Ragtime by E.L.Doctorow

Essay by Be_Delicious April 2014

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The text under stylistic analysis is taken from the book Ragtime by E.L.Doctorow. The protagonist of the story Coalhouse Walker Jr. comes to his abandoned love-Sarah to rectify his actions. The protagonist is a young Negro man whom the author describes directly thus he is a "stocky man, with a red-complected shining brown face, high cheekbones, large dark eyes and neat moustache". He is rather rich as he drives a new model T-Ford and describing him the author uses a metaphor "was dressed in the affection of wealth" to emphasize that he is a well-off man.

As for Sarah the author doesn't give her direct description, we only know that she is young and colored. The girl has been waiting for Coalhouse for a long time however refuses to see him. Sarah has a baby and lives with people who are not her relatives. What is interesting is that the author doesn't give them names and calls them just Mother and Father, Mother's Brother because their characters are flat, not important and are used in this text only to contribute to the development of the relations between Coalhouse and Sarah.

Coalhouse Walker Jr has been coming to the girl's house every week, which is emphasized by the author through the use of repetition of the word "always". Mother didn't like him at first because he entered the house without permission, the author employs the qualitative words "outraged" and "presumed" to stress that this action was inappropriate for Mother. Thus the author highlights the Coalhouse's character - strong, confident and in some way impudent. In this very abstract the pronoun "she" is repeated for several times, this SD enables the reader to understand that Mother is a mistress of this house. However this severe landlady changed her mind and...