Horatio Alger’s “Myths of Social Reality”


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Essay #: 052867
Total text length is 5,300 characters (approximately 3.7 pages).

Excerpts from the Paper

The beginning:
Horatio Alger’s Myths of Social Reality
According to 
 Dalton, the stories written by Horatio Alger are the kinds of tales that contribute to giving Americans false hope of an equal society and merit-based social mobility in the United States. Dalton contends that Alger’s stories are indeed “socially destructive” because they perpetuate a myth that poverty-stricken and working class Americans can change their socio-economic status relatively easy, through “hard work, persistence, initiative, and daring” (Dalton 278-279). In actuality, however, people living in the United States have many more issues to face for which any Horatio Alger story, including Ragged Dick, takes account. I agree wholeheartedly with Dalton in his argument....
The end:
.....heir talents or skills in a way that might get them ahead socially and economically. To suppose otherwise is to ignore ongoing conditions of life for hundreds of thousands of people living in the United States.
As we have briefly tried to show, 
 Dalton’s argument that Horatio Alger’s stories about people quickly and easily moving up the ladder of social mobility to attain the “American Dream” is disingenuous and hurtful to American society is entirely correct. By ignoring the actual conditions in which most people that do not belong to dominant identity groups live, Alger is really only telling hopeful stories for a small percentage of Americans, while erasing the daily experiences of thousands of people from the American landscape.