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- DescriptionDuring 1850's, common stories about poor city youths, newsboys and bootblacks who became rich and famous which were popular. Ragged Dick features such a young boy as its hero. Alger opened up Dick's identity, inspirations, dreams, plans and hopes. Dick was a sarcastic youngster, generous towards friends, a gambler and smoker. At the same time, he never steals, neither cheats r hurt younger boys and this makes him a ble young gentleman. His pants were torn in several places, and had apparently belonged in the first instance to a boy two sizes larger than himself. He wore a vest, all the buttons of which were gone except two, out of which peeped a shirt which looked as if it had been worn a month. To complete his costume he wore a coat too long for him, dating back, if one might judge from its general appearance, to a remote tranquility. Throughout the book Alger draws us to see the transfer of a boy who once was Ragged Dick into a respectable young gentleman Richard Hunter. When Dick was dressed in his new attire, with his face and hands clean, and his hair brushed, it was difficult to image that he was the same boy Dick changes from being uneducated, dirty and wearing ragged clothes that are too big for him into a quite handsome...young gentleman, except that his hands were red and grimy. Alger could have made Dick a good looking, rich and educated young gentleman but he chose completely the opposite. This way of writing only made it more realistic since t everyone becomes rich; it takes hard work to get there. Throughout the book, Alger draws images of the New York City streets, transportation and structures, tells about the games, cheats, crooks and tricks happening on the streets, and draws attention to the juvenile boys' desires for simple things such as: a steady job, a decent place to sleep, a suit of clothing, respect from others as well as planning for future. There are a lot of details used to make our minds actually see the real pictures of the situations. Some of the details include about the greatest pleasure that Dick is experiencing with his saving's account that grows slowly every week and the first experience of washing his face. One of the reasons 'Ragged Dick' was a success was that the story was easy to read as well as inspiring. Alger leaves his readers with the feeling that, like Dick, they can become smart and rich too. In approximately one year, the hero of Alger's story turns from an uneducated, dirty, sarcastic, young boy into a ble young gentleman. Like us, Dick wasn't successful in everything he did. But his life is quiet realistic and his progress in the face of struggles can inspire us all.
- Author BiographyFrom the 1860's through the 1890s, Horatio Alger wrote hundreds of novels to teach young boys the merits of honesty, hard work, and cheerfulness in the face of adversity. A prolific author, Alger was best known for his many formulaic juvenile novels about impoverished boys and their rise from humble backgrounds to lives of respectable middle-class security and comfort through hard work, determination, courage, and honesty. He initially wrote and published for adults, but a friendship with boys' author William Taylor Adams led him to writing for the young. He published for years in Adams's Student and Schoolmate, a boys' magazine of moral writings. His lifelong theme of rags to respectability had a profound impact on America in the Gilded Age. His works gained even greater popularity following his death, but gradually lost reader interest in the 1920s. Gary Scharnhorst, author of Horatio Alger, Jr., describes Alger's style as anachronistic, often laughable, distinctive, and distinguished by the quality of its literary allusions. These allusions are what set his work apart from the pulps, Scharnhorst opines, and include the Bible, Shakespeare (in half his books), John Milton, Longfellow, Cicero, Horace, Joseph Addison, Oliver Goldsmith, Alexander Pope, Thomas Gray, William Cowper, and many others. By the diversity of his allusions, Scharnhorst writes, Alger ... both revealed his erudition and enhanced the literary quality of his work. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- Author(s)Horatio Alger
- Date of Publication14/12/2012
- FormatPaperback / softback
- SubjectChildren's Fiction
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations
- Weight186 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine7 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US),Unsewn / adhesive bound
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