I disagree in part. Of course the exaggerated image was made, and still remains today (though one wonders why living w/o our comforts is so attractive, no?); however, is there not an element of truth to it, more for the wandering tribes of the deep woods and the south Plains, perhaps? Did they not live and die in a way that at some fundamental level seems better than our way?
NO! Good Grief! You have never been hungry have you? I mean really hungry not just skipped a few meals hungry. Where you eat rotting food and leaves hungry. Never had tetanus. Your teeth worn down to nubs and no dental care. Frost bite. I could go on and on.
I have no desire to be married off at age twelve and share my husband with two or three other wives. Have a baby every couple of years and watch most of them die from simple illness or injury. Worn out and dead for the most part by age thirty. If I managed to avoid being killed or taken captive by my not so friendly neighbors. Not this kid. I have been there, seen that and I burned the T-shirt.
You go live and die like that if you wish. It sounds romantic. It is nasty, brutish and short.