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A Thousand Acres Presentation
Transcript of A Thousand Acres Presentation
Erika LaFore, Lauren Bustos-Trujillo, Maria I. Miranda Santis
Period 2 Personal Information Born in Los Angeles, California on September 16, 1949
Grew up in Webster Groves, Missouri
Obtained an A.B in Literature at Vassar College (1971)
MA (1975), M.F.A (1976), and Ph.D. from University of Iowa
1981-1996 dedicated to teaching at University of Iowa Pieces of Writing Novels:
Barn Blind (1980)
At Paradise Gate (1981)
Duplicate Keys (1984)
The Greenlanders (1988)
Ordinary Love & Good Will (1989)
A Thousand Acres (1991)*
The All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton (1998)
Horse Heaven (2000)
Good Faith (2003)
Ten Days in the Hills (2007)
The Georges and the Jewels (UK title: Nobody's Horse) (2009)
Private Life (2010) Pieces of Writing Short Stories:
"The Age of Grief" (1987)*
Charles Dickens (2003)
A Year at the Races: Reflections on Horses, Humans, Love, Money, and Luck (2004)
Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel (2005)
The Man Who Invented The Computer (2010)
"In Search of Crimes Past", episode of Homicide: Life on the Street (1995)* by Jane Smiley Comparing the Characters Larry (Daddy)
Frank King Lear
King of France does not respond well to being contradicted or challenged loyal, honest, but unsure of motivations because didn't go along with father ruthless oldest daughter ; jealous, treacherous, and amoral ruthless, jealous, aggressive appears weak and ineffectual, but capable of great bravery a formidable character, succeeding in almost all of his schemes and destroying all of the other characters gullible fool easily tricked by his brother good at heart, eventually denounces and opposes cruelties of wife, indecisive and lacks foresight domineering, cruel, and violent A Thousand Acres King Lear Older people (Larry Cook) regret their loss of power
Young characters (Ginny, Rose, Caroline) yearn for their own sense of responsibility.
Secrets unfold and corrupt character relationship
Love and healthy relationships are often jeopardized by greed, hate, and a lack of forgiveness. Generational Conflict Ginny and Rose:
posses the healthiest relationship between all of the characters. They grew up together
experienced sexual abuse at the hands of there father
not quite mentally connected because Ginny blocked memories, and Rose remembered vividly.
Ginny, Rose, and Caroline:
Rose and Ginny show a great amount of disapproval for Caroline because she escaped from Zebulon county.
Ginny and Larry:
Ginny constantly lets Larry walk all over her and blames it on his personality
when she learns about what her father had done to her and Rose as teenagers, she soon breaks away from that.
Caroline and Larry:
Caroline was the favorite child
Larry not extremely loving with any of his children, he showed his love for Caroline periodically. Characters attempt to manipulate one another through concealment
More concerned with maintaining a reputation of social respectability than facing reality
Nearly everyone has a secret and nothing is as it seems Appearance Vs. Reality The Role of Women in a Patriarchal Society Male dominance in society
Women who remain emotionally and financially dependent on men fade away –while those who break these stereotypical societal roles develop as independent individuals.
Values privileged in women include silence and subordination Ginny –“of course it was silly to talk about ‘my point of view’. When my father asserted his point of view, mine vanished” (Smiley 176) and when she makes the mistake of crossing her father she is called degrading names and essentially “cursed”.
Docile women = “good” & Women that resist/question masculine authority = “bad”Ginny suppresses her voice, inability to stand up to her father (or even her husband, Ty) illuminates the fact that she allows herself to steer clear from any sort of attention or withholding of power “Rose leaned against the counter and gazed at me. I let her. After a moment her hand fluttered up toward the empty side of her chest, and she placed it back on the counter, then picked up the salad with both hands. Finally, she said, “When we are good girls and accept our circumstances, we’re glad about it.” She walked toward the dining-room door and pushed it partly open, then said, “When we are bad girls, it drives us crazy’” (Smiley 99).
A Thousand Acres is written through the plain spoken voice of Ginny, retelling the crisis of her life that led to the decay of her family and ultimately her marriage. As much as Ginny appreciates the commonplaces of the small, rural town in which she resides, she is still disapproving of the patriarchal society that she is forced to live in. The women in this society have been taught to believe that men are the dominant gender. They have been indoctrinated to the point that they initially accept and remain content with these standards of judgment. Smiley criticizes the masculine-dominated culture through the voice of Ginny and her sisters. This passage highlights the fact that although the girls would like to break free from societal standards, they find it difficult to –due to their confinement, mainly by their father. This emphasizes the conflict in the girls minds that when they do what they are told, they are upset because it does not allow them to achieve what they want in life, yet it makes them happy because the men in their lives remain pleased with them; However, if they are “bad girls” and pursue their dreams in hopes of self-fulfillment, it ultimately drives them crazy, because it is hard to swim against the current. Allusion
William Shakespeare’s play King Lear
Similar characters (Larry/King Lear, Ginny/Goneril, Rose/Regan, and Caroline/Cordelia), reflective of their parallels
King Lear = 5 acts, A Thousand Acres = 5 books
Larry Cook and King Lear both have 3 daughters who they desire to split their farmland/kingdom amongst
Both fathers have favorite daughters, who they disregard at some point in the story & daughters move away from heavy home situations
Both focus on father-daughter relationships
Curse their daughters because they feel like they are ungrateful toward them (Goneril to not bear children/have an evil child; Larry tells Ginny she has no hope to ever have children
In the end, Larry dies from a heart attack (in front of Caroline) & King Lear dies (in front of Cordelia) Rhetorical Devices The novel takes place in Zebulon County in Iowa, 1979.
Zebulon county is a small farming community, where all judgment is based upon Acreage and financing.
The Cook family has farmed in Zebulon County for three generations; the first ones were tricked into buying unseen land that turned out to be a swamp. After adding tile to help irrigation, the land was fertile.
As a farmer in the Zebulon County, the ultimate goal, is generally to get the round number of a thousand acres. Relationships •Takes Place in the Zebulon County, a farming community that people rarely escape from. •After an absent period of 13 years, Jess Clark comes back to town. •Larry, the father, is planning on dividing the land up and giving it to his daughters in an effort to expand the land. The youngest daughter Carolina does not react as expected and as a result Larry cuts her out of the plan. Part I The family soon discovers in the paper that when Carolina returns back to Des Moines, she gets married.
Rose and Ginny are greatly disturbed that they were not notified in the slightest.Jess and Ginny develop a sexual relationship. Later Ginny falls in love with Jess, but the feeling is not reciprocated. Part II Rose soon confronts Ginny about the past with their father.
Rose tries to remind Ginny that their father had sexually abused them as teens, but Ginny has suppressed it and as a result does not believe Rose. Larry decides to sue Rose, Ginny and their husbands, for mismanagement of his land, using Caroline as his attorney.
As a result the town carefully watches the four of them for tell tale signs of mismanagement.
Due to stress Pete- Roses husband, gets drunk and contemplates killing Harold Clark, but instead leaves and ends up crashing into the quarry and drowns. Part IV •After discovering the relationship that has been going on between Rose and Jess, Ginny plots to kill Rose, using water hemlock.•Due to the Successful Harvest, Larry is proven wrong in court. Part V Ginny burrows $1000 from Ty and runs to St. Paul, after a while she writes to Rose about where she is and Rose confirms that Larry had died of a heart attack. At the end rose dies of Cancer, Ginny and Caroline go through Larry and Roses possessions. Part VI Part III