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047 scrupulously clean
 

Foundations of America

QU201 Prof. Scott Leone

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Home Ragtime Articles of Interest 047 scrupulously clean

047 scrupulously clean

The words scrupulously clean were used to describe the inside of Tateh's apartment in the book Ragtime, by E. L. Doctorow. Evelyn Nesbit went to Tateh's apartment after she couldn't find him around town, and learned that Tateh wasn't working because the little girl was sick. To describe the apartment as scrupulously clean is rather strange because of the condition of the apartment building. The building is lined with garbage and smells rancid, but then the inside of Tateh's apartment is surprisingly clean. This says something about the type of person that Tateh is. Just because he is a poor immigrant doesn't mean he has has to live up, or rather live down, to the stereo type. Tateh is going to do what he can for is family, and at this point that is the little girl. He will work and keep the apartment clean so they can have some sort of standard of living.

Tateh clearly has some hope in his mind not to sit idly by and just let himself become just another immigrant. This is the type of thinking that can move someone onward and upward. This simple phrase is why Tateh works hard and eventually makes more money and moves on with his life taking the little girl with him. This phrase is just an indicator of who he is. 

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 September 2011 16:18  

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