Study Guide

Chief Conklin in Ragtime

Chief Conklin

We hate this guy. Chief Conklin and the other volunteer firemen who vandalize Coalhouse's car are examples of the rampant racism and discrimination that existed during the early 20th century.

He's a coward and a drunk who goes into hiding when Coalhouse calls him out, and never seems to realize his part in the entire tragedy. Thanks for dashing our positive image of heroic firefighters, Conklin. Now we have to go watch Backdraft again to regain our faith in humanity.