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Literature Study GuidesRagtimePart 2 Chapter 26 Summary

Ragtime | Study Guide

E. L. Doctorow

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Ragtime | Part 2, Chapter 26 | Summary



Sarah has a lavish funeral in Harlem. Coalhouse spares no expense, using the money he had saved for the wedding to fund the funeral. A brass band rides in an open bus with the mourners from Harlem to Brooklyn, causing passersby to stop and stare.


Coalhouse's lavish funeral for Sarah gives her the sendoff she deserves and shows his deep love for her. Despite their close relationship with Sarah, the family does not attend her funeral; "The mourners were mostly musicians, associates of Coalhouse in the Clef Club Orchestra." It was established in earlier chapters that no one knew where Sarah came from or even her last name. Just as with the family, Sarah's lack of formal identification allows her be a stand-in for any young black woman in the era.

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