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254 Baron Ashkenazy

254 Baron Ashkenazy

Tuesday, 27 September 2011 13:32 Ragtime Articles of Interest
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254 Baron Ashkenazy

“He was, he said, the Baron Ashkenazy.”

The Baron Ashkenazy was no other than Tateh after becoming a wealthy and successful motion-picture producer. The word baron is derived from the Old French word baron. Baro, in Latin, means free man, free warrior. Combined with the Old English beorn, which means nobleman, baron is simply a title of nobility. By declaring himself a Baron, he was able to keep his Yiddish accent throughout the Christian community.

From Rags                                 To Riches

As for the name Baron Ashkenazy, no such baron existed in history. However, Ashkenazim are Jewish people settled in Central or Eastern Europe. Although none of the other Ragtime characters pick up on this, it is interesting to the reader the way Doctorow linked Tateh’s new name to his past.

Tateh displayed a complete transformation in character. He went from a poor, starving and defeated man trying to make a living on the streets, to a rich and successful entrepreneur. The film business was actually a thriving industry during this time period, making Tateh’s position in Ragtime relate to events that were actually taking place. Although Tateh as a character was fictional, it is easy to believe he was based on a real person because his place in society and “rags to riches” story relate to many people during that time period.

http://daragtime.blogspot.com/2011/05/tateh-to-baron.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baron

Last Updated on Thursday, 13 October 2011 12:10