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

by

Horatio Alger

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Restaurants Symbol Icon

Restaurants act as symbolic indicators of social status in Ragged Dick. At the beginning of the novel, Dick eats at a restaurant that’s little more than someone’s apartment. It serves cheap food of questionable nutritious value, but it fills his belly for what little money he has. As Dick improves his lot in life, he’s able to frequent better restaurants, which serve better food. When he does this, he’s always aware of his situation’s social significance: that he wouldn’t have previously been allowed in that restaurant, that he sees some of his customers there, and so forth. Even when Fosdick and Dick have comfortably established themselves and are no longer poor, they still dream of eating at Delmonico’s, a restaurant that the rich and famous frequent. In this way, the boys are dreaming of completing the next step in their journey: from poverty to the middle class to, ultimately, their dream of upper-class living.

Restaurants 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 all refer to the symbol of Restaurants. 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 2 Quotes

Now, in the boot-blacking business, as well as in higher avocations, the same rule prevails, that energy and industry are rewarded, and indolence suffers. Dick was energetic and on the alert for business, but Johnny was the reverse. The consequence was that Dick earned probably three times as much as the other.

Related Symbols: Bootblacking Box, Restaurants
Page Number: 10
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5 Quotes

Turning towards our hero, he said, “May I inquire, young man, whether you are largely invested in the Erie Railroad?”

Related Symbols: The Suit, Restaurants
Page Number: 33
Explanation and Analysis:
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Restaurants Symbol Timeline in Ragged Dick: Or, Street Life in New York with the Boot Blacks

The timeline below shows where the symbol Restaurants 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 2: Johnny Nolan
The Power of Thrift Theme Icon
Fortune Favors the Industrious Theme Icon
American Democracy vs. The British Monarchy Theme Icon
...He’s earned some money, so he can afford breakfast. He purchases it at a ramshackle restaurant that the narrator compares unfavorably to Delmonico’s. There, Dick meets an old friend, Johnny. Fourteen-year-old... (full context)
Chapter 5: Chatham Street and Broadway
Fortune Favors the Industrious Theme Icon
Clothes Make the Man Theme Icon
American Democracy vs. The British Monarchy Theme Icon
On their sight-seeing tour, Dick and Frank visit the New York Hospital and Taylor’s Saloon , where they eat ice cream together. In the saloon, Dick jokes about all the... (full context)
Chapter 12: Dick Hires a Room on Mott Street
Clothes Make the Man Theme Icon
American Democracy vs. The British Monarchy Theme Icon
...realizes that he’s hungry and so seeks out his supper. Rather than his usual, ramshackle restaurant however, he now chooses a more respectable one with more substantial food choices. He is... (full context)