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296 the self-delusion of all those who oppress humanity
 

Foundations of America

QU201 Prof. Scott Leone

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Home Ragtime Articles of Interest 296 the self-delusion of all those who oppress humanity

296 the self-delusion of all those who oppress humanity

"You are a complacent man with no thought of history.  You pay your employees poorly and are insensitive to their needs.  The fact that you think of yourself as a gentleman in all your dealings, is the simple self-delusion of all those who oppress humanity" (296).

 

The father is left with the choice of helping the police department or Coalhouse, the black musician.  Coalhouse's extreme but necessary actions demonstrated his need to be treated with equality, when he demanded his car to be fixed. The father chooses to help the police when Coalhouse and his followers overtake J.P Morgan's library.
 

The father exemplified many white people during the Ragtime era, who deluded themselves to hide their reality.  They were people who oppressed humanity, particularly of other race/ethnic background.  The father degrade blacks and Jews throughout the story, and shows his hatreds toward the Eskimos during his trip to the Arctic.  When the younger brother is faced with the father in J.P Morgan's library, he explains that he is a man with no thought of history.

 


 

 Up until America overcame slavery, many people thought of racism and discrimination as a regular concept.  They had to adapt to new conditions and overcome old stigmas from their way of life. It had an impact on America during the Ragtime era.  The treatment of coalhouse was highly publicized when his vandalism occurred and many whites were enraged by Conklin's indecent actions.  Although coalhouse had many people rooting for him many  ignorant people like the Father, demonstrated what the younger brother says "a simple self delusion", the act of deceiving oneself. 



Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Edward_S._Curtis_Collection_People_005.jpg 
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/74/1910Ford-T.jpg/220px-1910Ford-T.jpg
Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow

Last Updated on Sunday, 18 September 2011 16:20  

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