Comparing Laura Ingalls Wilder S West With The True West Essay

Length: 2 pages Sources: 1+ Subject: Plays Type: Essay Paper: #31836342 Related Topics: Comparative, Comparison, Chicken, Build A Fire
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Laura Ingalls Wilder is famous for writing extensively about the lives of a family that moved westward in the late 19th century. In some respects, her work is quite accurate and enhances an accurate picture of the Great Prairie during those times. However, in other respects her work is inaccurate, particularly in the way it glosses over the presence and lives of Native Americans, as well as the hostility and brutality of pioneers toward Native Americans, very nearly resulting in the extinction of Native Americans.

In some respects, Wilder's work exemplifies life on the Great Prairie during the late 19th Century; however, it also falls far short of explaining that life in other respects. The Wilder family lived in Wisconsin, Kansas and Minnesota during Laura Ingalls Wilder's early life but moved to De Smet, South Dakota, when Laura was 11-12 years old (Brammer & Greetham, 2008). The chapter called "Moving In" in Little House on the Prairie describes their experiences and hard work after relocating to De Smet. The chapter accurately gives an idea of the Great Prairie's vastness, wildness and loneliness (DuBois...


351-3). After moving to the land that would contain their new home and unloading the wagon, her father left to get a load of logs. "The land and the sky seemed too large, and Laura felt small. She wanted to hide and be still in the tall grass like a little prairie chicken" (Wilder, 1953, p. 54) and a person living alone on the Prairie could certainly get lonely for company (Wilder, 1953, p. 68). Finally, the chapter also speaks of people apprehensively hearing howling wolves in the distance (Wilder, 1953, p. 79). This chapter conveys the hugeness and possible dangers of the Great Prairie.

The chapter also accurately tells of the hard lives work that men, women and children had to perform in order to survive on the Prairie (DuBois & Dumenil, 2016, pp. 361-2). They lived in a tent or in a wagon on the property until the house was built (Wilder, 1953, p. 65). The father and mother were doing the heavy work of building the house when the father let a log slip and badly sprained the mother's ankle. Even with her bad sprain, she still hobbled around and got supper as usual, only more slowly, but could no longer help with the building (Wilder, 1953, p. 61). After the house was built with the neighbor's help, the mother supervised the move-in, lifted and swept, though she still limped around on her sprained ankle (Wilder,…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Brammer, R., & Greetham, P. (2008). De Smet, South Dakota. Retrieved from

DuBois, E. C., & Dumenil, L. (2016). Through Women's Eyes: An American History with Documents, 4th Ed. New York: Bedford/St. Martin's.

Wilder, L. I. (1953). Little House on the Prairie (Little House, No. 3). New York: HarperCollins Children's Books.

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