Sunday, 27 November 2011

the horatio alger myth

Articles on the 'Horatio Alger myth' appear throughout the internet and many of them suggest that Americans like to believe in the ideas from 'Ragged Dick' - hard work can lead to prosperity. However most websites also make the point that although Americans want to believe in the concept, most evidence of modern day America seems to put forward that the myth is now untouchable.
''This idea is still used by conservatives who defend the gap between rich and poor by saying that there are opportunities for the poor to succeed if they work hard; and that those who don’t succeed remain poor because of their own faults.''
This article is strongly against capitalism and blames the government for the widening gap between the rich and poor and the lack of opportunities available for people to make a success of themselves.
''the purchase of lottery tickets, and gambling became the substitute vehicles for this pursuit of success.''
This website also attacks the opportunites available for people to achieve the ''dream'' of financial success.
Overall contemporary views of the myth seem to be negative. Without doubt Americans want to believe but there are many obstacles stopping them from achieving which hard work and perserverance (the ideas behind the myth) cannot overcome.

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