Horatio Alger's Ragged Dick

Topics: Sociology, Poverty, Working class, Social class, Elite / Pages: 5 (1006 words) / Published: Oct 15th, 2011
In Horatio Alger’s Ragged Dick, Alger writes about a rag-to-riches story and points out valid and key messages that tell of things like hard work and determination can take anyone from the bottom to the top, despite one’s economic class. I do realize that in real life that although these messages hold key to making it in the world, everyone does not have the equal opportunity to succeed or move up in class rankings like Alger says.

Dick, the main character in Ragged Dick, is a man that fits every trait Alger describes in the story. He is a man who has a mediocre job, and is a very hard worker. Throughout the story, signs show us that Dick is a man who has ambition and is very determined to one day get away from his poor environment. However, in the text, Dick saves the child of a rich, wealthy man and because of this, he is offered a new suit and a great paying job which Dick accepts. Some of the values that are taught in Ragged Dick are still valid in today’s society, however, one of them is really underappreciated by most people, and that is hard work.

While Dick is a hard working man, he takes advantage of the opportunities that come his way and while America may be seen as the land full of opportunity for all people, unfortunately all Americans do not get a chance to pursue their goals or dreams, not to mention do they ever make it into the elite class. Everyday people are denied simple opportunities to obtain jobs. Society fights over blue collar jobs and many Americans are not educated enough to obtain a white collar job. Education, race, sex and good resumes are key factors in determining whether or not a person is able to secure a good job that can enable them to move up within class or society.

For example, a Hispanic male could be denied opportunities to one day gain a higher position with better pay at his job because of his limited education or language barrier (nationality). A woman with only a high school diploma is

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