Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Contemporary use of the phrase "Horatio Alger,"


The website I have chosen isn’t a support group or society, it is an article about a picture being sold of Lindsay Lohan for a ridiculous amount of money. Within the article the lady who took the photo was offered a quarter of a million dollars of Lindsay Lohan walking out of a gas station and why shouldn’t she receive the money? She is potentially being offered enough to support her family in luxury for the next few years and the writer states, “Isn't that the American dream? This is the Horatio Alger story of our times, isn't it?” I believe that Ragged Dick could be compared to the lady as being in the right place at the right time and being offered something you cannot refuse. The lady could be living in poverty and through receiving this money she could be underlining the notion of the American Dream. However, Alger’s dream is unique and highlights morality and respectability rather than wealth and power. Alger portrays kindness and sincerity and ambition to be crucial to the advancement of Dick. The lady in Bryan Young’s article had no struggle snapping the photo, and given the circumstances this could be seen as the notion of the American dream; there was no effort in taking the photo and there certainly wasn’t effort in selling the photo.

The article can be seen as a modernised article of Horatio Alger’s story – the money could be seen as a blessing on the lady’s behalf, she could be a single mother with hospital bills to pay and children to raise. The character of Mr Grayson gave a helping hand to Dick and gave him the opportunity to change his life around for the better.

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