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Rags to riches refers to any situation in which a person rises from poverty to wealth, or sometimes from obscurity to fame. This is a common archetype in literature and popular culture (for example, the writings of Horatio Alger, Jr.).

These stories give the poor hope that they can rise to fame and wealth. They are most popular in societies such as the United States, where confidence in the ability to move between social classes is an important part of the national identity, of which lays the foundation of the "American Dream".

Many stories feature a "rags to riches" theme.

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