American Dream in Ragged Dick and Pursuit of Happiness
How the book ″Ragged Dick″ by Horatio Alger and the movie ″The Pursuit of Happiness″ with Will Smith both tie in with the theme of the ″underdog″ but most importantly the theme of an ″American underdog and the American Dream: PREVIEW-ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW
Both the “Ragged Dick” by Horatio Alger and “The Pursuit of Happyness” by Will Smith are reflections of individuals who started as underdogs and through their hard work ended up becoming very successful. In this context, underdogs are Ragged Dick and Chris Gardner who are struggling to achieve their goals, but the efforts needed to attain their desires seem to be beyond their reach. In the “Ragged Dick” a teenage boy, Ragged Dick, is working hard to eliminate poverty, and his dreams come true when he attains the status of the middle class. Likewise, in “The Pursuit of Happyness” Chris Gardner presents the struggle of a father who is ready to endure hardships to improve his life as well as that of his son. Ragged Dick begins from the rags and works diligently to overcome the socioeconomic hurdles to climb up the social ladder, and similarly, Chris Gardner finds himself in the same unfortunate situation, but he is determined to work extra hard to improve his life despite the challenges. Dick and Gardner are ideal American underdogs who are trying very hard to realize their American Dreams.
Alger depicts Dick who will later refer himself to as “Richard Hunter” as the novel’s hero. Dick finds himself in a poor socioeconomic environment in the street of New York. Instead of attending school, he is shining shoes. However, he is a determined boy and using his natural talents including appearance, charm, and wit he climbs up the social ladder and to achieve his desire of becoming a reputable person (Alger 238). Dick appears to embrace good moral character, and he only believes in getting empowered socially through integrity. He is mainly concerned by how people view his status, and as such he uses a lot of his money to assess his value. In the end, Dick has a respected occupation with a high-paying salary, an indication that he has achieved the social class he had desired: END OF PREVIEW-ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW