MBTI Type: ISFJ
If Pa is all about moving them around, Ma is all about creating a sense of stability at home. She sets up “house” wherever they go and fills it with familiar odds and ends, quilts, curtains, and other things to make them feel safe. She gives the children chores and establishes routines to stabilize their explorations into the unknown, even when traveling in a wagon. Caroline prefers to stay put, and doesn’t understand her husband’s need to move farther into the unsettled territories, where the unknown looms. She eventually convinces her husband to stay in one place but quietly but firmly putting her foot down and telling him that his “heathen children” need to become civilized and attend a “proper school.” Caroline focuses on their daily needs and filling them, but also in molding her daughters into proper young ladies. She occasionally enjoys forays of fantasy through published adventure stories, but does not spend much time speculating. She has a warm and generous nature, often concerned with public opinion and shaping her daughters into a respectable ideal. Caroline doesn’t think it’s “right” for Almanzo to court her daughter, since “she’s only fifteen,” implying that is far too young an age to go out sleigh riding with a boy. Even a nice one. She tells Laura not to be so stubborn and to think more of others than of herself, to submit to her teacher whether she wants to or not. She assumes the teacher has a good reason for being unkind, and is upset to learn that Laura might have started it by being rude to Nellie Olsen. As a small child, when another girl latches onto Laura’s precious doll and screams that she must have it, Caroline urges her to give it to her. Then when the child neglects it and throws it away in a puddle, Caroline feels remorse and painstakingly creates a new face, gown, and eyes for the precious doll, to make Laura happy. Pa says of her that she is quite the cleverest woman he has ever known; Caroline easily figures out how to solve problems inside the house, from creating a button candle to making Christmas presents out of almost nothing.
Enneagram: 9w1 sp/so
Caroline has a passive and unflappable nature. When two strangers wander into her house, she feeds them rather than cause a scene and risk being injured. Whenever Pa gets it into his head that he wants to move, even though she hates it, Caroline sighs… and says yes. She goes along with whatever he wants, most of the time. On one or two occasions, she puts her foot down – and Laura notices, because her usual mild-mannered voice has gotten a bar of steel in it. These infrequent eruptions always get her family’s attention, because they’re so unexpected. And when she does assert herself, she gets her own way. But mostly she focuses on pleasant things and thoughts, fixing up her home, taking care of her family, and ignoring anything too hard. Caroline puts a silver lining into everything, reasoning that it all has a grander purpose, and they ought to be thankful. She has a moralizing tone at times, reminding her children to be selfless and good, even when they don’t feel like it, and showing disappointment in some of Laura’s “naughtier” decisions.