The Western Frontier and the Changes that took Place
The frontier was land that had been untouched in the Western United States by white mans laws and way of life. As time passed, and the population grew on the frontier, and changes took place. Basic ways of life changed. Religious beliefs, laws, and regulations were challenged and adapted to the new settings. Each of these novels, The Pioneer, A New Way Home-Who'll Follow, & Hope Leslie, take a different look at these changes that were taking place. In a New Way Home-Who'll Follow, Caroline Kirkland introduces the reader to a women's journey westward. She gives detailed accounts of things women should bring on the trip westward. Kirkland "advises any of my friends who are about flitting to Wisconsin or Oregon, to prefer a heavy lumber wagon over a fashionable wagon (36). This statement shows how concern for looks over quality could not be the right mindset for the pioneer. She also warns the reader to bring only the necessities, food, clothing, basic cooking utensils, blankets, etc. After her trip westward Kirkland looked back at what she had packed for her journey and wondered why she had brought half of the belongings that she had, since it was useless to her on the frontier. Kirkland is showing how the frontier differed from the city. Some personal items a woman might deem as necessary in the city were useless on the frontier, big dresses and makeup for example. By taking only the necessities, according to Kirkland, it would improve the chance of survival for pioneers on their journey. And survival on the frontier was a far different experience than that ever experienced in the city. In her novel Hope Leslie, Catharine Maria Sedgwick takes a look at the old religious beliefs brought over from Europe to the towns in America. These religious beliefs worked in Europe where they had been established for centuries. But in America, there had been no long standing religious laws, but instead took...
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