EN 201 Lecture 6: Little House on the Prairie Continued

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10 Feb 2016
School
Department
Course
Wednesday,February10th,2016
1
EN201:LittleHouseonthePrairieContinued
TheSeriesandGeography:
 IngallsWilderchangesandsimplifiestheplaceswhereshehaslived.
 Inreality,shetraveledfromeasttowestseveraltimes,butinthebooksthey
only
goeasttowestonce.
 InherlifetimeshewasababythefirsttimeshemovedtoIndianterritory
(Kansas).
 Shecouldnotevenrememberwherethehouseontheprairiewaswhen
writingthebookandhadtoresearch.
 Bymakingalotofchangestoherlifestoryandthegeographyofherlife,sheis
messingwithAccuracyandAuthenticity,themostvaluablethingsabout
HistoricalChildren’sFiction.
 Wilderwasactuallyonly4yearsoldwhentheyleftIndianterritory,not7
yearsoldlikeintheseries.
 Wilderhadtochangehistoryforherownstory.Thissuggeststhatwhatfeels
authenticismoreimportantthanwhatisaccurate.
 HerfamilyleftIndianterritorybecausetheirtimetherehadnotbeen
profitable,andtheirfarminPepin,Wisconsinwasstilllegallytheirssothey
returnedto‘thebigwoods’.
 Thiswasleftoutofthebooksbecausethewholeideaistocontinue
westandtosettleAmericaproperly.
ManifestDestiny:Aprevalentattitudeandbeliefduringthe19thcentury.
 Theunitedstatessettlementwasdestinedtostretchfromcoasttocoast.Itwas
theAngloAmerican’smissiontoexpandtheircivilizationandinstitutions
acrossthebreadthofNorthAmerica.Thisinvolved:
 Acquiringterritory
 Liberty
 Thepromiseofindividualeconomicopportunity
 TheconsequencesofthismindsetwastheremovalofNativeAmericansanda
warwithMexico.
 ManifestDestinyistheideapresentedin“LittleHouseonthePrairie”.
 Lauraquestionsthisatonepoint,itisclearshehasnotinternalized
thisbeliefofentitlementanddestiny.
TheGreatDepressionandthe“NewDeal”andLittleHouseonthe
Prairie:LittleHouseonthePrairiewaswrittenduringthetimeofPresidentD.
Roosevelt,andshewasbitterlyopposedtothe“newdeal”thatheputinplacewhich
involved:
1. Reliefforpoorandunemployedcitizens
2. recoveryoftheeconomy
3. Reformofthefinancialsystemtopreventworseningconditions.
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