Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Success and Self Improvement

This website uses the notion of The American Dream positively because it argues that it is still alive today.

"I had parents that believed deeply in this concept and instilled in me- and each of my five siblings- that nothing was unattainable if we worked arduously, courageously and with conviction,"

This shows that the image of success it presents is similar with the book Ragged Dick, because within the book it talks a lot about the importance of hard work and how hard work can make you successful. Also, because the story line of Alger's book is about a poor boy who you could consider having no hope at all in succeeding and living The American Dream, which mirrors what this website is saying- that nothing was unattainable.

This website is very similar to Alger's image of success, because the book seems to have many meanings of what success is and what the idea of The American Dream is. This is because Alger's book suggests that the image of success is not necessarily financial but more about character, which is similar to the websites idea of The American Dream "Could we as a nation have lost touch with what makes us so distinctly "American?"".

"The incredible stories of the Scholars counter any national skepticism about the American dream in a powerful way." This shows that the image of success it presents matches with what Ragged Dick presents because the website is not just talking about Alger's notion of The American Dream being real, but it's actually proving it by mentioning scholars achieving The American Dream, which is similar to the book because it mentions how education is such a great importance in order to succeed and to accomplish The American Dream.

"After emigrating from Vietnam to the United States in 1991, Nathan Nguyen, a 2004 Horatio Alger National Scholar, and his family faced significant financial hardships. Through passion and perseverance, he was determined to help his parents achieve their American dream while pursuing his own path to success. In 2006, two years after receiving his scholarship, Nguyen established Instrumental Savings, a music help center, which Music Inc. Magazine dubbed “the new future of the musical instrument industry” and by the age of 22 he was a millionaire." This is an example of the notion of The American Dream being used/shown positively which matches with the book Ragged Dick because it shows a person who is financially worse off (like the character Ragged Dick), who through hard work, passion and determination was able to achieve success and live The American Dream.

The only difference in the way that success is presented in the website and in the book is that the book doesn't just focus on the values of hard work, but also luck as well. Whereas the website focuses on the hard work element of achieving success "and by the age of 22 he was a millionaire." 

However, the website does show that success isn't just about money and wealth, but also about you as a person "These are just two examples of the many exemplary Horatio Alger Scholars who worked hard to achieve their goals with integrity and perseverance." This shows that these people worked hard but they also had integrity and perseverance, so this is similar to the way Ragged Dick presents the image of success, because they both include the idea of self improvement, which is needed as well as hard work etc. in order to succeed and to live The American Dream. 

Another difference in the way that the website and the book present the image of success is that Ragged Dick has a lot of different ideas about what success is and what The American Dream is. Whereas the website has a much more straight forward idea of what the image of success is and how The American Dream is defined as well as how you achieve it.


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