Monday, 28 November 2011
The Horatio Alger Myth
The Horatio Alger myth is a criticism of the idea that with talent and hard work a person can succeed financially in life. This is not in my opinion what was expressed in Ragged Dick. Dick uses money he is given by wealthy men to originally finance his exploits. This is not in keeping with Horatio Alger or with the American dream because without this outside help Dick's life could have been very different. In this sense regarding Horatio Alger's ideas as 'myths' is accurate. Whether or not Alger intended his work to be interpreted in the way that it has been is debatable. The phrase 'The American Dream' was coined after Alger's death so it could not have been this that drove his writing in this direction. The phrase is used often by bloggers to express their anger at their personal lack of financial success. The idea of the American Dream as a 'myth' is used to oppose those who deny a class divide and inequality in The USA.