When looking for a statement in regard to "the American Dream" I came across a website that was doubting "the American Dream" in today's society.
"Although the thought of the American dream inspires and encourages growth, it has become unrealistic and unachievable. The saddest part is that many Americans believe that that this ridiculous goal can be achieved."
This statement is overtly doubting "the American Dream" and completely dismissing the claim that it cannot be achieved. As harsh as the latter part of the statement may sound, this article is demonstrating how the possibility of achieving desired goals is scarce in America at this existing time. Moreover, the article goes on to discuss that in early America, "the American Dream" meant having a plot of land, having enough money to live comfortably, and having a job that would provide enough money to clothe and feed the family. Then goes on to say, most specifically, that nowadays "the American Dream" has turned into greedy materialism.
To apply Ragged Dick the article addresses that Americans still believe in the notion of "rags to riches."
"This phrase might have applied in earlier times when "riches" were seen as a place to live and enough money to support the family, but modern day "riches" are now nearly impossible to reach."
This statement is further establishing the articles argument by saying stories like Ragged Dick are presented as being true in the sense of how it was in the 19th Century, however, this doesn't bear much relevance in the present day.
To this end, one can make the assertion, in sense, that the ideas presented in America today don't match the ideas presented in Ragged Dick because of the concept of "rags to riches" fundamentally carrying different meanings to how it formally was. On the other hand, a contrast can be made as the article points out that "the American Dream" can be split into "the American Dream" itself and "the American Goal."
"The American goal is a reasonable goal for many families of varied social and economic classes. My definition of the American goal is a safe home, a job that supports the family, enough money to pay the bills, etc. The American Goal allows families to live comfortably without being too materialistic or greedy."
This last point made in the article is pivotal as, simultaneously, the position of the writer changes by pointing out a notion in America that is more than likely to be achieved. Most importantly, the quote relates to what Horatio Alger Jr. states as being in the "Riches" which could argue these ideas presented today do match those considered in Ragged Dick.