Father And Tateh In Ragtime

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The book Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow places several characters from different social classes, races, and nationalities in a story dealing with change and triumph during the Gilded Age at the turn of the 20th century. Two of these characters to focus on are that of Father and Tateh. Both these characters are similar in how they are the head provider of their respective households, but differ on their origins and where they end up by the stories end. When reading this story it is critical to ask the question; how do Father and Tateh end up in very different positions by the end of the story? One could say the reason for this is because Tateh is a character who has always had to adapt and change to survive, while Father has never needed to change.…show more content…
He has determination to get him and the little girl out of where they were so he decides to leave for something better. When comparing a situation as this to Father one can see the differences that immigrants and their native counterparts had in society, with connection to success and the American Dream. Father is already successful and has very much achieved his own American Dream already, but Tateh on the other hand is still hungry for his taste of this dream. It is clear to see the different attitudes Father and Tateh encompass based on their own situation and actions. Father is relaxed, just looking for more success with all his adventures, however Tateh is still determined and unwilling to give up. This fact is plainly given by Tateh and the little girl moving to Lawrence, Mass. to have Tateh start work at the mill (120). What is shown in this is Tateh’s own grit for success. At this time Tateh and the little girl are both living in a small wooden hut on a hill, with no heat, and Tateh working fifty-six hours a week at the mill for six dollars. Granted they do not continue this living situation with the strike that later occurs, but nevertheless the reason that Tateh is willing to go to hell and back to earn the money and make a better life is none other than a tremendous example of the human spirit. The changes that occur in Tateh’s situation display signs of himself and his own
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