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Word Count: 1,220
In the classic EL Doctorow novel Ragtime we see the combination of many motifs to represent Doctorows view of the early century The biggest and perhaps most important theme Doctorow applies in the novel is social tension or the battle of the rich versus the poor Other important themes include rebirth racial tension and high randomness of events By uniting history and fiction Doctorow allows himself to write a semi-accurate interpretation of the early 1900s while also being able to strongly express his own biases and opinions of the era It is apparent that Doctorow clearly favors the poor lower class in their struggle for economic and social mobility against the few rich and upper class citizens Doctorows thoughts are best depicted through the novels characters Tateh Coalhouse Walker and Sarah are all characters who are portrayed as good These characters while representing a range of economic success all symbolize socially challenged individuals Throughout the novel Doctorow always chooses these or similar types of characters to be the protagonists Doctorow wants the reader to feel for Coalhouses situation He wants the reader to hope that Willie Conklin is harmed and the Model T Ford is repaired On the other hand Doctorow tells a different tale for the economic elite upper hand of society represented by JP Morgan and Henry Ford Morgan is presented as a snobbish old man who always gets his way and we are supposed to feel no remorse for him when his museum is broken into Doctorow could have portrayed Ford and Morgan in a different view but he describes them as he does for a reason His goal is to get his readers to dislike these leading men for being wealthy and having better things than Coalhouse or pretty much anyone can obtain Readers are inclined to agree with Doctorows opinion only because that is the way he planned it Doctorow did not touch on any negative aspects of Coalhouse Walkers
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