television and film review

696 Words3 Pages
The two television shows I choose to analyze are Little House on the Prairie (depicts American family life in the 19th century) and The Waltons (depicts American family life in the 20th century, covering the Great Depression and WWII). These television shows are two of my favorite shows to watch, but this time around I’m viewing them through a different lens, not just as a form of entertainment, but as an historical document that shows how the American family has evolved through the ages.
Little House on the Prairie started out as a book series and was loosely adapted into a television series in 1974. The book and television show start out during the 19th century around 1857 and incorporates early pioneer life. This time frame covers the era known as “Victorianism”, a time that corresponded with the reign of Queen Victoria from 1837-1901. Also in America the years spanning between the Reconstruction Era and the Gilded Age. It was a time of reconstruction after the Civil War and a time of major expansion, social change and economic growth in the United States. During this time there was a rapid growth in industrialization and urbanization, construction of the transcontinental railroad and big businesses experienced dramatic growth.
The typical Victorian family was nuclear, patriarchal, companionate, believed in separating women’s and men’s worlds, started to limit fertility, children were spaced 4-5 years apart, so that the mother had more time to nurture each child. The Ingalls family pretty much followed the same course as the Victorian family. The parents, Charles and Caroline were companionate in their marriage, had 3 children (in the beginning of the series), they were nuclear in structure, Pa worked on the family...

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...traying the Ingalls as the ideal family of the 18th century pioneer era. From what I can gather most of the content in the series was accurate but some of the plots covered issues that were geared more toward the time frame the shows were filmed and not necessarily the time frame they actually tool place in. I also believe that the message “harvest of friends” was loud and clear throughout the show. From little things like the doctor giving chickens he received as payment for services to Pa, knowing his family could use them, to the girls trying to help pa by stacking the bags of grain and in the end by having the townsmen stop their work so they could help Pa by stacking the bags of grain, which helped Pa get his oxen and plow back. These actions helped a family in need and reminded us that we should be lending a helping hand to our neighbors when they need it.
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