An idyllic, simple, and factual portrayal of a family's life deep in the woods of Wisconsin in 1871.
Women wear corsets. A woman's waist is said to be so small that her husband could span it with his hands.
A girl is afraid of wolves eating her.
A man hangs dead deer he brings home for food in the trees to keep other animals away.
A girl says she does not want to hear a pig squeal during butchering. Brief descriptions of skinning the pig and using all of the parts for food. Two girls play with the pig's bladder that is blown up like a balloon. They roast and eat the pig's tail.
A man is chased by a panther. (He is unhurt.)
Girls burn their fingers on hot bullets recently made.
A boy is scratched and struck by branches in the woods.
A boy is afraid of an owl. He runs and tears his toenail off.
A woman is afraid her dog will bite her, even though the dog is just protecting her from a panther who would've killed her.
Sap is called the "blood" of the tree. A girl asks if gathering it hurts the trees. Her father tells her it feels like when she pricks her finger and it bleeds.
A girl slaps another girl's face.
A young calf is killed and the stomach lining is gathered to make cheese.
A boy is stung all over his body by bees. His skin swells.
A song is sung about an "old darkey" that could be interpreted as demeaning and disrespectful.
The word "gay" is used for "happy." Could be confusing.
Christian Principles: Satisfactory
While it seems to be implied that the Ingalls are Christians, they are more religious than relational in their attitude toward the Lord. Obviously the book is from five-year-old Laura's perspective, so their faith would probably not be perfectly understood or described, however, it is important to note that their Christianity seems works-based and a trifle legalistic. Sundays are systematic and structured. There is no rest or play, only reading of the Bible. They mention that, in past generations, children weren't even allowed to joke, laugh, or smile, teaching children that God is an unhappy, frowning sort of God, and not a loving Savior who we can delight in. Instead of the Sabbath being made for man, the Ingalls definitely act as if man is made for the Sabbath, leaving a bored Laura to cry, "I hate Sunday!" Her parents tell her, "It could be worse," and then spank her. There is nothing about the fact that Jesus loves her or that she can worship Him in a personal relationship. Laura calls her parents "good," explaining nothing, only that they do good things. All human beings are sinners and no one is good according to Jesus Christ. There is no theology in this book, just a decent morality, a picture of a good marriage and a happy family, and little else.
It is mentioned a number of times that Laura's hair is considered uglier than her sister Mary's because it is brown instead of blond. Our brunette daughters need not feel discontent about their hair color after reading this book.
When a naughty little boy is stung all over his body by bees, Pa Ingalls says, "Serves the little liar right," which sounds quite harsh coming from him, considering the boy's suffering.
It is mentioned that snow and icicles are brought by a man named Jack Frost.