Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Horatio Alger in contemporary websites

The use of the phrase "Horatio Alger" is used in a variety of contexts in contemporary websites. The website Asian Topics has an article that explores the "Horatio Alger Myth" in relation to Japan. It explains that in the United States the myth means that anybody from any background can become a successful businessman through hard work. In Japan, the myth is slightly more modest and means that through hard work a farm boy can become a bureaucrat for example. There is a difference between the Horatio Alger myth's meaning in both countries as becoming a bureaucrat is not considered as a way to become a great success in the United States yet it is considered to be a prestigious career in Japan.

In The Real Horatio Alger, the phrase "Horatio Alger Hero" is discussed. It has a similar meaning to the Horatio Alger myth as it is described as "referring to the person who achieves success by his own effort in the face of great obstacles". However, the article focuses on how despite the fact that some of today's successful businessmen refer to Alger as an inspiration, his books are difficult to find and he is described as "a cross between ancient history and amusing turn-of-the-century nostalgia".

Another website that discusses "Horatio Alger" is FishbowlIDC, a site that publishes interesting news stories. This article covers the 2009 Horatio Alger Assosiation Awards and explains that "the association was founded in 1947 to honor the achievements of outstanding individuals in our society who have succeeded in spite of adversity and of encouraging young people to pursue their dreams through higher education." It mentions that Hollywood star Denzel Washington was inducted into the association at this year's cermony.

After searching for websites featuring the phrase "Horatio Alger", there appears to be more negative implications of Alger as most of them refer to him in regards to a myth. In relation to Ragged Dick, this symbolises the demise in popularity of Alger and the concept of "rags to riches" in America. However, it is clear that the Horatio Alger success idea is still celebrated by some as exemplified in the awards ceremony in his name.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.