Ask anyone who thrived up the town hall Little residence on the Prairie what is the most traumatizing photo they recollect from the show’s run and you’re likely to gain a surprisingly wide array that answers. Indigenous Caroline virtually taking a knife to her leg when in the throes that a fevered infection to Alice screaming and trying in vain to shatter glass as she and also baby Adam shed in a fire, the present contains more than a few moments that contact into question its cultural legacy of family friendliness. This moments aside, however, the present never delved into explicitly horror are until its saturday season when a two-part illustration entitled “Sylvia” leveraged the genre’s tropes to fully rewrite audience expectation.
You are watching: Sylvia on little house on the prairie
The premise the the episode is something right out of a fear movie. Sylvia, a sheltered 15-year-old who upbringing has been overcame by a controlling father, is stalked and ultimately raped through a mask-wearing assailant. Although she survives the attack, her rapist stays at huge and there is ample evidence that that intends to strike again.
Slasher meets Giallo
Body shaming meets rape culture.
Sylvia’s victimization begins when she is continually shamed for her body’s development. Favor the titular personality in Carrie (1976), Sylvia does not have access to an adult figure who can prepare her for brewing womanhood. Consequently, she reads as lot younger than her years. This renders the other personalities in the town casting her as a temptress all the more horrifying. The gossip that surrounds Sylvia comes across as not only unfair, however as slut shaming. While we expect personalities like Mrs. Olsen to interact in malicious gossip, Charles, Mr. Olsen and also Laura excusing the peeping behavior of teenage guys comes out of left field. Together the show’s bastion that morality, Charles’ agreement with Laura and also Mr. Olsen the “boys will certainly be boys” in solution to the news that Albert and his friends to be peeping ~ above Sylvia without her consent is just one of the episode’s most uncomfortable moments.
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That grown males feel comfortable commenting top top an adolescent girl’s arising body is additionally deeply troubling. This positioning of Sylvia’s body together an reality to be comment upon by males is important because it develops a clean chain that victimization the culminates in the rape. Due to the fact that we see so countless of the townspeople comment upon her physical attributes, she father’s declaration that you “reap what friend sow” argues she shares part culpability in her attack. This allude is underscored by the truth that she had been called to bind her breasts prior to leaving the house.