Ragged Dick: Or, Street Life in New York with the Boot Blacks

by

Horatio Alger

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Mr. Whitney Character Analysis

Mr. Whitney is Frank Whitney’s uncle and a successful New York City businessman. He hires Ragged Dick to show Frank around the city. Mr. Whitney takes a keen, philanthropic interest in Dick, noting his amiable attitude and work ethic and rewarding it. It is through Mr. Whitney that Dick gets his first new suit and the five dollars with which he begins his savings account. This type of deserved charity is typical of well-off adults in Ragged Dick and is mimicked by Mr. Greyson and Mr. Rockwell. Like his nephew, Mr. Whitney is a firm believer in the power of hard work, thrift, and education.

Mr. Whitney Quotes in Ragged Dick: Or, Street Life in New York with the Boot Blacks

The Ragged Dick: Or, Street Life in New York with the Boot Blacks quotes below are all either spoken by Mr. Whitney or refer to Mr. Whitney. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Power of Thrift Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Signet edition of Ragged Dick: Or, Street Life in New York with the Boot Blacks published in 1990.
Chapter 3 Quotes

“I’m afraid you haven’t washed your face this morning,” said Mr. Whitney […]

“They didn’t have no wash-bowls at the hotel where I stopped,” said Dick.

“What hotel did you stop at?”

“The Box Hotel.”
“The Box Hotel?”
“Yes, sir, I slept in a box on Spruce Street.”

Related Characters: Richard “Ragged Dick” Hunter (speaker), Mr. Whitney (speaker), Frank Whitney
Related Symbols: The Suit
Page Number: 20
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4 Quotes

When Dick was dressed in his new attire, with his face and hands clean, and his hair brushed, it was difficult to imagine that he was the same boy.

Related Symbols: The Suit
Page Number: 22
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 11 Quotes

Save your money, my lad, buy books, and determine to be somebody, and you may yet fill an honorable position.

Related Symbols: The Suit
Page Number: 72
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 25 Quotes

I've give up sleepin' in boxes, and old wagons, findin' it didn't agree with my constitution. I've hired a room in Mott Street, and have got a private tooter,

who rooms with me and looks after my studies in the evenin'. Mott Street ain't very fashionable; but my manshun on Fifth Avenoo isn't finished yet, and I'm afraid it won't be till I'm a gray-haired veteran. I've got a hundred dollars towards it, which I've saved from my earnin's. I haven't forgot what you and your uncle said to me, and I'm trying to grow up 'spectable.

Page Number: 165
Explanation and Analysis:
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Ragged Dick: Or, Street Life in New York with the Boot Blacks PDF

Mr. Whitney Character Timeline in Ragged Dick: Or, Street Life in New York with the Boot Blacks

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Whitney appears in Ragged Dick: Or, Street Life in New York with the Boot Blacks. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3: Dick Makes a Proposition
Fortune Favors the Industrious Theme Icon
While searching for his next customer, Dick stumbles upon Mr. Whitney and Frank. Mr. Whitney is apologizing to his nephew, because the older man won’t be... (full context)
Chapter 4: Dick’s New Suit
Fortune Favors the Industrious Theme Icon
Clothes Make the Man Theme Icon
Once at the hotel, Dick is presented with a suit by Mr. Whitney . Though it was Frank’s previously, it’s still in quite good shape, and will make... (full context)
Chapter 8: Dick’s Early History
The Power of Thrift Theme Icon
Fortune Favors the Industrious Theme Icon
The Value of Education Theme Icon
Dick thanks his companion and says that he wishes more people were like Frank and Mr. Whitney . Frank again assures Dick that the shoeshine boy’s fortune might one day change, adding... (full context)
Chapter 10: Introduces a Victim of Misplaced Confidence
The Power of Thrift Theme Icon
Fortune Favors the Industrious Theme Icon
Clothes Make the Man Theme Icon
...boy thinks that it’ll be grand one day. The boys decide to go back to Mr. Whitney , and the narrator mentions that “no incidents worth mentioning took place during their ride... (full context)
Chapter 11: Dick as Detective
The Power of Thrift Theme Icon
Fortune Favors the Industrious Theme Icon
Clothes Make the Man Theme Icon
The Value of Education Theme Icon
Frank realizes that his uncle, Mr. Whitney , has probably finished up work for the day, and so decides to end his... (full context)
The Power of Thrift Theme Icon
Fortune Favors the Industrious Theme Icon
Clothes Make the Man Theme Icon
The Value of Education Theme Icon
American Democracy vs. The British Monarchy Theme Icon
At the hotel, they find Mr. Whitney , who remarks that he barely recognizes Dick in his new suit. Whitney tells Dick... (full context)
The Power of Thrift Theme Icon
Fortune Favors the Industrious Theme Icon
Clothes Make the Man Theme Icon
The Value of Education Theme Icon
American Democracy vs. The British Monarchy Theme Icon
Dick tells Mr. Whitney that he doesn’t intend to be a shoeshine boy forever. Whitney tells him that there’s... (full context)
The Power of Thrift Theme Icon
Fortune Favors the Industrious Theme Icon
Clothes Make the Man Theme Icon
The Value of Education Theme Icon
Before Dick leaves, Mr. Whitney gives him a five-dollar bill. At first Dick doesn’t feel right about taking it, but... (full context)
Chapter 13: Mickey Maguire 
The Power of Thrift Theme Icon
Clothes Make the Man Theme Icon
...some money before getting breakfast. He doesn’t want to use any more of the money Mr. Whitney gave him and instead plans to start a savings account with it. (full context)
Chapter 14: A Battle and a Victory
The Power of Thrift Theme Icon
Fortune Favors the Industrious Theme Icon
...such a busy morning, he’s able to add a dollar to his remaining funds from Mr. Whitney and so starts the account with five dollars. The teller assumes, based on Dick’s suit,... (full context)
Chapter 23: Travis Is Arrested
The Power of Thrift Theme Icon
...help the family, and notes with some that five dollars was the same amount that Mr. Whitney had given him previously with the request that he “pay it forward” when he was... (full context)