling them even deeper than we knew before so we understand another dimension of that person [even though he just used their name & persona, and gave them a fictional storyline as well].
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andrewh



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Share a thought about Doctorow's Ragtime   Thu Dec 07, 2006 7:51 pm

I really like the novel and the way the characters are perceived throughout the story. From watching the movie and reading the book it seems that the character that plays Coalhouse Walker in the film, is much nicer and friendlier. The scene where Coalhouse decides to not escape with his men, but rather take the punishment and prove his point, showed a lot of character and the price he paid to prove a statement.
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abdi4



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PostSubject: Share a thought about Doctorow's Ragtime   Thu Dec 07, 2006 9:12 pm

I foung that there was a lot of bonds that were made or broken up in Ragtime. For example father and mother were close to each other in the beginning but ended up leaving each other. On the other end Tateh broke up with his wife in the beginning and hooked up with mother and the end. Evelyn nesbit and harry k. thaw were like that, and moms younger brother loved evelyn. evelyn and tateh got to know each other pretty good, and then emma goldmen ruined it with her comments. As well as mother and sarah's baby.
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Sophiachow

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Share a thought about Doctorow's Ragtime   Thu Dec 07, 2006 10:55 pm

Ragtime is a wonderfully-pieced textile consisting of fiction and facts. This organization may seem busy and confusing at the first glance, but once carefully studied, every piece seems to mesh together into one cohesive novel. Each individual piece is unique but all pieces are all connected with each other and carry with them a unifying theme. There are so many layers to the novel; it can be interpreted in so many different ways. The readers can simply scratch the surface or dig deep into the core, but nevertheless, each level of interpretation can leave the reader thinking and wondering.
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cmahlberg4



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Share a thought about Doctorow's Ragtime   Sat Dec 09, 2006 10:30 am

Doctorow's style reflects the American mood at the turn of the century. All the characters are on the move to try and find happiness and success in their lives. I think many Americans were intrigued by ragtime music at the turn of the century because it gave them a break from being busy all the time. I also think that it is ironic that even the rich characters like Father and Morgan are stressed. The novel was really interesting and described American culture at the turn of the century through style and plot.
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kjohnson



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Share a thought about Doctorow's Ragtime   Sat Dec 09, 2006 3:59 pm

i really liked this book. it kept me interested the entire time. i enjoyed each character's story and how most of the characters were brought together. the stereotypes and class roles were very interesting in this book. also, i actually enjoyed the book more than the movie version of Ragtime. it was a good read.
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CassieG

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Share a thought about Doctorow's Ragtime   Sat Dec 09, 2006 6:53 pm

I reallly liked how Mother and Tateh got married. At the beginning of the novel, they were as completely opposite as possible, but towards the end they had both changed their process of thinking so that they met in the middle. While reading, I felt absolutely ridiculous because I didn't realize that the mysterious Baron with a foreign accent and a pretty daughter was Tateh. Duh!
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Share a thought about Doctorow's Ragtime   Sun Dec 10, 2006 2:29 am

Doctorow's ragtime was a very unique novel. It's actually a first type of novel that i've read that doesn't have quotations with its conversations between characters. I like how the story is focused more on how the plot evolved rather than a specific character. The lack of detailed description of characters gives readers a feeling that the characters depict not one person but a certain group during that era.
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EmilyN

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Share a thought about Doctorow's Ragtime   Sun Dec 10, 2006 11:52 am

I thought Doctorow's main purpose was really to expose and analyze the many facets and perspectives on America at the turn of the century. In some ways, this made the book somewhat distracting to the main plot, although I thought his creative touches of adding real historical figures really contributed to his exploration of American society.

I also really enjoyed his writing style, in that it was very little description, and more plot drive, simple structured action. But at the same time, he was able to portray the characters in a way that the reader could still understand what was going on within the character's minds. I felt that a lot of the meaning was implied. Even though he directly didn't describe to the reader what the characters thought, we're still able to see the development of all the characters throughout the novel.
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Jess.M.Period1



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Share a thought about Doctorow's Ragtime   Sun Dec 10, 2006 12:05 pm

I thought this book was interesting. I really liked how everyone was connected in some way or through some one. It was interesting to read about each different character and their social class. Doctorow emphasized how the richer the character, the more dysfunctional and out of tune with reality. I especially enjoyed reading about Morgan and Ford.

I also liked how Doctorow revealed so much through the actions of each character, however small they may be. His writing style is unique in revealing just enough in each chapter.
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Share a thought about Doctorow's Ragtime   Sun Dec 10, 2006 3:11 pm

At first, I noticed how the style of the book was fast and very summarized; it seemed as if each character was just very briefly introduced and the same with events. There were not very emotions involved and there wasn't any drama going on, it seemed like it was up to the readers to make up their mind about what the author didn't mention. I was OK with that but I hoped the author would change his style a bit, and I am glad he did. I like how he changed and started going more into depth about characters as well as events and eventually even drama was incorporated into the story, the author had made it so much more exciting. I really enjoyed reading this novel, something a lot different than anything I had read before.
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BLewis22



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Share a thought about Doctorow's Ragtime   Sun Dec 10, 2006 7:46 pm

I was really impressed with Doctorow's use of historical characters in his novel. By introducing characters that we already have a minor basis behind, it takes out some of the boring introductions that some authors tend to clutter the story with. Also, the intertwining of historical facts and the fictional storyline helped me to get into the story as it made me feel as though it was actual history, and not just a story E.L. Doctorow made up.
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ANunn1



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Share a thought about Doctorow's Ragtime   Sun Dec 10, 2006 8:28 pm

I thought the Younger Brother character was extremely interesting in both the novel and film. Throughout the novel I was searching for his true personality which ended up not showing through until the very end. In the beginning the reader thinks that he is nothing more than a guy that dreams about being with some celebrity, but it develops into much more. After he breaks off his affair with her his true insanity shows through when he joins Coalhouse. After his life's dream is ruined he devotes himself to working for the dreams of others, first with Coalhouse and then Villa in Mexico. It was interesting to see his collapse and virtual insanity set in after Evelyn left him and what someone can be reduced to when their dream is lost. He is a very tragic, but interesting character.
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