The Little House as Home
ProQuest, 2007 - 57 pages
In my thesis, I examine the Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House children's books series from a material culture perspective to understand how the Ingalls family transforms their houses into homes. Specifically, I examine Wilder's accounts of house construction details and the family's material possessions in the books Little House in the Big Woods and Little House on the Prairie. I compare the results of my analysis to Wilder's descriptions of the characters and their interactions in the houses to determine the relationship between the characters, their houses, and their possessions. Ultimately, I determine that in order to create the essence of home in her books, Wilder blurs distinctions between her characters and the material aspects of the house. As a result, characters take on qualities typically associated with their possessions or with elements of the house, and the house and the objects therein assume human-like qualities.
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Baby Carrie beds Big Woods boundary build the house building a door built Caroline Ingalls Caroline’s china shepherdess chapter characters Charles and Caroline Charles builds Charles Ingalls children’s books chimney Christmas comfort creek detail distinction elements environment family members family moves family’s house father fireplace floor frontier Garth Williams girls Glassie’s hearth Henry Glassie Homeplace house a home identity-formation Indians indicates Ingalls family Ingalls house Kansas house Kansas prairie latch-string Laura and Mary Laura Ingalls Laura loved LHBW Little House books Little House series living log cabin Mary and Laura Mary play material culture Michael Ann Williams nails Native American notches objects physical structure placement play portrays protect quilts readers reflects Riley role Romines roof Rybczynski shutters significant space stories take on qualities traditional vernacular architecture wagon walls wild animals Wilder describes Wilder writes Wilder’s account Wisconsin house Witold Rybczynski Woods and Little