The Fictional Republic: Horatio Alger and American Political Discourse


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Fler böcker av Carol Nackenoff

A Bibliography of Horatio Alger, Jr. Related Materials in Print

She explores the way the content of the novels threatened certain elements of American society. I am entirely ambivalent as to whether or not the class should read the article. On one hand, its scope is a little outside of ours as its focus is technically on the actions of libraries in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

I was already familiar with the author. By using the work of Jurgen Habermas, Hendler draws connections between interpersonal legibility, participation in the marketplace, and reading. The article engages with a number of strands of critical thinking, most of them historicist in nature. Further, it is enmeshed in an American Studies tradition which looks closely at the ways in which individuals and groups imagined themselves in relation to the market and the public sphere. I do indeed recommend this article for general class reading. The way it employs extremely subtle historicist reading with social theory is both relevant and useful.


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While this article appears in the back of the Norton edition of Ragged Dick , I forgot to bring my copy to campus today; gratefully, a search of JSTOR gave me a copy of the article as well. This is, incidentally, the original publishing of the article, from Studies in American Fiction in While Barnum sought to quell fears of exotic natives, ambiguously sexed people, people with missing limbs, etc. However, upon discovering the extensive use of the Adams text and also the almost laughably dated Dangerous Classes , I maintain that Hoeller not only established strong evidence for a connection between Dick and Tiny Tim, but also had a profound reason for making such a connection.

Further, the theoretical implications of a text such as Sideshow USA bears exploration, as it may open up a diverse set of avenues for reading Ragged Dick. I came across this article through some deep scholar. His title suggests a certain condescension which proliferates throughout the entire article. Second, is an awareness of structuralism: Holland is consistently pointing out tendencies across several books and uniting them into broad strokes i. His website is a hoot. I would not recommend reading this essay as a class.

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The only reason to do so would be to get a sense of what early and somewhat condescending Alger criticism looked like. Though none of the primary databases had it, the University of Kansas had a copy that I was able to download.

Fictional Republic: Horatio Alger and American Political Discourse

By closely reading the way characters are depicted—socially, ethnically, economically—in Ragged Dick, he explores the cultural adgenda of the novel. He compares the image of society offered by the novels to the historical reality of the late 19th century. Secondly, the article is deeply engaged with a sense of literary history.

I would not recommend this article to the class as ultimately its interests are in a larger critical conversation about society and race.

Alger, Horatio - Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature

MacLeod posits that both books represent a prototype of the democratic American character in the form of their main boy characters. Dick, however, conforms to the middle class in his effort to gain respectability; this class ascension is, for Alger, self-realization, and the ultimate goal of the novel. Alger presents class mobility as a hallmark of American democratic society while Burnett endorses the idea of an innate aristocracy. Additionally, MacLeod quotes Tocqueville to highlight the contradiction of the American dream: American egalitarianism paradoxically heightens awareness of distance among social strata.

Without more extensive biographical evidence e. Marrs documents a nineteenth-century American educational practice where educators offered blue-collar workers and housewives courses in basic Latin or Greek, for reasons as simple as educators wanting parents to maintain the respect of, and set a good example for, their educated children. Essentially, Marrs argues that in the nineteenth-century knowledge became a utility—a means to receiving a lucrative position. I have noticed that critical responses to Alger interestingly look at what is absent from his text: parents, factories, the Civil War, and here an education built on classic literature.

Marrs does not respond to other Alger literary critics and instead views Ragged Dick as a historical document—one that emblematizes the shift in American educational priorities. I was able to find the text of the article through the PEP Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing [2] database which has the journal American Imago archived. Therefore, the essay functions as a close-reading, which pays particular attention to the presence of doubles, textual inconsistencies, and ambiguities, and interprets these phenomena psychoanalytically.

She does this by engaging with previous criticism of Ragged Dick , some historical scholarship, and theoretical writing on narratology. Her underlying concern seems to be exploring the way in which the text furthers its ideological agenda and the manner in which that agenda becomes complicated by the text. I was at first not sure if I would recommend the essay to the class as it seemed too concerned with somewhat hermetic psychoanalytic issues. So, while this may not be a particularly influential paper, I think it provides a useful approach to the text and I do recommend it.

Firstly, the original publishing information of this article is the following: Moon, Michael. I believe that this article will be relevant to class discussions; I not only found it mostly convincing and thought-provoking, but, when perusing other articles, I saw it cited in several footnotes, which indicates its importance in studies of Ragged Dick. Have you seen an alum in the news? Please let us know by writing news swarthmore.

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President Jefferson’s Foreign Policy and Politics in the Early American Republic

If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? Investigating the persistence and place of the formulas of Horatio Alger in American politics, The Fictional Republic reassesses the Alger story in its Gilded Age context.

http://christianguenther.net/error/tyzorefus/single-party-schwerte.php Carol Nackenoff argues that Alger was a keen observer of the dislocations and economic pitfalls of the rapidly industrializing nation, and devised a set of symbols that addressed anxieties about power and identity. As classes were increasingly divided by wealth, life chances, residence space, and culture, Alger maintained that Americans could still belong to one estate.

The story of the youth who faces threats to his virtue, power, independence, and identity stands as an allegory of the American Republic.


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    The Fictional Republic: Horatio Alger and American Political Discourse The Fictional Republic: Horatio Alger and American Political Discourse
    The Fictional Republic: Horatio Alger and American Political Discourse The Fictional Republic: Horatio Alger and American Political Discourse
    The Fictional Republic: Horatio Alger and American Political Discourse The Fictional Republic: Horatio Alger and American Political Discourse
    The Fictional Republic: Horatio Alger and American Political Discourse The Fictional Republic: Horatio Alger and American Political Discourse
    The Fictional Republic: Horatio Alger and American Political Discourse The Fictional Republic: Horatio Alger and American Political Discourse
    The Fictional Republic: Horatio Alger and American Political Discourse The Fictional Republic: Horatio Alger and American Political Discourse
    The Fictional Republic: Horatio Alger and American Political Discourse The Fictional Republic: Horatio Alger and American Political Discourse
    The Fictional Republic: Horatio Alger and American Political Discourse The Fictional Republic: Horatio Alger and American Political Discourse

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