'There Were No Immigrants In Ragtime'

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"There were no negroes, there were no immigrants". Doctorow uses this statement to set the theme for the novel Ragtime where the entire book works to disprove it. The sentence doesn't just state two bold facts. It goes much deeper than this, saying that there is an entire society in the book full of one race of people that fear change. These people push for a life where they do not have to recognize the triumphs of the "negroes" and the "immigrants" However, in the end, the ones who run from change create much more of a disturbance in their own lives than those who try and fight it. One of the main characters is a black man who goes by the name of Coalhouse Walker. He is treated unfairly by the fire chief, the police, Father, lawyers, and the…show more content…
He's now lost in a town that used to be so familiar to him. When he left, everyone knew where they belonged, but now, the world isn’t so black and white. He does not handle the things that happen to Coalhouse well, or the changes that he sees in his wife, who is now much more accepting of the different races. He takes his family to Atlantic City to try and go back into this blind bliss, but ends up still not being able to escape the changing times. Here, in the place he was supposed to be escaping to, even his wife begins to fall for an immigrant. In order to escape this, he begins to sleep the days away, not wanting to face the changing times of his world. When looking around at a white man's neighborhood and that of the immigrants there are very different from one another. "The tenements glowed that furnaces and the tenants had no water to drink. The sink at the bottom of the stairs was dry. Fathers raced through the streets looking for ice." When you look at the struggles here, it is possible to understand why the rich white families decided to turn their heads and pretend it doesn't exist. When your life is as happy as the children dressed in white playing on the beach (as it is in Atlantic City), why would you want to think that places like this

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