Ragged Dick Presentation
Text of Ragged Dick
· “Ragged Dick” was contributed as a serial story to the pages of ‘Schoolmate’, a well-known juvenile magazine, during the year 1867.
· It was published as a text in 1868 and has been rewritten and enlarged and is now presented to the public as a first volume of a series.
· Intended to illustrate the life and experiences of the lonely and homeless children on the streets of New York and to be used as somewhat of a guide of how to survive.
· Information about the boys in the text was mainly gathered from personal observations and conversations with the boys themselves, by the author Horatio Alger, Jr.
· As well as information provided by the Newsboys’ Lodging which provided useful facts and information that were of use to the author.
· The audience is first introduce to Ragged Dick when he is awoken after spending a night on the streets.
· Straight away the reader gets a sense of the character Ragged Dick, he is a young boy living on the streets of New York, with little or no money to his name and no shelter to live under.
· His appearance is described in the text as “His pants were torn in several places, and had apparently belonged in the first instance to a boy two sizes larger than himself. He wore a vest, all the bottoms of which were gone except two, out of which peeped a shirt which looked as if it had been worn a month. To complete his costume he wore a coat too long for him, dating back, if one might judge from its general appearance, to a remote antiquity”.
· His character is portrayed to be cheeky and quick witted, but also very resourceful and kind hearted.
· The text first introduces Frank when Dick overhears his conversation with his uncle about wanting to look around New York and see the sights, but he does not have any knowledge of the area.
· Dick sees this as an opportunity and offers his services to Frank and his uncle, thus the two characters meet.
· Frank is said to be about thirteen-fourteen and quite a privileged young man, for it is Frank that gives Dick his first proper suit, as well as the rest of his old clothes he no longer needs.
· Although Frank is quite privileged, he is fascinated by Dick and how well he knows the streets of New York, so much so that he sometimes comes across jealous that he doesn’t get to live there himself.
· He is a kind young man who is worried for the well being of Dick, he wants to take care of him and ensure he is treated well.
Dick and Frank
· The two characters come from two different worlds, but both are intrigued by what the other has learnt along the way.
· The leading role between them varies through out their time together, starting off with Dick being all knowledgeable and offering to show Frank around the city he knows so well.
· Then it is Frank who seems the bigger person as he offers Dick his old clothes that he does not wish to take to boarding school with him.
· As Dick shows Frank around the streets of New York it is him that seems to know more and have all the answers.
· However, through out their initial time together, you do sense the seperation between them both as it is Frank who pays for their adventures around New York, yet it is Dick that keeps them out of harms way.
· Firstly, both characters are around the same age and seem to share the same sense of humor and adventure.
· Both have a drive to want to do well and succeed in building a good life for themselves, just that each has a different way of accomplishing this.
· Both boys have a kind heart, not wanting to cheat people or be cruel, although Dick does like to have a laugh and a joke.
· Both characters seem to lack somewhere that they can call home, although Frank has somewhere to live he is off to boarding school and will not have somewhere particular to feel at home.
· The most obvious difference is the appearance of the two boys when they first meet, Dick is wearing an old, worn suit that is too big for him and Frank is dressed smartly.
· Another clear difference between the two characters is that Dick has no money and Frank does not need to worry about money, for it is given to him.
· Dick lives on the streets with just an empty alley way for a bed, where as Frank has a roof to live under.
· Dick has no education, where as Frank grew up attending school and is due to attend a boarding school in Connecticut.
· Dick has street knowledge, while Frank has general knowledge of the world and the education he has earned through his young years.
· As the two characters part Frank’s uncle says to Dick; “I hope, my lad, you will prosper and rise in the world.” He then hands Dick a five dollar bill, which at first Dick refuses to take but then Frank’s uncle says to him; “but I give it to you because I remember my own friendless youth. I hope it may be of service to you. Sometime when you are a prosperous man, you can repay it in the form of aid to some poor boy, who is struggling upward as you are now.”
· Dick and Frank cross paths again in the text in chapter twenty four, Dick receives a letter from Frank via an advertised letter in the Newspaper.
· The letter reads about Frank’s life since he left Dick and recalls on their adventures, however because Frank does not know of Dicks new lease of life he still thinks he is the same goofy, uneducated boy he once knew.
· Dick is pleased with this letter as he has so few friends and certainly none that would go to the trouble of writing him a letter, or had the skills to write a letter.
· This gives Dick the opportunity to write his very first letter, to show his old friend that he is now very literate and tell him of his new life he has made for himself.
· At this point in the text the two boys are more similar then when they first met, Dick now has a room, he is well dressed, educated and still learning and has money to his name.However, the two boys are still very much from two different worlds and their lives are heading in two separate directions. But, they are still friends and they will always have that one day together to remember forever.