Franzosenbusch Heritage Project Essay

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Literature plays an important role in enlightening individuals regarding the situation of their society. These written works substantially help an individual to know more about his or her history. This function of literary works is very essential because knowing an individuals history will serve as a basis for him or her to understand the present and plans things for the future. In relation to this, literary works is also a form of expression. This is an outlet or a channel for authors to voice out their opinion about things and even reveals their own personal feelings.

In doing so, these authors are given the opportunity to make a commentary about the society during the particular time that they lived and even analyzed past events and make their predictions about the future. Nevertheless, the most vital contribution that these literary works has is the way which they could inform the readers of different things and events that happened, are happening, and will likely to happen. In relation to these, there are indeed notable authors that have tremendously contributed in enlightening the general public about important subjects and pressing issues that are taking place in the society.

More so, it is indeed very admirable especially for some authors who were able to capture the concerns during their time but was able to write it in a way that transcends the boundary of time. These kinds of literary pieces can be regarded as something that is still applicable during the present time because the issues that they tackled, as well as the lessons obtained from it, are still very helpful in addressing the problems of today. Being the case, it can be said that American poets and authors have played an important role in contributing to the society.

It is the main objective of this paper to discuss the importance of authors and poets specifically during the mid-1800s. In doing so, the succeeding paragraphs will elaborate on the life and works of Laura Ingalls Wilder, an example of a notable author that indeed tremendously contributed to the development of literature during her time. Moreover, the paper will also analyze the way she was able to share something to her readers that they might have not known without her works. It will highlight the most dominant information or lesson that she has imparted and how these affected the lives of other people.

Moreover, an analysis will also be done regarding her importance during her lifetime and the present time, as well as how her works will be perceived in the near future. The United States of America during the Mid-1800s During the mid-1800s, the United States of America experienced numerous challenges especially with the geographic expansion of the country. The United States during this time was expanding especially with the inclusion of Texas and the other territories that were obtained because of the war that they had with Mexico.

Because of these, many settlers rushed through the west in order to escape the conflict that was taking place. Furthermore, slavery was still a continuing source of controversy that attributed to the domestic division of the country. The annexation of Texas and other territories because of the war with Mexico is largely attributed to a neatly expressed vision that even sounded like a religious mission. The main driving force of the Americans in expanding their territory is due to the Manifest Destiny.

This is a belief of the Americans that they are destined and divinely ordained by God to expand their territories in North America. However, not all people agreed or supported this mission that the people from United States believed that they have. This disagreement had been most observable with the citizens of the territories that they annexed, as well as other people that were disadvantageously affected by the conflict in the acquisition of these territories. Nevertheless, the most controversial issue that the Americans have to deal with was slavery.

African Americans experienced discrimination and inhumane treatment during this time; they were regarded as mere commodities or objects that were used for production. This was quite observable through the Fugitive Slave Act. The United States Congress passed this law in 1850 which stipulated that runaway slaves should be returned to their masters. This was regarded as the most controversial act that was implemented by the American government during that time. As such, it further heightened the division against the Northern and Southern states of the country.

In connection to this, some Americans also perceived this act as a way that could further strengthen the power of the slaveholding south. It is important that the situation during the mid-1800s is given due consideration because this can serve as a guide in order to understand the frame of thinking of the people during this time. In relation to this, this will also aid in determining whether the American authors were able to give due attention to the pressing issues at that specific period.

Moreover, this will be used as a basis on how they were able to help address the situation through the written works that they have done. Contribution of American Authors in the Mid-1800s The American authors have played an important part in emphasizing the problems of the American society during the mid-1800s. It is because of their written works that they were able to open the eyes of most of the American citizens, as well as other people in the world. This could be exemplified by the famous work of Harriet Beecher Stowe entitled Uncle Toms Cabin.

This novel was able to give due emphasis to the situation of the African American slaves especially in the southern part of the United States. Stowe was able to provide vivid images of the inequality and inhumane treatments that the African American slaves experienced through the way that she narrated the events and of her story and the feelings of the characters that she created. This novel was deeply affecting as it moves its readers to realize the ill-fated lives of these slaves. It is through Stowes novel that she paved the way for other people to feel a sense of empathy by putting themselves in the place of these slaves.

In connection to these, Laura Ingalls Wilder is also among the most notable writers that contributed to the awareness of the public regarding the male unrest and female patience of pioneers in the mid-1800s. She also focused on the peculiar American spirit and sense of independence that Americans have during that time. One of the unique characteristics of this author is the fact that she was able to make her stories known to young people because she specializes in making children books.

She also used her childhood experiences in order to make her stories mirror the real situation of the society during her younger days. By doing so, she was able to influence and touch the lives of other people especially in fostering good values to children. The Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder To be able to clearly understand the motivation of Laura Ingalls Wilder that aided her in making remarkable literary pieces, it is essential that the story of her life is given due consideration. Laura Ingalls Wilder was born on February 7, 1867 in Wisconsin.

