Why does Sarah want to learn how to ride a horse and drive a wagon by herself in Sarah, Plain and Tall?

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Sarah wants to learn how to ride a horse and drive a wagon so she can be independent.

Sarah asks Jacob to teach her how to ride a horse and drive a wagon so she can go into town by herself.  She wants to be more independent, and not need to rely on anyone.  She is isolated by not being able to travel or go into town.

“I want to learn how to ride a horse,” Sarah told him.  “And then I want to learn how to drive the wagon.  By myself.” (Ch 8, p. 44)

Sarah tells Jacob she knows she can ride a horse because she has done it before.  When Jacob advertised for a wife, Sarah told him she was strong-willed.   Although the family wonders if she wants to learn how to drive the wagon so she can leave, they are also eager to please her and give her what she wants because they need a wife and mother so badly.  Sarah does not want to leave, but she does want her own space.

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