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Ragtime

Part II, Chapter 28; Part III, Chapters 29 and 30

Summary Part II, Chapter 28; Part III, Chapters 29 and 30

In Ragtime, repetition manifests as both a structuring principal of the novel's plot and a major thematic concept. When Father takes his son to a ballgame in chapter thirty, Doctorow writes, "He turned to his son. What is it you like about this game, he said. The boy did not remove his gaze from the diamond. The same thing happens over and over, he said." In this instance, the boy finds repetition appealing as it provides a certain reassurance; however, in other instances in the novel, repetition creates a sense of meaningless in the characters.