الخطاب
Volume 13, Numéro 2, Pages 355-370

Resistance In The Prairie: Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House Series And The (male) Mythologies Of The Frontier

Authors : Afettouche Belaid .

Abstract

Since Jackson Turner’s The Significance of the Frontier in American History (1893), the legendary American Westward Frontier is often regarded as a male-dominated space, wherein women are absent or relegated into a subaltern position involving mostly and simply the four principles of the Victorian ‘cult of womanhood’, namely piety, purity, submissiveness, and domesticity. Contrary to this dominant view, our joint presentation will try to demonstrate that the Frontier was not solely a masculine monolithic space; it was also an ideological stage engaged by American women writers in their discussions of gender-sensitive issues, such as social roles, the private and the public spaces. For this sake, we consider Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series as a case study in order to illustrate how the author contests the dominant narrative of the Frontier by dialogizing the discourse of her male counterparts and negotiating a new relationship with the natural landscape of the Frontier.

Keywords

The myth of the American frontier, man, woman, dialogue, social roles, the private and the public spaces.