Gender Roles in Little House on the Prairie Essay

Gender Roles in Little House on the Prairie Essay

Length: 2315 words (6.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Research Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

Building an Empire through Gender Roles in Little House on the Prairie

Children’s literature of the Nineteenth Century is notoriously known for its projection of expected Victorian gender roles upon its young readers. Male and female characters were often given specific duties, reactions, and characteristics that reflected society’s particular attitudes and moral beliefs onto the upcoming citizens of the empire. These embedded concepts helped to encourage nationality and guide children towards their specific gender roles which would ensure the kingdom’s future success. Even in class situations where the demanding gender roles were unreasonable to fulfill, the pressure to conform to the Victorian beliefs was still prevalent.
During the Victorian Era, society had idealized expectations that all members of their culture were supposedly striving to accomplish. These conditions were partially a result of the development of middle class practices during the “industrial revolution… [which moved] men outside the home… [into] the harsh business and industrial world, [while] women were left in the relatively unvarying and sheltered environments of their homes” (Brannon 161). This division of genders created the ‘Doctrine of Two Spheres’ where men were active in the public Sphere of Influence, and women were limited to the domestic private Sphere of Influence. Both genders endured considerable pressure to conform to the idealized status of becoming either a masculine ‘English Gentleman’ or a feminine ‘True Woman’. The characteristics required women to be “passive, dependent, pure, refined, and delicate; [while] men were active, independent, coarse …strong [and intelligent]” (Brannon 162). Many children's novels utilized these gendere...

... middle of paper ...

...g citizens successfully had their attention directed towards their expected gender roles and appropriate spheres of influence within their roles to support the empire in order to continue the domination of the Kingdom.

Works Cited
Brannon, Linda. "Chapter 7 Gender Stereotypes: Masculinity and Femininity." Gender: Psychological Perspectives. 4th ed. Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon, 2005. 159-83. Print.
Labrie, Janet M. "The Depiction of Women's Field Work in Rural Fiction." Agricultural History 67 (Spring 1993): 119-33. JSTOR. Web. 15 Mar. 2012.
Sadker, Myra, David Sadker, and Susan Klein. "The Issue of Gender in Elementary and Secondary Education." Review of Research in Education 17 (1991): 269. JSTOR. Web. 14 Mar. 2012.
Wilder, Laura Ingalls, and Garth Williams. Little House on the Prairie. New York: Harper & Bros., 1953. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Changing Roles of Women in Susan Glaspell’s "Trifles" Essay

- In Susan Glaspell’s Trifles, the theme of contrasting roles between men and women is magnified by the setting of a lonely, Midwestern farm isolated from the public. This play demonstrates how different the roles between men and women were, and how women were treated. Trifles, also illustrates the changing times in the late 19th century to early 20th century. During this time period, women become more independent and wanted to be equal to men instead of inferior to them. Trifles, takes place in the late 1880s to early 1900s on a Midwestern farm in a small town....   [tags: gender roles, theatre, analysis]

Research Papers
2004 words (5.7 pages)

Essay on Narrative Style of Little House on The Prairie

- Narrative Style of Little House on The Prairie When you first start reading Little House on the Prairie you notice it is told through the eyes of a little girl named Laura. Her point of view is very realistic and captivating. She pays very close attention to the details of the day to day living and the events that are happening around her. She also notices how the prairie looks and what the weather is like each day. With her descriptions you can picture everything in your mind clearly, and you feel like you are right there next to Laura living her life....   [tags: Little House Prairie]

Research Papers
1112 words (3.2 pages)

Gender Roles in Russia and Cuba Essays

- Societies have always had traditional ways of life, such as, gender roles, celebrations, religions, educations, etc. Gender roles vary in different countries all around the world from relative status, labor, marriage, inheritance and socialization such as education and child care. As the years go by traditions begin to change, and people alter their ways of life. A wide variety of things are now more accepted in today’s time. Traditionally in the United States women are the nurtures and men are the money makers....   [tags: Gender Roles]

