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082 sacrament of success
 

Foundations of America

QU201 Prof. Scott Leone

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Home Ragtime Articles of Interest 082 sacrament of success

082 sacrament of success

Sacrament means to possess something coveted and wanted by all. In this case it means a sure sign of success. In the book Ragtime, by E. L. Doctorow, the consumption of food is a sacrament of success. Someone who had a large stomach was in their "prime". The consumption of food came from the idea that someone had enough money to over eat, and spend it on whatever they pleased and need not do physical labor. The wealthy don'y have to perform any kind of physical acts in day to day life, therefore if one has a larger stomach, it means they don't have to spend their time working. The idea is that if someone is not in need of money then they can simply overindulge in food, causing them to have a plump round stomach. 

When President Taft entered office, this is when eating was a sacrament of success. He is a very large man, and since the president is a large man then it is okay for everyone else to be. In addition to the president being a large man, the image of a poor man became that of a skinny short fellow. It changed the image of someone who is successful to someone of physical stature. Such an image would only make Tateh seem more insignificant to the wealthy upper class.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 September 2011 10:26  

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