Analysis Of The Representation Of Families 150 Years Ago In Modern Media

Since the beginning, families have learned how to adapt to their surroundings and how to equally share and split roles between members of the family to make sure they all survive. Major transitions have happened in the last 150 years such as the traditions families have or the roles in families. Families start to develop more through the years, so our society has also had to keep up with the change. We have watched a large variety of TV shows that have shown how families interact with each other through different time periods. This has allowed me to understand how much families and society are different now and yet in some ways, they also have some similarities to life 150 years ago. In the 1800’s life was different for families than it is now. Their society was very urban and agricultural. If you wanted to move to a town you couldn’t just buy a house, you had to build it yourself which required time and materials which people couldn’t always afford due to little/no income, so this led to having a society that is mainly consisted of barter and trade. If you needed to get to work, you had to walk, or you would’ve had horse-drawn carriages.

The Ingalls family from “The Little House in the Prairies” value the little things in life such as a door that locks, real hardwood floors and glass windows as well. If there had been no jobs where your family was located, you would have to move to where you could find a job. In that time, men went to work while the women stayed home and took care of the children and the household. If something was to happen to the men, the women stepped up to help support the family by doing the man’s job and the children helped both parents however they could. When Charles got hurt his wife Caroline stepped up to do all the farm work, so her husband could rest and get better. Charles daughters also tried to help him when they saw he was struggling to lift all the grain by himself. The men in the family went to work, but they needed enough money to able to support the family, so they ended up working 2 jobs and sometimes working 15 hours or more a day. The community’s in the 1800’s was very cooperative and helpful towards each other. When the town saw that Charles was going to lose his oxen to Mr. O’Neil because he didn’t hold up his end of the deal for he had gotten hurt, they all stepped up to help him even though he had just moved there and hardly knew anyone. Families in this era highly valued that Sundays were a day meant for church and a day off from work. When Charles slept through church and decided to work on the farm his wife was upset because she thought he needed a day of rest and relaxation for he needed to give his body a break. Most families needed large families for they needed the children to work on the farm and to jobs around the house.

For large families, they had a very small living space with siblings sharing a room and/or a bed too. As we leave 1800 era, families start to change along with society. By the time we hit the 1900 era families start to change and develop but not changes. The 1900 ’s till the 1950’s was a very urban industrialized families with the man's main job was to go to work and the women's job was to stay home and take care of the children. Children now were required to go to school, but they also had jobs they had to complete around the house such as in “The Walton’s” one of the son’s job was to milk the cow while the older daughters helped their mother with laundry. Families still had large amounts of people with more extended family living with them some of the time. In “The Walton’s” they have their grandparents, parents, and 7 children all living in one household. The living space for families have gotten larger over the years which means they can now have the room for more family members in one home. Sibling are still sharing rooms but have their owns bed, helping each other and their parents however they can. John-Boy Watson helped Holly learn sign language which allowed her ater ro help everyone find Elizabeth for she learned a way to communicate with people.

In ‘The Waltons” they have 7 children and in“Leave it to Beaver” you can see that the family only has 2 children. This shows that with only a 30 year gap between these families, the size of families have started to decrease. The ideal family of this era was called a nuclear family that consisted of 2 parents and more than 1 child. Families did not need as children to take care of the farm/house anymore for the men usually get jobs at offices/machine operated work. A family tradition that has been constient is that families always have meals together. When entering the 1950’s to 2000’s era we hit the ending of a baby boom. This means that the birth rates start to decline again. Families could now comfortably afford 3 children when 100 years ago families could hardly provide enough for 1 child. Women had started to have jobs in the workplace instead of staying home which allowed some families to have a double income family. Common families consisted of divorced parents with children marrying and single parent households. Many couples that marry young would not be able to afford their own living arrangements so they lived with their parents until they were able to afford a house. Family traditions start to change for many families stop going to church. In “All in the Family” Gloria and Michael are both still in college and can't afford their own house so they decide to live with Glorias parents. Gloria's mother Carroll regularly goes to church while her husband Archie goes to church every 20 or so years.

15 April 2020
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