Ragged Dick

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Christian Silvia
English 209
8/26/2012

Ragged Dick by Horatio Alger Jr. This book entails the struggles of young poor boys growing up in New York City through the eyes of Horatio Alger Jr. Although the author grew up comfortably under the roof of his family, he finds a particular calling in helping young boys, without the same privileges as he had, find a way to advance themselves in life.

Horatio Alger Jr. was born in New England in 1832, later moved to the states with his family in 1844. At age 15 he completed his local preparatory school Gates Academy and started publishing literary works in local newspapers. He studied at Harvard and became a professional writer the next year, selling two essays and a poem to the Pictorial national library. After graduation he went through various jobs including assistant editor for the Boston Daily Advertiser, managing a summer session at Deerfield academy, when he eventually became a pastor with the first Unitarian church and society of Brewster Massachusetts. During all which he kept writing and publishing many works. While he was a pastor he developed raids against drugs and violence for the boys at the church, And first developed his calling to help the future of boys. He left the church and continued to write books on inspiring young boys to turn into men.

Ragged Dick, the main character, is a young boy forced to live upon his own in Manhattan NewYork. Horatio wrote this book with inspiration from all the street boys growing up in New york. Dick at his young age of 7 was already forced to completely take care of himself. He woke up every morning without a penny in his pocket, knowing if he didn’t work, he wouldn’t eat. His first job was a struggling newspaper boy, then moved to selling matches, and procured his job as a Boot Black. Being a homeless kid, without a penny, only having his supplies for work, would boot black for ten cents a shine. Having a eye for business and a clever wit he managed...
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