Shattering the Myth : A Feminist Study of Sister-Sister Relationships in Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House Books
Thesis - Open Access
Master of Arts (MA)
Department / School
Mary R. Ryder
From the Introduction:
From horses and buggies through steam railway _engines to the prominence of the automobile, Laura Ingalls Wilder lived through a historically critical American experience--pioneering. At age sixty-five she published her first novel, Little House in the Big Woods, the first book in an as yet unforeseen nine book series about her experiences as a young girl raised on the Midwestern plains. Little House in the Big Woods is actually a compilation of her father's tales. Wilder feared that these stories and their value would be lost unless she preserved them in writing. ldealistica!ly, she wanted to tell children " 'what it was like to be a child in America long ago' " (Giff 9), but, she said 11 'the real things haven't changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong'" (Anderson, Laura Wilder of Mansfield 29). When Little House in the Big Woods met immediately with public success, Wilder planned the rest of her books with the help of her daughter Rose Wilder Lane, an already renowned author. The Little House series has "entertained and inspired readers for many years and in many countries" (Anderson, Laura Wilder of Mansfield 2). Although Wilder's work attracted world-wide readership, it receives scant serious analysis. Wilder's Little House books are generally perceived as overly-romanticized idealization of family life, despite the evident hardship of the plains. Although "nowhere in the Little House books will one find a wholesale endorsement of frontiering as a way of life" (Spaeth, Laura Ingalls Wilder 34), Wilder's novels bring to life the pioneer spirit of betting one's energy and time against the prairie elements and a distant government .
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Wilder, Laura Ingalls, 1867-1957 -- Criticism and interpretation Sisters in literature
Number of Pages
South Dakota State University
Copyright © 1993 the Author
Simpson, Ellen T., "Shattering the Myth : A Feminist Study of Sister-Sister Relationships in Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House Books" (1993). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5166.