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Protestant Work Ethic in Ragged Dick

The novel Ragged Dick by Horatio Alger talks about a young poor boy, Dick Hunter who worked as a clerk in a counting room. The author has used Dick as a center of attention as the latter demonstrates the protestant work ethic, as a view of life that promotes hard work and self discipline which is achieved through God's grace. Even though that was the case, luck favored Dick to be what he is. By definition, protestant work ethic can be described as the value that is attached to work. It can also be simply defined as the belief in moral value of work.

Dick describes this as a thing that requires a lot of perseverance to succeed. Even though he was facing difficulties, he was determined, straight forward and faithful, for what he was quenching for was success. The ironical part of this is that Dick never succeeded through the help of others but through how he used them. Although the intelligence of Dick was minute, he was an ambitious character. "Dick was good in persevering, was patient and focused such that you could not shutter his dreams". (Alger, p.139). Dick was lucky to run into is old street friend who he offered to house; because he knew he will gain something from him who was intelligent. Alger also brings in the theme of urbanization. Regardless to the life Dick was living, New York is taken to be more urbanized with well developed building structures. This is a symbol of financial role as he puts it. "A street neither wide nor long, but of great importance." (Alger, Ragged Dick, p.101). Thus this gives Dick the morale of working hard to better himself.

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