Monday, 9 March 2015

Western hardships

Chapter 25. Soldiers.

I chose this chapter to discuss my theme within because it most obviously involves all three of the main points that I am supposed to focus on within the brief .

Political hardships:

Politically the most prominent of hardships faced in this chapter is either the boundaries being changed so the Ingalls family is no longer legally settled or simply the fact that this information has only just come to their attention after they have always been illegally settled. The latter is most likely since the families are immediately faced with the threat of soldiers forcibly removing them from their various homesteads, which is would be an unlikely scenario if the boundaries had only just been changed. Early on in the chapter the author writes 'pretty soon they would all begin to live like kings' which really shows how the family was properly establishing themselves where they were living at that time, and is perhaps a good explanation as to why Pa was so angry when he found out that he had to move and at one point exclaims 'damned if I know!' when asked where he thinks they're going to go next. While some might argue that he might be panicked instead of angry at this point I feel it at best might be a mixture of the two. he feels that the fact that the 'government is sending soldiers to take all us settlers out of Indian territory.' is unjust and thus one could consider it a hardship that they had to endure, let alone the repercussions that this represented for the family as will be discussed later in the blog post.

Social hardships:

The Chapter picks up a short while after the great fire that rages across the prairie and almost destroys everything the family holds dear. While the majority of the characters just think of it as an accidental fire, two, Mr Edwards and Mr Scott, believe that the fire was set by the Indians to drive the settlers off their land however this theory was quickly set aside when other more pressing issues came to light. In the beginning of this chapter the family exit their house to see the blackness that the fire left almost all disappear over night; Ma says 'I thought the whole country was black, and there's nothing but green grass as far as the eye can see.' at one point which suggests that the fire was beneficial to the landscape, and whats more is that it was in fact set by the Indians as part of one of their long standing traditions of setting fire to the grassy plains so animals are drawn out onto the plains so they're easier to hunt, as is shown by the abundance of animals that are described just after the fresh green grass is discovered. I consider this a social hardship because what it ultimately is is a clash of cultures that don't, and should at this point, mix.  A lack of communication here almost cost the family their lives, this further exemplifies the hardships of the west.
About mid way through the chapter Pa says 'no great loss without some small gain.' as they eat their remaining seed potatoes so they don't have to bring them with them on their trip up north. this shows the forced positive attitude that frontiers men and women had to have,
just to survive mentally for to always think realistically/negatively about the problems they faced would surely break them.

Natural hardships:

In the chapter the family face many a hardship but perhaps the most devastating is the fact that, by being displaced  they leave behind all that they've worked toward so far that year. near the end of the chapter Ma says to Pa 'A whole year gone Charles.'. Despite leaving in the late spring this family has pretty much lost all their food prospects for this year thanks to the seasons meaning that they cannot sow seeds when they arrive in their new home if they want a decent turnover if any. this really shows how the simple fact that the seasons mother nature brings must change from perfect for crops to deadly and back again constantly, is in itself a hardship for the Ingalls family 

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