The Little House as Home

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ProQuest, 2007 - 57 pages
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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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