Three years ago I read Horatio Alger's Ragged Dick, a story about a young bootblack who grows up to be a respectable young man. I have just finished reading the sequal to this story called Fame and Fortune.
This story continues on from the original story and sees Dick being blessed with a respectable job by the father of a boy whose life he saved. The generosity of this man as well as this new job of Dick's ensures that a number of people are jealous of him. As a result, those who are envious of Dick's success plot to frame him for a crime he did not commit.
This sequal is very much like the first story Ragged Dick (and probably like every other Horatio Alger story) in that this story is very much a fantasy and a moralistic story (some have described Horatio Alger fiction as male Cinderalla stories) about how even the poorest and disadvantaged man can gain riches and respectability through honesty and hard work. Nevertheless, I believe that the lessons taught in this book are very positive, and I would not hesitate to encourage young people (children and teenagers) to read it because of the lessons it is meant to teach.
Some of the negative points about this book and this idea that honesty and hard work will result in success is that it does not address the possibility that in some areas and in some instances hard work does not pay off. Although the rags to riches story is very popular in America, there is some evidence to suggest that there is not much social mobility in America, a country that is characterised by an immense gap between rich and poor.
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