In most of Alger's works he focuses on a young man's progress from a poor background pushing toward fame and fortune. Alger (1832-1899) wrote his short stories over a century ago, and explains past and present times are no different while pushing forward to succeed economically. The theme and characterization in this short story will convey to the audience how Alger feels toward hard work and its rewards, and how people carry themselves when pushing toward something you want desperately. An analysis of theme and characterization, in Horatio Alger's, "From Ragged Dick" are just a few thing that stood out while reading his short story Alger gives a through description on how he feels toward working hard and the rewards that will come after a person completes the battle with his goals. At the beginning of the story he informs the reader that Dick wants a better job, such as being in a store or counting room, but keeps getting let down in his attempt. For example, "after making several ineffectual applications, Dick began to think he should be obliged to stick to his profession until the next season." What Alger is trying to point out is that Dick is going through the hard times in his battle, and by saying, ."..
stick to his profession until next season," Alger is indicating that no matter how tough times get, go on with it. Then in one flash his opportunity came, and it was not what you would expect it to be. He saves Mr. Rockwell's child from the water after falling from the boat, even though Dick jump in the water before the man could say a word, he missed out on some details in which th man had to say.
Mr. Rockwell, owes our hero Dick a big favor, because just as Dick jumped into the water, Mr. Rockwell says, .".. ten thousand dollars to anyone who will save my child." Being that Dick doesn't realize that Mr. Rockwell owes him, he does not take to his kind offer because of his good nature and spirit. Dick takes his first step on his way to success when Mr.
Rockwell brings him new clothes for the ones that got wet in his rescue. I say this because he really does not have to accept them, but being that his old clothes is wet, and the new clothes is much nicer material, Dick feels that he is now suited for the kind of career he wants. Now, when he received these new clothes he also received a letter that basically said, call Mr. Rockwell to set a time to meet him. Apparently Mr. Rockwell set up a job for Dick, because Mr.
Rockwell owes Dick for rescuing his son from the water. He can not repay him in cash, so he repays him with a great job opportunity in a counting room, a job that he had always wanted. The point given to me is that Dick is on his way to where he wants to be, if he keeps himself around the right people. Since the salary was going to be seven dollars more than what he was making at his previous job, he felt that he had accomplished his goal. Alger emphasizes that perserverance and persistence have its rewards. Throughout the story, Dick is portrayed as a calm, focused, and determined person.
For example, when Dick's clothes were stolen, he says, .".. Dick did not shed many tears over his loss, as, in his present circumstances, he never expected to have any further use for the well-worn garments." This passge informs the reader he is calm about the situation because he receives new cloths from Mr. Rockwell. So Dick feels that his loss was somebody else's good fortune, because he has no use for the well-worn garments. Bing a focused person is not a very tough thing for Dick, because he has in his mind that he is going to achieve his economic goal. For example, in the very beginning Dick is looking for a position in a store or counting room, and until then he would keep blacking boots.
The interpretation of this passge is that Dick will eventually find a job in a store or counting room, but until then he will keep blacking boots until his opportunity arrives. When his opportunity arrives he will no longer black boots, he will do the job that pays best and best fits him. His determination is not seen until he receives the job from Mr. Rockwell. Dick says, "I'll try to serve you so faithfully, sir, that you won't repent having taken me into your service." Dick obviously believes that a determined person does not let any misfortune take away from his accomplishments. In short, Alger emphasizes that perserverance and persistence have its rewards, and being a calm, focused, and determined person will help along the way while striving toward your goal.
The audience did find out how Alger feels toward hard work, and how people carry themselves while trying to achieve a long time goal, when analy zation of theme and characterization was brought to life. The one good quality about this short story was that it enlightened me on how the times do not change when it comes to goal setting.