What does Little Town on the Prairie tell you about the life of the Pioneer?
This book tells us that the life of the Pioneer was very physically hard. Mornings started with sunrise and manual work for adults and children strong enough to do it. Laura had chores before and after school. We also learn that Pioneers were very self sufficient, growing their own food and making clothes, furniture and everything else that they needed. They also had to be self sufficient regarding entertainment; for example Pa would play the fiddle and sing, with the family sometimes listening and sometimes joining in. The community also came together to hold events like a spelling bee or a musical night which was both entertaining and also forged lasting friendships amongt the fledgling community. Pioneers had to be bold and unafraid to create new institutions so that each small community could grow and thrive with order, and with a sense of purpose for the future.
Was Laura to blame for the altercation with Miss Wilder?
Laura was not to blame for what happened with Miss Wilder. Nellie Oleson was to blame for creating a situation in which Laura seemed like a tattle-tale to the school board, with her father being on it, and Miss Wilder was at fault for listening to Nellie's spiteful gossip. She also picked on Carrie for no reason which brought out Laura's protective instincts, making her a little more combative than she might otherwise have been. Laura was correct in standing up for her younger sister especially since Carrie was not in the best of health and not able to keep swinging the chair back and forth as Miss Wilder instructs. Laura was thrust into the situation rather than being the creator of it.
At the start of the book Laura would rather live in the country than in town but feels the opposite way by the end of the book. What are some of the reasons for this?
At the start of the book, Laura has not attended the school in town and doesn't really know many people outside of her family. She loves to be outside and feeling at one with her surroundings, but in town she feels rather penned in and misses the familiarity of the cabin and also misses the long walk she takes with Mary every day. By the end of the book, Laura loves the liveliness of the town and has a circle of friends who live there too with whom she enjoys socializing. She also enjoys the community get-togethers in town, and does not want to miss out on anything by returning to the cabin. She also notices Mary's absence more in the country as she and Mary never spent much time together in town. It is also likely that as she gets older there is more in town to interest her than in the more isolated environment of the farm.
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