One of Horatio Alger’s books was called Ragged Dick or Street Life in New York, this book featured a young boot black named Dick Hunter and his friend Henry Fosdick. Dick in the beginning is living on the street and is never sure where he will sleep from one night to the next. He is fairly happy but wishes to be respectable. One day he offers Mr. Whitney, a businessman, to show his nephew, Frank, around New York City because Mr. Whitney is too busy to do it himself. After this day Dick’s life begins to change from a boot black with an uncertain life to a clerk who rents a room and earns ten dollars a week.
The ideals that Alger encourages are morality, individualism, and the competence or making enough to be comfortable then giving the rest to help the rest of human kind. The businessmen of the Gilded Age did not really subscribe to these ideal, in fact the only one they did adhere to was individualism. Individualism was the idea that a person was supposed to make their riches on their own with out any real help from others. Accepting charity frowned upon, but acquiring loans and borrowing money or equipment for your business was fine. The idea of individualism in Alger’s book is seen in how Dick pushes himself to learn how to read and write under the tutelage of his friend Fosdick. This learning helps h...
... middle of paper ...
... or in a counting house. Neither of these jobs would be definable as being fruitful. Not really any of Alger’s supporting characters were very fruitful either. Mr. Grayson and Mr. Whitney were both businessmen and Mr. Rockwell, Dick’s future employer, was a merchant. Not even the hero’s closest companion, Fosdick, was fruitful. This was not a priority for the men of this age either. The fact that finding fruitful jobs would be quite difficult could be the reason why Alger did not include this ideal in his books of instruction and encouragement.
Horatio Alger wrote several books to help young boys how to be moral and successful in an ever changing world with questionable practices. These books were enormously popular because everyone wanted their sons to be successful and to be respected; even though most of the fortunes of the day were made from dubious practices.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- According to Ty Kiisel, writer for Forbes magazine, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” (Kiisel). In the book Ragged Dick by Horatio Alger, Alger portrays a young New York boot black in the 1860s. Dick rises to become the embodiment of the American Dream through, as Kiisel notes, who he knows. Ragged Dick builds many relationships with upper-class men, fellow boot blacks, and even builds connections within himself, all while keeping his morality in check. The relationships that Ragged Dick forms are what make him achieve the American Dream.... [tags: Ragged Dick, Horatio Alger]
924 words (2.6 pages)
- Ragged Dick by Horatio Alger Ragged Dick is a novel written in the 1800’s by Horatio Alger. It is a story about a young boy named Richard Hunter, also known as Ragged Dick, as he progresses though his childhood. Ragged Dick is a typical Rags to Riches story where Dick struggles through the hardships of city life, trying to achieve the “American Dream”. As a child, Dick is nothing more than a poor city boy who is trying to earn money on the streets of New York City. He spends his time shining shoes for working men, making only about ten cents a pair.... [tags: Ragged Dick Horatio Alger]
657 words (1.9 pages)
- As Percy Bysshe Shelley said “There is no real wealth but the labor of man.” Often called the land of opportunity, the United States of America is known for its free market economy. In this free market economy, America has planted the seed for future entrepreneurs. Throughout time, this seed will eventually grow into a tree that will bear the fruits of one’s labor. However, many entrepreneurs have found different ways to cultivate this seed to bear fruit. Such two men named Dale Carnegie and Horatio Alger have given the world two of the most famous business philosophies.... [tags: hard work, dedication, philosophy]
1161 words (3.3 pages)
- Ragged Dick by Horatio Alger, Jr. Ragged Dick is a picture perfect story of what the American dream is to be thought as. Here you have a boy who has lost both parents, he has no one. He shines shoes just to be able to feed himself and he rises to a higher class with tough work and good character. There may have been a little luck every so often, but that is what the American dream is too. Ragged Dick is almost like a guide to raise your social class rank. Not so much a step-by-step manual, but more of a how to.... [tags: novel analysis]
641 words (1.8 pages)
- Exploring The Gilded Age From the period between the 1870’s through the 1890’s, it became an era known as the Gilded Age. The term was characterized by a famous American Literature author named Mark Twain. The writer tried to point out that the term means that while on the outside society may seem perfect and in order, underneath there is poverty, crime, corruption, and many other issues between American society’s rich and poor. This era’s gild is thicker than the cheaper material it’s covering.... [tags: History, Gilded Age]
1642 words (4.7 pages)
- Wouldn’t it be nice to have it all. Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a society where everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed in life. No one looks at race or anything of that nature just solely on merit and no matter where you come from or what you go through you have the same opportunity as the next person. Merit is the quality of being particularly good or worth especially so as to deserve praise or reward. Well, this is the message that Horatio Alger gives to his readers that some people feel as though it’s a myth as oppose to others thinking it’s great guidelines or a great blueprint to success.... [tags: Argumentative, Dalton]
1517 words (4.3 pages)
- ... Dick states that by going to the theatre he could, “see the bearded lady, the eight-foot giant, the two-foot dwarf, and other curiosities, too numerous to mention.”# Another aspect of this book that I found to be accurate in select individuals lives throughout this era was the rags to riches aspect of the book. As we learned from several of the characters throughout this book such as Mr. Whitney and even Dick himself at the end of the novel, hard work, ambition, and character throughout this era led to some tremendous success stories.... [tags: Horatio Alger, story analysis]
1515 words (4.3 pages)
- Success in Horatio Alger's Ragged Dick and the Life of Colin Powell What does success mean to you. I think the idea of success is affected by the social system. In America and Hong Kong, which are capitalistic societies affected by the American Dream, success means money and fame. In other societies, success might have different meanings. Some people said money and fame is the true meaning of success, but I think that the true meaning of success is to follow the interest of your own and being good at it, but not money and fame.... [tags: Comparison Compare Contrast Essays]
1053 words (3 pages)
- Andrew Carnegie, Eugene V. Debs, and Horatio Alger During the late nineteenth century rapid industrialization paved the way for extreme economical wealth of many business. In accordance with the overflowing wealth in the nineteenth century many individuals held similar but yet contrasting views toward the wealth that was created in the United States. Among these individuals were Andrew Carnegie, Eugene V. Debs, and Horatio Alger. One of the best-known philanthropists was the American industrialist Andrew Carnegie, who devoted the latter part of his life to giving away most of the huge fortune he had amassed in the steel industry.... [tags: essays research papers]
560 words (1.6 pages)
- The American Dream in The Lost Beautifulness and The Gilded Six-Bits The America Dream is defined in general as a dream of a land that is better richer for everyone based on accomplishment and opportunity. This dream is usually sought after by people who have been deprived of their social and human values. People who have not been able to achieve this dream based on restrictions of their situations that plague their lives. These situations can be different for everyone, race, sex, handicap, etc.... [tags: Money American Dream Literature Essays]
1581 words (4.5 pages)