Sunday, 8 March 2015

Chapter 11 "Indians in the House"

1) the Ingall's family have to deal with many hardship when moving to Kansas. The lack of food and the threat of the Indians is a particular worry in this chapter.

2) In the chapter, Indians come to the house while Pa is away hunting and take food and tabacco, there is a focus on how they look and the descriptions make them seem frightening and intimidating to the children and their mother. They are described; multiple times, as both “wild” and “Terrible” and as having “eyes like a snakes”. Despite Pa’s more excepting view of the Indians their overall description in the chapter is negative, they are depicted as thieves and are described in a rather animalistic way; they make "harsh sounds" and carrying skunk pelts that smell bad,  Laura's wish to set Jack loose so he could  “kill" them is particularly shocking and it seems quite a violent thought for a young girl to have. This shows the attitude of the characters towards the native Americans and the prejudice they feel.

3) The gender roles in this chapter seem fairly unprogressive in terms of Ma and Pa. Pa is the one who goes hunting for food, and when Pa leaves he puts Jack the dog in charge of minding the house instead of Ma. Ma and the girls are seen as unable to defend the house against the Indians, who take their tobacco and food.  Laura as a character is more progressive,  when the Indians come to the house the girls stay by Jack for protection but eventually Laura insists on going into the house to try and protect Ma even though there is little she can do to stop them, though she hides when she gets inside the act of leaving the post where jack is tied shows her bravery as a character.

4)  The book is obviously intended for younger readers and the the pink title and illustration on the cover suggests that the book is being targeted towards young girls and possible people who have seen the TV series. The blurb describes the book as a "classic" and "timeless", the Ingall' are also described as "America’s best-loved pioneer family", this and the recent cover redesign shows that the publishers  still see the book as being relevant and marketable to a new generation of children.

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