Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Horatio Alger

The link above gives information about the Horatio Alger Association Scholarship which helps students attend college who wouldn’t normally be able to.

On the webpage it reads that “The Horatio Alger Association seeks to assist students who have
• demonstrated integrity,
• perseverance in overcoming adversity,
• strength of character,
• financial need,
• a good academic record,
• commitment to pursue a college education,
• and a desire to contribute to society.”

The list above, which is a guideline for the type of person the Horatio Alger Association gives scholarships to, also reads as a list of qualities the character of Ragged Dick in Horatio Alger’s novel displays. Dick demonstrates integrity by not stealing even when he has the opportunity, and overcomes adversity by being able to survive even though he has lived on the streets of New York for most of his life. His living on the streets also shows his strength of character, as well as the financial need he needed in the novel to get himself a room of his own. Finally Dick showed a commitment to pursue education by allowed Fosdick to teach him about reading and writing instead of spending his free time by going to the theatre and gambling.

Therefore the scholarship the Horatio Alger Association gives to students is a modern day version of the novel Ragged Dick, where people who have the same qualities as the fictional boy are giving a chance to go to college. In this way the Horatio Alger association could be seen as the Mr Grayson or Mr Whitney characters, which helped give Dick the help he needed to change his life.

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