Customer Reviews for

Ragged Dick and Struggling Upward

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2001

    Daryn's Review for Ragged Dick & Struggling Upward

    Review - Final Draft Horatio Alger is a thorough, indepth author who sees a potential of prosperity in every socioeconomic status. His thought processes portrayed through his books are bewildering. To take a young boy with little or no education and allow him to progress up the rungs of the social ladder without help is an absolute inspiration to all those hard working blue collars that have forced themselves into believing there is nothing better for them in life. Alger¿s constant themes of rags to riches and the American Dream are a pleasant topic for children and adults to read. His particular writing style allows readers to follow along with his concepts without being overwhelmed by highly sophisticated word usage. The antagonists Alger portrays are slightly devious but not to the point where they are inept. A classic stereotype of Alger¿s protagonist is the rags to riches American hero who, though born in melancholy straights, follows a virtuous life style to a status of uprightness, and sometimes wealth and influence through dumbfounded luck. Overall, Horatio Alger is an intellectually gifted writer who prospers in creating chocolate box images of potential prosperity while climbing the socioeconomic ladder and achieving the ultimate goal of the American Dream. ------- ¿Ragged Dick¿ is a well-written piece about living a hard-knock life in New York. Dick Hunter is a young boy goes through everyday struggles of poverty and grief. His morals and good will are the only prospect he has for pulling himself out of poverty. Personally, I liked this book for two reasons. Firstly, I hate to read books and yet I couldn¿t put this one down. Secondly, the boy in this story actually struggled living in New York. He earned his way to the top. This book can relate to everyone, rich or poor, because everyone has had struggles in their life. I highly recommend buying this book. It is direct and accessible to all readers.------- ¿Struggling Upward¿ is a story about a poor, hard working teenage boy who has yet to learn about business at hand. People often attempt to take advantage of him due to his high moral values and good will towards other people. His intelligence and good spirit are essentially the only things he has keeping from becoming poor. Honestly, I hated this book. Perhaps it was because I had read ¿Ragged Dick¿ before and ¿Struggling Upward¿ was an exact Xerox copy of it. The only difference is the theme seemed to fade in ¿Struggling Upward¿. Other than the theme, it had the same concept of bad characters, and same dumb luck, which makes the boy wealthy. Perhaps, it was because there was not enough description behind any of the characters so the story did more than keep you guessing, it kept you clueless. Perhaps, it was because the story plot was so blatantly obvious, you knew what was going to happen three chapters ahead of time. Some foreshadowing is helpful but not when it¿s so direct you feel like shouting at the book¿s characters for how moronic they appear. Nothing bad happens to the good character, not even a scratch on the elbow. This book should not be called ¿Struggling Upwards,¿ it should be called ¿Take an Elevator to the Top¿. I do not recommend buying this book. However, readers who like stories that begin with ¿Once upon a time¿¿ and end with ¿¿and they lived happily ever after¿ will like this book.

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