+ 1-888-787-5890  
   + 1-302-351-4405  

Essay/Term paper: Sex in ragtime

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Sex

Free essays available online are good but they will not follow the guidelines of your particular writing assignment. If you need a custom term paper on Sex: Sex In Ragtime, you can hire a professional writer here to write you a high quality authentic essay. While free essays can be traced by Turnitin (plagiarism detection program), our custom written essays will pass any plagiarism test. Our writing service will save you time and grade.

Sex in Ragtime

Throughout the novel, there are instances of both violent and more refined
sexual references. While an obvious reason for these is the titillating effects
of them, there are deeper, more relevant reasons for them. There are three main
groups within which the sexual activity takes place: Father and Mother, Younger
Brother and Evelyn Nesbit, and Harry Houdini and Harry K. Thaw. Some are more
obvious and explicit than others, but they all have great purpose. The sexual
activity between Father and Mother is used to define their relationship, sexual
activity by Younger Brother is used as a replacement for violence, and the one
scene between Houdini and Thaw is used to elucidate the difference between the
classes. The sexual activity that is most relevant to the story line occurs in
the relationship between Father and Mother. While these scenes definitely imply
sexual activity, they are definitely not as intense as the erotic scenes between
other characters. After their relationship has been analyzed, one can see that
the relationship between Mother and Father is one that seems to be held together
purely by sexual desire. The first reference to this is at the very beginning
of the novel. Doctorow writes, "On Sunday afternoon, after dinner, Father and
Mother went upstairs and closed the bedroom door"(p 4). Their marriage is happy
as long as they continue to have a good physical relationship. Whereas in the
beginning of the novel Mother and Father's relationship was good, by the end of
the novel "He felt it had been stupid to leave his wife alone"(p 233). Mother's
disdain for Father is conveyed to the reader when he tells her that he will be
taking their boy to the Baseball game on the following day. Doctorow writes, "…
she was checked in her response, which was to condemn him for an idiot, and when
he left the room she could only wonder that she had had that thought in the
first place, so separated from ant feeling of love"(p 226). Mother obviously
has lost her love for Father. The reason for this is outlined in the following
quotation when Father returns from his expedition to the North Pole. Doctorow
writes, "At night in bed Mother held him and tried to warm the small of his back,
curled him into her as she lay against his back cradling his strange coldness.
It was apparent to them both that this time he'd stayed away too long"(p 110).
In the case of Mother and Father, Their sexual encounters are a parallel
description of their overall relationship. When sex is good, their relation
ship is good; when sex is cold, their relationship is cold. This parallelism is
demonstrated before Father leaves for his voyage. Doctorow writes, "He was
solemn and attentive as befitted the occasion. Mother shut her eyes and held
her hands over her ears. Sweat from Father's chin fell on her breasts"(p 12).
Just as their sex is solemn, their relationship is, at this point, very solemn.
The most obvious instance of a violent sexual act is when Younger Brother falls
out of the closet while watching Emma Goldman give Evelyn Nesbit a massage. "He
was clutching in his hands, as if trying to choke it, a rampant penis which,
scornful of his intentions, whipped him about the floor, launching to his cries
of ecstasy or despair, great filamented spurts of jism that traced the air like
bullets and then settled slowly over Evelyn in her bed like falling ticker
tape"(Doctorow 64). In this very explicit scene, Doctorow shows Younger
Brother's immature, almost adolescent side, by showing his inability to control
his sexuality. It is almost as if he had found a new toy that did not want to be
summoned from the depths of his soul. Now that he has found it, he must pacify
it. Once he fails to pacify it, violence takes over his being, and he joins
Coalhouse Walker's crusade. This relationship between sex and violence is first
alluded to in the beginning of the novel. Doctorow writes, "Across America sex
and death were barely distinguishable"(p 4). When he pleases is carnal appetite,
he has control over his life. As soon as he is unable to satisfy his sexual
urges, he loses control and starts making bombs. He replaces his libido with
violence. The most brief and seemingly insignificant sexual reference is
actually one of the most important to the meaning of the novel. When Houdini is
performing his escape from a prison cell, he happens to see Harry K Thaw in the
cell across from him. In a seemingly insignificant sexual act "[Harry K. Thaw]
came up to the front of his cell and raising his arms in a shockingly obscene
manner he thrust his hips forward and flapped his penis between the bars(p 30).
This scene, while seemingly just a case of one man taunting another, is actually
representative of the class struggle between two people who are probably of the
same wealth, but nevertheless they are of different classes. They represent two
different types of class struggle. The first is the class struggle between the
recent immigrant and the long standing American. Although they are both
American citizens and are in the same monetary class, Thaw feels as if he is
superior to Houdini, simply because of their respective cultures. The second
conflict that is alluded to in this prison scene is the conflict between the new
rich and the old rich. Just as F. Scot Fitzgerald's elicits in his novel Great
Gatsby, the difference between these two classes creates conflicts that at times
can be insurmountable. Class struggle is a theme that comes up throughout the
novel. The reason for this earlier provocative scene is to introduce this
problem. Whether violent or more subtle, the sexual references in Ragtime serve
a much more important purpose than for pure entertainment value. They help to
convey not only the plot, but the theme of class struggle to the reader as well.
One has to wonder: do all seemingly titillating scenes in novels and movies
actually serve a much higher purpose?


