I remember one of the first boxed sets of books I got, it was the “Little House” series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I know that Laura Ingalls Wilder is not a fictional person but her writing about the history of westward expansion in the United States and the way women were treated was certainly fictionalized on some level.
It was through Laura that I learned to view my world with curiosity, to accept my brown hair (a lesson I forgot briefly at the age of 15 when I developed a swath of white/gray hair), and the value of hard work – particularly working hard for those who will respect you.
Despite the fact that Europeans colonizing the United States was a brutal process – a fact I didn’t learn until adulthood – the can-do attitude the Ingalls had, though misguided at times (I’m thinking of Ma and Pa’s attitude toward Native Americans) definitely has value. It’s a value I’ve taken with me, tackling projects that are definitely outside the scope of my skill set (until, you know, I complete the project and there it is in my skill set!) and often surprising my spouse when the project is complete. Because of what I learned from Laura Ingalls I’ve never assumed I couldn’t do something just because I’d never done it before. As much as I can, I roll up my sleeves and do what I can to get the job done.
Are there characters in your life whose lives have been fictionalized that have influenced you?
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