Caroline Ingalls: whiney, clingy wife or tough pioneer woman?

  • Avatar of bartlett


    [1]Aug 8, 2014
    • member since: 08/07/14
    • level: 1
    • rank: Weatherman
    • posts: 1

    Having seen enough of this character my view is that she is a whiney, clingy wife who would not have survived in those times. She falls apart too easily, mopes and moans when Charles has to go away for a while as if her kids are not good enough company. She is the weak aspect of the family - Laura ran rings around her. Had anything happened to Charles Caroline would have pined herself away within weeks and the kids would have been left orphans. Totally useless woman who should have had 'I am nothing without my husband' tattooed across her forehead.

    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of NikiMattson


    [2]Sep 29, 2014
    • member since: 06/30/09
    • level: 11
    • rank: Red Shirted Lt.
    • posts: 67

    How on Earth can you say that?

    Charles was often away on business trips, and she did just fine!

    Of courseshe missed him, they loved each other!That woman was very brave, and quite independent for that period of time. Remember, this was set in the 1870s and 80s. Not many women worked, especially married women. They stayed at home and raised the children, took care of the house and farm and sometimes worked in the fields, rarely got a job as a midwife. Married women weren't allowed to teach, but somehow they let Caroline, Eva Simms and Laura teach while married and/or pregnant.

    She did well on her own. Probably worried that something could happen to Charles.

    Besides, Charles and depicted in the show, anyway, had a deep, spiritual relationship. In real life they probably did as well. But Michael Landon was a very emotional person, and wrote most of the scenes as very touching and emotional. For example, when Mary lost her sight completely, on the show, she threw a big emotional tantrum. In the books, Laura says that Mary handled it very well. Michael Landon, bless his heart, loved drama.

    There's only two occasions where I would tend to agree with you. When she was pregnant with Grace, she wanted to give Charles a son so badly that she made herself and Charles miserable, but then, what can I say...pregnant women and emotions...but when Grace came along, she was thrilled and thought Grace was beautiful. Another time was when Laura found out she was pregnant, and Caroline thought she was as well, but found out she was beginning menopause. She got all emotional because she thought she could give Charles a boy again. I wanted to shake her and say "okay, that sucks, but get over it and tell him the truth, woman!" Instead of faking that miscarriage.

    But otherwise, I thought she was great. After all, she:

    * Taught school in the East before marrying Charles

    * Taught school in Walnut Grove on occasion

    * Gave birth to five children...plenty of teaching there, too.

    * Lost one child...that can't be easy.

    * Kept the house and hearth tidy, while watching three children, and in Kansas, fighting off Indians. That can't be too easy either

    *Helped Charles in the fields, planting and sowing, while keeping watch over Carrie and while pregnant with Grace.

    *Worked in the busy Dakota restaurant, cooking, washing dishes and cleaning rooms while fending off advances from that Harlan creep.

    * Delivered eggs to Oleson's Mercantile every day, rain or shine, except when she was extremely pregnant, fending off Mrs. Oleson's snotty remarks.

    * Made her own, and the girls' dresses...she made two dresses in one night!

    * Worked at Nellie's Hotel and Restaurant, cooking, doing dishes and later, helping run the switchboard. She even had the place named after her! And having Nellie and later Mrs. Oleson, her nemesis, as her boss!

    *Dispensed good, homespun advice and amazing homespun cooking no matter how busy she was and rarely did she lose her temper.

    * Volunteered as a midwife.

    *Took Albert, then later James and Cassandra into an already crowded house without knowing them very well and with not much money. Having to put up with crowding, fighting, James almost dying and later, Albert's slumming, stealing, drug problem, and dying.

    * In The Last Farewell, while at Laura's boarding house, those creeps were trying to get on the property to measure and determine what it was worth, she grabbed a rifle and yelled "GET OFF THIS PROPERTY!"

    So, now, you were saying how whiny and clingy she is?

    pfft...yeah, whatever.

    BTW...the real Caroline Ingalls lived at least 20 years longer than Charles. Though she stayed with Grace, or Carrie and Mary...she did just fine without him.

    Edited on 09/29/2014 3:03pm
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.
  • Avatar of 80stvfan


    [3]Oct 26, 2014
    • member since: 09/23/06
    • level: 7
    • rank: Talk Show Host
    • posts: 185

    Couldn't it be a little of both. I happen to think that Caroline Ingalls did just fine with or without Charles. As Nikki has pointed out, she was often without Charles for long periods of time when Charles went away on business trips and she handled herself the farm and the kids just fine. Don't forget that women were not expected to be strong and independent at that time, because of gender roles and such. Women were seen unfairly as fragile and not delicate. They were expected as in Little House to be mothers and look after children and such. This could probably not have been further from the truth, as I'm sure there were many women in those pioneering days that had to be strong and independent to survive. Maybe Caroline seemed that way because when Charles was away, it was up to her to keep everything good, as it still is today when a persons partner or spouse is gone for long periods of time. Married life is a partnership, each partner doing their share of the work to make life work. When it is left to one person to do it all, it can be stressful.

    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.