The hero of 'Ragged Dick' is a veritable 'diamond in the rough'-as innately virtuous as he is streetwise and cocky. Immediately popular with young readers, the novel also appealed to parents, who responded to its colorful espousal of the Protestant ethic. May 25, · In Ragged Dick, Horatio Alger’s most successful book, Alger codified the basic formula he would follow in nearly a hundred subsequent novels for boys: a young hero, inexperienced in the temptations of the city but morally armed to resist them, is unexpectedly forced to earn a livelihood.
Ragged Dick. Excerpts from Ragged Dick, or, Street Life in New York with the Boot-Blacks. By Horatio Alger. Published in During the Gilded Age (the era of industrialization from the early s to the turn of the century in which a few wealthy individuals gained tremendous power and influence), many Americans became fascinated by the possible riches that could be made in . Hero Ragged Dick is a homeless fourteen-year-old bootblack, known to be an honest young man. He is generous and industrious, but he is a spendthrift. His physiognomy is noted: he is a good-looking boy that appears aristocratic with a frank and open face.
Ragged Dick's inspiring tale of a young bootblack who raises himself up in the world quickly launched a broader series that would eventually run to volumes, with aggregate sales in the millions. Interestingly, the Alger stories sold even better after Alger's death in than they had in the s and s, when publishers produced cheaper. Ragged Dick; or, Street Life in New York with the Boot Blacks is a Bildungsroman by Horatio Alger Jr., which was serialized in The Student and Schoolmate in and expanded for publication as a full-length novel in May by the publisher A. K. Loring.
The main character Dick Ragged Dick is a homeless fourteen-year-old boot blacker. He is in excellent health and has a positive attitude. Ragged Dick; or, Street Life in New York with the Boot Blacks by Horatio Alger, Jr. is a Bildungsroman, or coming-of-age novel. It was first published in serialized form in in Student and Schoolmate. It became a full-length novel in