Degree Year

2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

History

Advisor(s)

Renee Romano

Keywords

Little House, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Gender, Race, Historical memory

Abstract

"Little House on the Prairie" has remained popular since the release of the first book in 1932, and has enjoyed particular moments of resonance in the 1930s, 1970s, and late 1990s. This study explores why "Little House" has endured through multiple generations, looking at this phenomenon through the lens of historical memory. Through its placement within one of America's foundational myths, the frontier myth, and its subsequent democratization of that myth in moments of social and political change, "Little House" has celebrated America's ability to become more inclusive yet retain its most essential qualities. This thesis uses changing portrayals of gender and race in various incarnations of "Little House" as case studies to examine this process of democratization.

Included in

History Commons

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