Research Papers
1499 words (4.3 pages)

Essay on Gender Roles Of The House

- Years ago, gender performances were very traditional where you had the female who did most of the house work while the males did more outside work. Females were the ones to always cook the meals, wash the clothes, and clean the house. Males were the ones to cut down the wood to make a fire, repair things around the house, and they were also responsible for bringing the income into the house. Those traditional ways were looked at as normal to everyone. If at those times the roles were to be reversed, it definitely would have been looked down upon....   [tags: Gender, Male, Family, Mother]

Research Papers
1504 words (4.3 pages)

Gender Roles in "The Awakening" Essay

- Gender Roles in The Awakening The 1890’s were an era of rapid social change in regards to women’s rights. In 1893, Colorado was the first state granting women the right to vote with Utah and Idaho following soon after in 1896. This soon set momentum towards of ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920. It was in 1899 the Kate Chopin published The Awakening, a novel telling the tale of a suppressed mother, Edna Pontellier, and her desire for something more in her life. Literary scholars consider Chopin’s The Awakening as a subtle yet effective portrayal of women of the late 19th century and consider it as an important piece of the feminism movement....   [tags: Gender Roles]

Research Papers
943 words (2.7 pages)

Gender Socialization and Gender Roles Essay

- Gender socialization and gender roles have always existed in society. When analyzing gender roles, they are not always equal or consistent when comparing cultures, however, the expectations of females and males are often times clearly defined with a little to no common area. The Japanese culture is an example of the defined gender roles that change over time. According to Schafer (2010), because “gender roles are society’s expectations of the proper behavior, attitudes, and activities of males and females”, they must be taught (p.357)....   [tags: gender roles, samurai, japanese culture]

Research Papers
1183 words (3.4 pages)

Gender Roles in "100 Years of Solitude" Essay

- During an in class discussion of the book 100 Years of Solitude, a fellow student suggested the women characters seem to be much more stable than the male characters. She stated that, “the women are the ones who take care of the house while the men go off and fight their silly wars.” She continued to note that the men seem to constantly immerse themselves in useless projects while the women are forced to take care of the home and dissuade their husbands’ irrational need for adventure and change....   [tags: Gender Roles]

Research Papers
1018 words (2.9 pages)

Gender Roles Of A Doll 's House Essay

- No matter where you look, whether it’s the media, kids toys, fashion, or personal care products, gender roles are somehow affecting the world we live in; both directly and indirectly. For almost all of human history women have had their obedient role to play and men have the dominant one. Products for females are dressed in pinks and flowers while those for males are constructed of blue, green, and various metallic hues. Of course, gender roles always come back to the people themselves; they affect our attitude, relationships, and most situations and environments in our everyday lives....   [tags: Gender role, Gender, Woman, Marriage]

Research Papers
1560 words (4.5 pages)

Gender Roles in Things Fall Apart and A Doll´s House Essay

- Gender roles, an expectation within each individual based on the way one talks, acts, and the things done. It is not something humans are born with, it’s not something that comes naturally, it is something that is expected of us, something that humans naturally do. Formerly and still to this day, society has had boundaries between gender roles, man being above women in society due to their expectations in society. Throughout literature, it has been portrayed that gender roles play a decisive role in social status, showing that men are above women in society: this is evident in the novels Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House....   [tags: Women, Roles, Society]

Research Papers
930 words (2.7 pages)

Gender Roles in Ancient Greek Society Essay

- Gender Roles in Ancient Greek Society Throughout history, the roles of women and men have always differed to some degree. In ancient Greece, the traditional roles were clear-cut and defined. Women stayed home to care for children and do housework while men left to work. This system of society was not too far off the hunter gatherer concept where women cared for the house and the men hunted. Intriguingly enough, despite the customary submissive role, women had a more multifaceted role and image in society as juxtaposed with the rather simple role men played....   [tags: Greek Gender Roles]

Research Papers
1385 words (4 pages)