Ragged Dick, written by Horatio Alger, focuses on a young boy who has achieved success. The protagonist of this Bildungsroman is regarded as a bright example of how poor, but ambitious and talented people become successful. The story relates to the incredible adventure of rescuing a drowning little boy. Dick, a young hero, saved the drowner and believed that everyone would do the same thing in those circumstances. The author pays attention to the positive traits and qualities of Dick. Specifically, he depicts him as hardworking and disciplined boy, who will never boast of his abilities like swimming. Therefore, the story surprises readers by transparent rendering of the idea, as well as by the author’s willingness to describe Dick as a perfect personality with all virtues, which could be assigned to a good person.
While retelling a simple story about the heroic rescue, the author states that, if a person owns such virtues as modesty, honesty, bravery, kindness, and willingness to help others, they will always be reimbursed by other kind people who can notice these rare qualities. At the same time, the main idea of the story is that only hard work and full commitment can help an individual to achieve success. Persistence and readiness to challenges helped Dick become a recognized personality, despite the fact that he originated from a low-income family. While reading the story, I was surprised by the way the author described the events. Alger does not provide a separate description of Dick; instead, he was more concerned with the events and deeds, which made him successful in life. In general, the story is helpful for those who want to achieve success in life and learn more about the major secrets of becoming a full-fledged individuality. What is more important is that the author argues that money is not the main thing that makes people respectable. It depends on their faith in high moral values and hope that their deeds will bring in good to the community.
The Lesson, written by Toni Cade Bambara, reveals the eternal topic of confrontation between the rich and the poor. In particular, the story discusses a range of important social issues, but in a humorous, energetic way. The story is both provocative and useful because it introduces important themes related to children maturation with the focus on social justice. Specifically, the author argues that everyone has the right to be happy and successful irrespective of the social status and income. The Lesson is also about the choice that can further influence the entire life.
One of the most interesting moments to me has been Sylvia’s odd response to the lesson conducted by Miss Moore. Although the visit to the shop irritates Sylvia, she is at a loss because she cannot understand why she is so angry. Despite her rebellious and abrupt response, the girl has the possibility to witness an evident difference between the poor and the rich. It inspires her to become more hard-working in order to prove that everyone can reach success irrespective of social background. Although the problem of poverty is well-discussed by many other authors, the story is unusual because it describes the confrontation from the viewpoint of coming-of-age children. This opinion shows that children always have a choice, but Miss Moore is wise enough to inspire children and make them think.
The third story by Barbara Ehrenreich is called Serving in Florida. It is retold from the first person since it narrates a life of the author. It starts with the description of Ehrenreich searching for a job to earn a living. Interestingly, the author agrees to take any job just to gain experience and receive money for it. She has been searching for a job for a long time, applying for over twenty places and looking for anything that might fit. Finally, she finds a job as a housekeeping gig. She should work from 2.00 p. m. till 10.00 p.m. for only $ 2.45 and tips.
Due to this autobiographical sketch, I have found out many interesting facts about the author’s experience of working at a low-wage job, as well as how this experience can be valuable. The story is thought-provoking, indeed, because it provides several lessons. First, you should never be afraid of applying for any job because it is always a good experience. Second, working in different environments, you can adjust to different behaviors and attitudes, which increases your communication skills and makes you more resistant to any life challenges. Third, even working as a waiter in a restaurant can improve your experience of communication with clients. Finally, applying for a job is an opportunity to earn money for improving your knowledge. There is also the story about Ehrenreich’s manager and constant conflicts. The author understands that there are significant problems with employer-employee communication. However, if the job does not suit you, you can always find another one. Hence, people should not be afraid of losing a job because it is a good opportunity to find a better one, which can open greater perspectives. After all, it is an amazing move to change your life and search for new goals and strategies for professional growth.