She was the second of the five children of Charles Philip Ingalls and Caroline Lake. During her growing years, she and her family constantly moved throughout the mid-west. Wilder was a bright child but she was not given the chance to receive quality education because of the isolated places that their family usually went to. She also had to deal with their financial problems wherein sometimes she had to stop school in order to earn money. Nevertheless, they eventually stayed in De Smet, Dakota Territory. This is where she attended school on a regular basis and she even worked as a seamstress and teacher.

Afterwards, she married a homesteader by the name of Almanzo James Wilder. She had two children with him, the popular novelist, journalist and political theorist Rose Wilder Lane and a son who died immediately after birth. Laura Ingalls Wilder was able to live the real life of American pioneers because they had to survive by using only the small amount of resources that they earned together with their knowledge and experience. Because of this, they learned how to grow and hunt for foods, as well as build their house and other tools that they need.

Laura Ingalls Wilder experienced how it is to grow up in the frontier during the late 1800s. This life experience that she had motivated her to write a historical fiction series for children called the Little House. The series of books that she created were published during the 1930s. Her written works were able to boost her popularity as she was regarded as a renowned writer during her time; and even up to the present time, her books are still popular and never got out of print. Wilder has an exceptional writing skills that captures the interests of both children and adults.

Throughout the years, this author has been able to narrate important and interesting subjects that dealt with her experiences as a frontier girl. Some of the situations that she described involve wonderful and heartbreaking times, the poverty and the plenty, the western trails and homesteading issues, and the simple ways of life of an ordinary family who showed great love and tenacity during their years together in the American prairie. Even though the books that Wilder wrote are considered as fictional, she was able to give true accounts of what it was like to live and survive on the frontier during that period in America.

The stories that she created were also characterized by its appeal to all ages, as her books are applicable to all people who want a simple story about a loving family as well as those that are interested by the pioneer times. Written Works of Laura Ingalls Wilder Knowing the basic and important information about the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder is not enough. It is also necessary that the some of the books that she wrote are analyzed in order to clearly see how she depicted her experiences as a frontier girl and the pioneer life that she lived.

In doing so, a book that she wrote entitled Little House on the Prairie will be analyzed. The story unfolded with the decision of Pa Ingalls to sell their house in the Big Woods of Wisconsin and move to the Indian Territory that is near Independence, Kansas. Pa Ingalls decision was influenced by the stories that he heard about the land there, which would be opened to settlement by homesteaders. Wilder narrated the way they adopted to their new environment. Pa Ingalls was responsible in building their house wherein he made the roof and floor, as well as dig the well with his own bare hands.

The other members of the family also learned to grow and hunt for their own food. On the latter part of the book, the family acquired a terrible disease, which were referred to as Fever n Ague that is commonly known today as malaria. The family was able to recover through the help of their neighbor who took care of them. During the spring, the family started planting, which marked the beginnings of their small farm. However, at the last part of the book, the family was informed that they have to leave the land because settling there is illegal.

Pa Ingalls decided to leave the land before the Army forces them to do so. The story that Laura Ingalls Wilder narrated in this children book is actually a reflection of the real life experiences that she had during her younger years. In this story, it is seen how the family risked their usual life in the Big Woods of Wisconsin in order to look for better opportunities in the Indian Territory. The process of establishing a new life in this new land aided the family to use their resourcefulness by building their own house.

In relation to this, they also learned how to sustain their everyday needs through their own efforts. However, like in most situations when the family was already gaining grounds with their new environment, things started to go against them especially when the family got sick because of malaria. In connection to this, when they are already beginning to build their small farm another unfortunate event happened. They found out that they were illegal settlers in that land and they have to vacate the area or be forced to do so.

The fate of the characters in this children book is not fictitious because it reflects the real situation of the American people during the mid-1800s, the same time as Wilders childhood days. The unfortunate situation that has befallen the family at the end of the story highlights the fate of people who are living in the frontiers especially during the time when territorial conflict and border disputes are very observable. The territorial expansion of the United States brought about this conflict in some areas of the country that adversely affected the people.

Their situation is similar to that of the Ingalls family whose dream of starting their own farm was shattered. The discussions above clearly show that the American authors of the mid-1800s are important and Laura Ingalls Wilder is an evident proof of it. Wilders children books paved the way for the general public, especially the young ones, to be enlightened with the pioneer life of an American family as well as the hardships that is involved in being a frontier girl. Being the case, American authors like Laura Ingalls Wilder indeed, played an important role in informing the people about the status of the society.

It is through her literary pieces like these that paved the way for people to realize and become aware of the social issues and concerns that plagued the society during that particular period.


Miller, John E. Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder. Missouri: University of Missouri, 1998. What was America Like in the Mid-1880s? Franzosenbusch Heritage Project, (2003). Database on-line. Available from, http://www. franzosenbuschheritageproject. org /Histories/US_Background /America%20in%20the%20mid-1800%27s. htm. Wilder, Laura Ingalls. Little House on the Prairie New York: HarperCollins Publishers Inc. , 1963.

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