Other sample model essays:

Sexism-Patriarchy Brian S. Slevin Sexism by definition is discrimination by members of one sex against the other, especially by men against women, based on the assumption that one se...
Sex / Sexuality
Sexuality Sexuality means the concern with or interest in sexual activity according to the Oxford Dictionary. The meaning of sexuality changes from time to time, from land to land, an...
Sexual Harassment Sexual harassment in the workplace is a very big problem today. It is a problem that hasn't really drawn much attention until now. More and more sexual harassment cases...
Sexual Harassment The sexual harassment allegations filed by Professor Anita Hill against Clarence Thomas and the proceeding Senate Judiciary Hearing thrust the issue of sexual harassment ...
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) There are now more than twenty disorders recognized as being transmitted primarily by sexual means. The more familiar STD's are AIDS, gon...
Should There Be Stricter Laws on Pornography? Three articles have opposing viewpoints on laws concerning pornography. All three authors argue their side of this issue while having many of t...
Sexually Transmitted Diseases Also called venereal diseases, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are in a topic of their own and are higly contagious infections almost always acuired duri...
Society Term Papers / Sweat
Sweat Steven Wood Jerry Erath Essay #4 7th March 1997 It is easy to see why a person would find "Sweat" an offensive story. Many who read this story will find that the style in which ...
Swinger's Not Just on Playgrounds Anymore By: Tanya Holt Dave's marriage had hit the rocks. His wife had lost interest in sex, and Dave did not know how to deal with it. He did ...
Teens and Sex Jay Gradner An increasing problem on high school campuses and one of the main concerns of parents, school officials, and the government is teenage sex. It is on ...
Experience with Dream Essay - Reliable and great customer service. Quality of work - High quality of work.
Browns Mills, New Jersey, United States
Dream Essay - Very reliable and great customer service. Encourage other to try their service. Writer 91463 - Provided a well written Annotated Bibliography with great deal of detail per the rubric.
Browns Mills, New Jersey, United States
it is always perfect
Frederick, Maryland, United States
The experience with Dream Essay is stress free. Service is excellent and forms various forms of communication all help with customer service. Dream Essay is customer oriented. Writer 17663 is absolutely excellent. This writer provides the highest quality of work possible.
Browns Mills, New Jersey, United States
Only competent & proven writers
Original writing — no plagiarism
Our papers are never resold or reused, period
Satisfaction guarantee — free unlimited revisions
Client-friendly money back guarantee
Total confidentiality & privacy
Guaranteed deadlines
Live Chat & 24/7 customer support
All academic and professional subjects
All difficulty levels
12pt Times New Roman font, double spaced, 1 inch margins
The fastest turnaround in the industry
Fully documented research — free bibliography guaranteed
Fax (additional info): 866-332-0244
Fax (additional info): 866-308-7123
Live Chat Support
Need order related assistance?—Click here to submit a inquiry
© Dreamessays.com. All Rights Reserved.
Dreamessays.com is the property of MEDIATECH LTD