Mrs. Olson (Little House on the Prarie)

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ReformedWretch

Puritan Board Doctor
Started to discuss this show and this character with my pastor tonight because I know a woman whom I believe is very much like the Mrs. Olson character.

My pastor asked an intresting question. He asked me "what was it Mrs. Olson was afraid of that made her act the way she did?"

For those of you familiar with the show/character, how would you answer this?
 

default

Puritan Board Freshman
There were a few episodes that she talked about her past, and what she "came from" and from those I would say she was afraid of being poor. On another note, I think she was afraid of loving. It seems to me she was hurt in her child hood and had a wall up that no one could break. She didn't know HOW to love. And when it came to her daughters, Nellie and Nancy (I believe that's the adopted girls name), she wanted to be their best friend but what she really did was not in the girls best interest.

that's my take on it.
 

Average Joey

Puritan Board Junior
My wife and I watch LHOP all the time.There are many times I get angry about the show.One scene shows Charles Ingles being a Godly man believing in Christ one day and then later speaks about the indians just having a different bible then us.Easy believism is throughout the show.ERR Mrs.Olsen really gets under my skin.The very definition of false believer.She is always out to glorify her own name.The episode about the church bell is an example.Well,honestly,everybody in that episode made me cringe.Mainly,for the fact that this show takes place in the 1800`s.A time where people more memorized scripture compared to today,and they were as dumb as ducks,scripturally speaking.
 

default

Puritan Board Freshman
Yes, Joe, I agree, MANY inconsistancies... the first episode the girls go to school and the chalk boards are already there, then in another episode, where the banker comes to town, Mrs. Ingalls asks if they take the same route for donations for school books as they did the chalk boards the year before! ;)

But yes, I've noticed the false religious messages myself and cringe every time! However, I used to think the same, that they were more "religous" in the 1800s, then I had to stop and ask, were they really? I think yes, they were, but lets look.... they had murder that was LEGAL! I mean, the men would have "shoot outs" for disagreements. Gambling and slavery, etc. But let's go further. I used to think I'd like to have been around in the time of Christ, but when you stop and think about it they were still under the law, and they had fallen away from God so many times, ie, had God's wrath. Sodom and Gomorrhea is prime example (YES, we are almost to that point again) but the sin has always been there from the beginning! Yes, we know scripture says that times will get worse and they are progressively getting worse, but would I wish now to live in a time where you step in the streets into "horse maneuver" and mud? hhhmmmm, as much as I like horses, I think I'll stick to engines :D
 

heartoflesh

Puritan Board Junior
Actually, it's Mrs. Oleson, and the actress, Katherine MacGregor, is one of the nicest people you'll ever meet, so I've heard.

We have the Little House DVD sets and watch them on a regular basis, and my kids absolutely love it. We also have The Waltons, season one and have been waiting for season two to be released-- which it just was!

[Edited on 6-16-2005 by Rick Larson]
 

ReformedWretch

Puritan Board Doctor
My pastors take was that Mrs. Olson didn't want anyone to know the "real" her. She had to hide who she really was.

Now the next bigger question that I asked...

How should one treat and respond to a person like Mrs. Olson? (I had a real one in my life)
 

Average Joey

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by houseparent
My pastors take was that Mrs. Olson didn't want anyone to know the "real" her. She had to hide who she really was.

Now the next bigger question that I asked...

How should one treat and respond to a person like Mrs. Olson? (I had a real one in my life)
I also have known someone like her.I am very mean to people such as her.People like that get under my skin so much,I have little self control.I must always try to avoid people such as her.I lose my cool.:mad:
 

heartoflesh

Puritan Board Junior
We have to have the Caroline Ingalls attitude. Just bring in our eggs, say "hello, Mrs. Oleson" and mind our own business.

I remember one time Mrs. Oleson tried to scold Caroline by quoting a proverb..... "pride cometh before a fall!" and Charles was quick to reply..."actually, it's 'Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall' Proverbs 16:18"

tit for tat!
 

default

Puritan Board Freshman
I love the way Mrs Ingalls dealt with her. In one of the first episodes she started selling egg at the mercintile and Mrs. Oleson told her brown eggs were four cents less a dozen. Mrs. Ingalls simply sold them to the guys at Hanson's mill. LOL, Mrs. Oleson replies "That's gratitude for you." Mrs. Ingalls informed her "NO, that's good business." LOL, Mr.s Oleson decided to pay same price as the white, I loved that one. there are many more!

