Ask everyone who prospered up watching Little house on the Prairie what is the many traumatizing picture they recollect from the show’s run and you’re likely to obtain a surprisingly large array the answers. Native Caroline almost taking a knife to she leg while in the throes the a fevered epidemic to Alice screaming and also trying in vain to shatter glass together she and also baby Adam shed in a fire, the present contains much more than a few moments that call into inquiry its cultural legacy of family friendliness. These moments aside, however, the present never delved into explicitly horror region until its seventh season once a two-part episode entitled “Sylvia” leveraged the genre’s tropes to totally rewrite audience expectation.

You are watching: Little house on the prairie sylvia

The premise of the episode is something directly out the a fear movie. Sylvia, a sheltered 15-year-old whose upbringing has actually been dominated by a regulating father, is stalked and ultimately raped by a mask-wearing assailant. Back she survives the attack, her rapist remains at big and there is ample proof that the intends to strike again.

Slasher meets Giallo

Body shaming meets rape culture.

Sylvia’s victimization starts when she is continually shamed for her body’s development. Favor the titular character in Carrie (1976), Sylvia does not have access to an adult number who deserve to prepare she for brewing womanhood. Consequently, she reads as much younger than her years. This renders the other personalities in the town spreading her as a temptress every the much more horrifying. The gossip that surrounds Sylvia comes across as not only unfair, however as slut shaming. While us expect personalities like Mrs. Olsen to interact in malicious gossip, Charles, Mr. Olsen and Laura excusing the peeping actions of teenage guys comes out of left field. As the show’s bastion the morality, Charles’ agreement with Laura and also Mr. Olsen the “boys will be boys” in response to the news that Albert and his friends to be peeping top top Sylvia without her consent is one of the episode’s most uncomfortable moments.

See more: Which Of The Following Accounts Is A Permanent (Real) Account?

That grown men feel comfortable commenting top top an adolescent girl’s arising body is additionally deeply troubling. This placing of Sylvia’s body together an entity to be commented upon by males is important due to the fact that it establishes a clean chain the victimization the culminates in the rape. Due to the fact that we watch so countless of the townspeople comment upon her physical attributes, her father’s declaration the you “reap what you sow” suggests she shares some culpability in she attack. This suggest is underscored by the truth that she had been said to tie her breasts before leaving the house.