Wednesday, 27 November 2013

American Dream & Ragged Dick

The notion of the 'American dream' is shown by those today, who although had lived a poor and troubled past have become highly successful through their pure determination and hard work, such as Dick's perserverance to become 'spectable' in 'Ragged Dick'. An example of someone who had developed from 'rag to riches' was John D. Rockefeller who started off in poverty yet through his hard work he became the first 'business superstar' by creating the standard oil company which dominated the oil industry.

Rockefeller was raised single handedly by his mother who had taught him the value of hard work, such as Fosdick teaches Dick. In 'Ragged Dick' Dick was street smart which allowed him to flourish and Rockefeller's analytical skills led to his success. In addition, such as 'Ragged Dick' Rockefeller's story can also be considered as 'rags to respectability' and not 'rags to riches' as the wealth which Rockefeller had created was largely given out to charities. He said 'Having been endowed with the gift I possess, I believe it is my duty to make money and still more and to use the money I make for the good of my fellow man according to the dictates of my conscience.' This shows that in both cases, the idea of the 'American Dream' was not merely to increase their wealth, rather the hard work which they endured  was to achieve a better life for themselves.

Rockefeller also had the luck of others to guide him. He states that without his wife 'I would be a poor man.' Such as Dick would have been if he had no one willing to educate him.  

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