So, I’m 31 and I’ve been reading the “Little House” series for the first time. Is it just me or is Pa a little bit hapless, kind of a ne’er do-well, really?
I mean, just take “By the Banks of Plum Creek.” The family has a perfectly good dugout house but Pa just has to have a Real House for his girls and buys the lumber on credit. Then with the locusts and all, they’re kind of screwed.
In “By the Shores of Silver Lake” he almost doesn’t get his claim because he keeps delaying going to the office (even though several people independently tell him there will be a land rush in the Spring).
In “These Happy Golden Years” Laura bails out Pa with her schoolteaching money after he pays $100 (!) for an organ. Mean while Laura owns, what, 2 decent dresses? (which she pays for by working for the dressmaker).
It doesn’t compare favorably with the portrait of Yankee Thrift you see in “Farmer Boy.” Almonzo’s father made his shingles by hand although he could well afford to buy them. They used maple sugar instead of white. Etc.
Sure he was a nice guy and all, but he made a lot of descisions that were to the detriment of the family. Discuss.