Anybody recall when Nellie grew up how she dealt with her mother? She turned out OK~ LOL, I'll never forget the time she collapsed cause Nellie married a JEW, and then was pregnant! LOL But she did deal with her rather smoothly.

I guess I'd like to know how the REAL Nellie turned out!
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
The Real Oleson's became broke and depended on missionary barrels for clothing. The Real Nellie was broken, but still snooty and very distant towards others...that's what the books say...however.......

http://showcase.netins.net/web/littlehouse/timeline.htm

Nellie Oleson was the name Laura gave to her biggest rival in On the Banks of Plum Creek, Little Town on the Prairie and These Happy Golden Years. The character was actually based on 3 schoolmates from Laura's childhood. This is only one of 2 instances where Laura deliberately used fictionalized names for certain unpleasant characters. The other instance was the Brewster family, who were evident when Laura taught her first term of school--their actual name was Bouchie. Nellie Owens was the primary basis of the character of Nellie Oleson. She had a brother, Willie, just as Nellie Oleson did in the books, and her parents ran a mercantile in Walnut Grove, just as Nellie Oleson's parents did in On the Banks of Plum Creek. Genevieve Masters was the daughter of Walnut Grove's schoolteacher. It was from Genevieve that Nellie Oleson got her haughty attitude towards Laura. Genevieve was from New York, just as Nellie Oleson was. She would often speak of how wonderful New York was and wear fancier New York clothing. With her superior attitude, Genevieve was far nastier than Nellie Owens was, and the 2 girls became keen rivals. Later, the Masters family moved to De Smet, and her character became more closely related to the Nellie Oleson of Little Town on the Prairie and These Happy Golden Years. Stella Gilbert was the third girl to contribute to the character of Nellie. Stella lived on a farm outside De Smet. As her mother was ill and bedridden, Almanzo innocently brought Stella along on buggy rides, not realizing the conflict between Stella and Laura. While it is unclear if Stella had any romantic intentions towards Almanzo, the character of Nellie Oleson definitely had romantic intentions towards him. Very little is known about what happened to these 3 girls afterwards. Nellie Owens´ brother, Willie, became blind, went to a school for the blind, and later married. In a letter written to fans, Laura said that Nellie Oleson moved to Louisiana, but it is unclear as to which "Nellie" she was referring to.


[Edited on 6-17-2005 by LadyFlynt]
 

Scot

Puritan Board Sophomore
We just got the complete first season on DVD. My oldest daughter loves it. Overall, I like the show alot although there are some episodes that make me cringe.

How about the one where Mrs. Oleson dumps the basket of eggs over Mr. Oleson's head? :lol:
 

HuguenotHelpMeet

Puritan Board Freshman
I'm a huge LHOTP fan! Mrs. Oleson and Nellie are truly people that I love to hate! The actresses who played these rolls did an amazing job and believe it or not I corresponded with Alison Arngrim after I watched her interview on Larry King Live last year. She was very sweet and I was actually surprised when she wrote back to me personally.

Obviously these 2 characters were very depraved. However, every now and again you would see some redeeming qualities. Granted, they were few and far between.

One thing I thought was interesting about the whole series is how Laura, no matter how much trouble she gets herself into or what she does, is always the good girl. I adore her, don't get me wrong, but she definitely did some pretty nasty things herself. But, she was usually very sorry which is what made her so different then Nellie.

I've known a few Mrs. Oleson types too. I always thought of wonderful comebacks AFTER the fact but in the moment I usually just smile and don't say a word. Sometimes I wish I had Caroline's wit.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
The truly sad thing (to me) is that Laura Ingalls (Wilder), by her own testimony, had a very shallow faith, or none at all.

I can think of three specific episodes in the Laura books that bring this home to me with great force. The first is one where Laura is walking with her blind sister on the prairie (Laura did have a kind disposition). Mary gives out a beautiful statement of faith, but Laura (while she is not atheistical by any means) seems to not be "seeing" what Mary does.

Another was when Laura taught school. She stayed with some homesteaders, the husband of which was an earnest Calvinist who endeavored apparently without success, to awaken a more earnest faith in her. She was polite but uninterested.

