On the Way Home: The Diary of a Trip from South Dakota to Mansfield, Missouri, in 1894 Topics for Discussion

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Imagine traveling from De Smet, South Dakota, to Mansfield, Missouri in the present day. How long would the approximately 650 mile trip take in a private automobile? Contrast the experience of the Wilder and Cooley families with a typical trip today.

The book begins with a 'setting' and ends with another 'setting'; the settings bracket the journal entries. Discuss the narrative function of the two settings. Explain how they work to establish the journal in space and time.

Of the various states traveled through—South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri—which did you find to be the most interesting? The least interesting? Why?

When Wilder enters Missouri she begins to use many superlatives and positive words in her writing (for example, finest, nicest, clearest, prettiest, contented, luscious, lavishness). Do you think that Missouri really was the nicest, finest, prettiest place in the world? Or was Wilder finding...

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This section contains 517 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the On the Way Home: The Diary of a Trip from South Dakota to Mansfield, Missouri, in 1894 Study Guide
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