Monday, 28 November 2011

The Horatio Alger Myth

The use of "the Horatio Alger Myth" that I have chosen to use is one I will use in my presentation, film maker Michael Moore. In his article,“Face It You’ll Never Be Rich” in the Guardian, 2003 Moore says:

“So, here's my question: after fleecing the American public and destroying the American dream for most working people, how is it that, instead of being drawn and quartered and hung at dawn at the city gates, the rich got a big wet kiss from Congress in the form of a record tax break, and no one says a word? How can that be? I think it's because we're still addicted to the Horatio Alger fantasy drug. Despite all the damage and all the evidence to the contrary, the average American still wants to hang on to this belief that maybe, just maybe, he or she (mostly he) just might make it big after all.”

I don't really agree with a lot of the criticisms of Alger as I think that what he originally wrote has been misconstrued and changed over the years. I believe Alger was trying to say that people can rise from nothing to respectability with hard work and education but what people think Alger said is that people can rise from nothing to everything and anything. I do think that Moore is correct in saying that the modern conception of the American Dream is being destroyed however people want to cling to it in hope of a better life.

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