From Ragged to Richard
Dick Hunter was a poor kid living in the streets of New York City. During his years on the streets, he had picked up some unhealthy habits such as smoking and gambling. Making a living shining boots, Dick only made enough money to feed himself comfortably every day but just under the amount to be able to purchase clothing or any other luxuries. Because there was nothing else to do on the streets, Dick would have to gamble or smoke to pass time but if he did, he would have to work extra hard just to have a meal the next day. Since Dick is a "boot-black" and lived on the streets, he didn't acquire the best grammar due to his lack of education. However, Dick was not dumb. Often throughout the novel, Ragged Dick, he is a witty boy who likes to joke around with people that don't quite understand his humor. Dick also was not exactly the easiest boy to judge. Because of his dress and poor hygiene, one would think him a common boot-black that steals and cheats to do whatever he can to get money. Although Dick didn't seem like much, he was an incredibly kind, honest, generous, and hardworking young man who,with the help from some new friends, changed the outcome of his future. These attributes helped Dick to follow his very own “American Dream” to success. According to Tom Lansford, the American Dream is that of economic success. Dick never became a wealthy or rich man in this story. However, his dream was not to become a rich man, his dream was to work in a counting room earning an honest pay check. With many obstacles in his way, Dick followed his dream with goodwill and determination making him the perfect example of the “self-made man.”
One morning, Dick was having a conversation with his good friend Johnny who was a boot-black just as Dick was. Johnny was complaining about how he doesn't have as much money as Dick. Dick, being the witty boy he was, replied saying Johnny was just "lazy." Once Johnny left, Dick said to himself "That boy,...
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