By Horatio Alger Jr.
Fourteen-year-old Dick Hunter lives at the streets of latest York within the 1860s. His mom and dad are lifeless, and he has been on his personal because the age of 7. He shines footwear to generate profits. He sleeps in containers. He jokes approximately having a mansion on 5th road and approximately possessing stocks of Erie Railroad inventory. yet he can't think ever being greater than a bootblack who spends each cent he earns and lives hand-to-mouth--until unintentionally he meets Frank Whitney. Ragged Dick; or, highway existence in big apple with the Boot Blacks is arguably the easiest recognized of Horatio Alger’s American rags-to-riches tales. released in 1867, it promotes the values of exertions, thrift, honesty, integrity, and bravado. Alger paints his tale in shiny shades: the unconventional swirls with retailers, crowds, and a variety of characters, and whereas it will possibly now not be referred to as interesting in any sleek feel it still continues to be all of sudden readable to this present day. The identify personality is Richard Hunter, larger referred to as Ragged Dick, an orphan residing at the streets of recent York and scraping a dwelling as a shoe shine boy. even supposing he's quickly witted and has a easy morality, he lacks direction--but whilst he's hired to behave as a consultant to the town to Frank Whitney, a boy of his personal age, he's inspired with Frank's manners and schooling and determines to higher himself. Dick later meets Henry Fosdick, an informed early life who has fallen on demanding instances via no fault of his personal, and Fosdick has the same opinion to educate Dick. They take a room jointly and, due to kindly Mr. Greyson and a unexpected accident, are quickly at the highway to monetary safety and social respectability. As a veritable "diamond within the rough," Ragged Dick is as innately virtuous as he's streetwise and cocky—and his tale nonetheless makes an outstanding read.
About the Author
Horatio Alger, Jr. (1834–1899) was once a prolific 19th-century American writer, most sensible identified for his many formulaic juvenile novels approximately impoverished boys and their upward push from humble backgrounds to lives of good middle-class safety and luxury via exertions, decision, braveness, and honesty. He at the beginning wrote and released for adults, yet a friendship with boys' writer William Taylor Adams led him to writing for the younger. He released for years in Adams's pupil and Schoolmate, a boys' journal of ethical writings. His lifelong topic of "rags to respectability" had a profound impression on the USA within the Gilded Age. His works won even better reputation following his demise, yet progressively misplaced reader curiosity within the Nineteen Twenties. Gary Scharnhorst, writer of Horatio Alger, Jr., describes Alger's sort as "anachronistic", "often laughable", "distinctive", and "distinguished by means of the standard of its literary allusions." those allusions are what set his paintings except the pulps, Scharnhorst opines, and comprise the Bible, Shakespeare (in part his books), John Milton, Longfellow, Cicero, Horace, Joseph Addison, Oliver Goldsmith, Alexander Pope, Thomas grey, William Cowper, etc. "By the range of his allusions," Scharnhorst writes, "Alger ... either published his erudition and stronger the literary caliber of his work."
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Extra resources for Ragged Dick
As soon as I saw him, I would pull on my mother’s sleeve. At this signal, she would cast a few furtive glances, spot him, and then put her natural pride on display. This show of pride, so blatant, was our only weapon against him, our only way of warning him, sternly, to keep his distance: my mother would raise her chin and ﬁx her stare upon some far-off horizon, which could not compete with the blue of her eyes. She would thrust out her chest, expanding her magniﬁcent décolleté, and as she walked along, the skirt of her dress would swish magically, fanning her arrogance all the way down to the devil.
I was on my way home from Poznan. Among other things, I’d visited the Gothic cathedral where Walesa’s union activists had once held their secret meetings; I don’t know why but it had given me cold shivers. Maybe because of its crypt or its gray nave where the lonely echo of the least little word reminded me of my own social condition, which was rather vague—in fact, quite undeﬁned. So I looked out the window of the plane to contemplate the landscape and try to understand whether the connection between man and nature is one of intellect or simply naive intuition.
A second later, I turned again, but the old woman had already vanished. For years and years afterward, the voice of Fate continued to echo in my mind. Madame Ephtiqui’s house, where we went nearly twice a week, was on a quiet lane that seemed isolated from the rest of the world, even though it opened onto the city’s busiest street. It was a small house, built low and shaded all around by rich vegetation. On hot summer days, the cool, shaded lane leading to the porch made one believe that both house and yard were set against a backdrop of dark, green forest.
Ragged Dick by Horatio Alger Jr.