The Is The Perfect Example Of The Different Ways People View Freedom

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Freedom, such a simplistic word defined differently by everyone. According to Webster dictionary, freedom is defined as “the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action.” While this textbook definition may be true, the word freedom is much more complex than that. What the dictionary doesn’t mention is that freedom can be interpreted in so many different ways and comes with much responsibility. E.L. Doctorow’s novel, Ragtime, is the perfect example of the different ways people view freedom. Each of the characters are from different walks of life which alters their perception of freedom in America. At this time in America, major societal changes are taking place and Doctorow uses each character to represent how these changes effect different people. Father is a man who built a business from the ground up to provide for his family. Mother’s younger brother, works for father’s company and has a very hard time finding a sense of self therefore; he is defined in terms of his relationships with others. Coalhouse Walker, an African American man, deals with his own struggles of racial freedoms in society. All three of these characters, father, mother’s younger brother, and Coalhouse Walker, have stories which connect because of the different freedoms they each strive to achieve in America.
Father has a business derived from the manufacture of patriotic paraphernalia such as fireworks and flags. Patriotism is a strong sentiment in the early twentieth century,…

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