Social Changes In Ragtime

1257 Words 6 Pages
In the Novel Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow we are given much historical insight on the changes affecting the United States during the late 1800s and early 1900s. These changes are not only shown through the context of the novel, but through the three families and individual characters represented in the book. Characters react to the changing environment around them in many different ways. Some changes affecting characters in good ways and some in not so good ways.
Doctorow shows many social changes throughout ragtime, which affected the United States, many of which are shown through the characters. Doctorow addresses the issue of immigration and Women's Rights, which was a huge issue affecting the United States in the 1800s to 1900s. The struggles of being an immigrant is shown through Tateh and his
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Tateh becomes successful throughout the book and becomes a filmmaker because of flipbooks he made. This can also be seen as a technological change. Tateh also goes on to marry Mother who is part of a middle class family. So even though Immigration was a major issue in the 1800s, and many of them were hated, Ragtime reflects how they can make changes and become successful just like every average person living today. Something else that was always progressively changing was Women's Rights. Doctorow shows the effects of Women's Rights through the perspective of mother. Mother proves throughout the book that she can do whatever Father can do. While father is completely against change and has a hard time accepting it, Mother is constantly open for change. She learns to accept herself more and learns many things about herself. She takes over the family business while fathers away on an expedition. “Mother could now speak crisply of such matters as unit costs, inventory and advertising. She had assumed executive responsibilities. She had made changes in certain billing procedures and contracted with four new sales agents in

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