And lastly, when Laura is being asked to marry, she tells Almanzo she could never vow to "obey" him. Fortunantly for all, the preacher is a marvelous free-thinker as well...
 

turmeric

Megerator
I read some account of her "conversion experience" I don't remember where now, it wasn't in the series of books. It was just a wonderful warm feeling with no content as far as I could tell. She said she was sure she was saved.
 

Reed

Puritan Board Freshman
We recently visited a LIW home site in Burr Oak Ia. The tour guide told use that the family attended a Congregationalist church in the town. My mom also recently visited a LIW home site in DeSmet SD. She send my girls a photocopy of a page written by LIW listing various Bible scripture references to read when in different situations. It was very nice.

The books should be read to get a feeling for what it was like to live in those days. Pa Ingals was a remarkably resourceful man. Could any of use do a fraction of the building and engineering that he did? Wow!

I would implore and exhort everyone to avoid watching the television shows -- but to only read the books. The tv show has so little in common with the books that the tv shows are of no redeeming value.
 

Robin

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by houseparent
My pastors take was that Mrs. Olson didn't want anyone to know the "real" her. She had to hide who she really was.
OR.....it could be, she really enjoyed being selfish - loving all those actions that centered around her; what she wanted and the pleasures of wickedness.....


??? Why are we so quick to psychologicalize sin?

:um:

Robin
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Originally posted by Reed
We recently visited a LIW home site in Burr Oak Ia. The tour guide told use that the family attended a Congregationalist church in the town. My mom also recently visited a LIW home site in DeSmet SD. She send my girls a photocopy of a page written by LIW listing various Bible scripture references to read when in different situations. It was very nice.
We would like to go on a Little House tour one of these days. :pilgrim:
 

Reed

Puritan Board Freshman
Yeah -- the Burr Oak Iowa tour was really good -- they have taken the inn and restored it to what it was like when they lived there for about a year and a half -- they lived in a 12x12 room in the lower level under bar room next to the dining room... pretty intense...
R
 

toddpedlar

Iron Dramatist
Originally posted by Reed
We recently visited a LIW home site in Burr Oak Ia.
Heh... should have come another 8 miles south, and you'd have had a good chance to run into us :)

Todd
 

toddpedlar

Iron Dramatist
Originally posted by Reed
We recently visited a LIW home site in Burr Oak Ia. The tour guide told use that the family attended a Congregationalist church in the town. My mom also recently visited a LIW home site in DeSmet SD. She send my girls a photocopy of a page written by LIW listing various Bible scripture references to read when in different situations. It was very nice.

The books should be read to get a feeling for what it was like to live in those days. Pa Ingals was a remarkably resourceful man. Could any of use do a fraction of the building and engineering that he did? Wow!

I would implore and exhort everyone to avoid watching the television shows -- but to only read the books. The tv show has so little in common with the books that the tv shows are of no redeeming value.
I've wondered often enough (I hate to admit it, but we have 4 seasons worth of DVD's) how much of the show's universalistic bent at times comes from the fact that it's a 1970's show, and how much of that kind of false religiosity actually exists in the books themselves. Our oldest isn't quite old enough to read the books, so we haven't yet bought them (and I've not yet read them).

The show with Charles confessing his belief that the Indian family simply "had a different Bible" seemed very reminiscent to me of the Brady Bunch episode at the Grand Canyon, where all the Indian ritual seemed perfectly acceptable to the Brady's. (same year, more or less, as the LHOP show).

Reverend Alden just drives me batty, btw., with his postmodern faith statements that he's continually making.... another example of what seems to me to be anachronistic scripting.

Todd
 

heartoflesh

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by toddpedlar
(I hate to admit it, but we have 4 seasons worth of DVD's)
Don't feel bad, we have all 8 seasons so far, and just got season 2 of The Waltons!

Yes, there are some universalistic moments, but they are far and few between-- sparse enough that we can ask the kids "is that what the Bible really teaches?".... certainly not on the same level as "Touched By an Angel" where you would have to be constantly explaining things.

To it's credit, there is one episode (season 5?) where a faith healer comes in and basically runs Rev. Alden out of town, until Charles discovers the guy's shenanigans and they give him the boot.
 
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