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Little House on the Prairie: a historical perspective
2002 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The life of Laura Ingalls the way Michael Landon portrayed it in the popular television series Little House on the Prairie, the life of Laura Ingalls as told in her Little House books, and the life of the real Laura Ingalls are three very different stories. Laura Ingalls Wilder's books are based on her real life, but since she made some changes in the name of literary license, her books are classified as historical fiction, not autobiography. These American classics have been translated into more than forty languages. This essay deals with how Laura Ingalls Wilder portrays American families and the wider American community in her novels. The time spectrum is the 1870s to the turn of the century, with a particular focus on the 1880s. The Ingalls family is the primary source of study, but other families and their way of living will also be considered. The essay contains two chapters, dealing with the Family Unit as well as The Community. It could be argued that The Little House on the Prairie series reflects an important part of American History. The TV series like the books, deals with historical events. They reflect the social atmosphere, and raise important familiy issues and, most crucially, do so through the eyes of a young female writer, Laura Ingalls Wilder, the pioneer girl. Laura had to be "the eyes" of her blind sister, so at an early age she learned how to observe her surroundings and how to put her thoughts into colorful words. Children read the books and enjoy them for their stories - and in particular the sweet story about the Ingalls family who lived in Minnesota a long, long time ago. No matter what hardships the family had to go through, they always stuck together and came out of the difficulties as a strong family unit. The adults are invited to probe for a deeper meaning. One is introduced to the life of the Ingalls family, and to be part of the social atmosphere in America as the country is beginning to take shape. The books offer the opportunity of being able to look at what really happened to aveage people in a young America, through the eyes of a girl born on the 7th of February in 1867. Laura's books tell the story of the difficulties involved in settling the American Mid-West, despite the warmth of her loving family. That love is what strengthens them to make the most of the many drawbacks they experience and to find real joy in the little things in life. The honesty and detail of the books also make them interesting historical and social documents of the period as well as entertainting reading. The Little House books represent a rare example of pioneer literature written by a female and from a child's perspective.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Social Behaviour Law, American literature
Keyword [sv]
Samhälls-, beteendevetenskap, juridik
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-57728ISRN: LTU-CUPP--02/035--SELocal ID: e5d2fe0a-1575-4bbe-839f-57060e3b7e0cOAI: diva2:1031116
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 15 credits
Educational program
English, bachelor's level
Validerat; 20101217 (root)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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