Little Town on the Prairie Themes

Little Town on the Prairie Themes

Pioneer Life

The main theme of the book is the life of the pioneers. It was a difficult life with tough manual work and a need for self-sufficiency and self-reliance. Because the pioneers were setting up the infrastructure of new towns there was no safety net against the harshness of the weather and everything that the prairie can inflict on them, which made the pioneers determined, dogged and relentlessly optimistic. The pioneers were extraordinarily optimistic as their very existence was based on the desire to go out and conquer land that had yet to be inhabited and to create new towns and new opportunities.

The Importance of Family

The Ingalls family are extremely tight-knit with a strong loyalty. Laura, in particular, exhibits great loyalty to Mary, taking a job when she really doesn't want to on order to contribute to Mary's college fees, and taking her teaching certificate early so that she can earn a regular wage that will ensure that Mary can stay in college. She is also loyal to her parents, for example keeping her yearning for name cards to herself because she knows that their money needs to be spent on other things. Charles Ingalls believes strongly that children should never question what adults do or say yet he is determined to back Laura up when Miss Wilder is treating her unfairly and goes to the school in his capacity as a school board member. The family enjoy each other's company and all work hard to make sure family comes first, before the individual.

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