Comapring Father/Daughter Relationships in King Lear and A Thousand Acres

Comapring Father/Daughter Relationships in King Lear and A Thousand Acres

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Father/Daughter Relationships in King Lear and A Thousand Acres

    The bond between a father and a daughter stands as one of the strongest emotional bonds present within many families. From the moment their little girls emerge from the womb to the moment their young women marry, the father reigns as the head of the household, the controller, and the protector. Though this rings true for many families, sometimes Daddy's little girls make all the rules. They possess the ability to acquire what they want through their incessant whining, crying, and batting of their eyelashes. Daddy's little girls assert control over most situations and possess negotiating skills that rival those of the best Wall Street stockbrokers. Pulling at Daddy's heart, Daddy's little girls play their fathers like puppets. Daddy appears as the head, but everyone knows who reigns as the boss. Though a father takes on the leadership role as the male figure head of the family, the role of protector makes the father-daughter bond particularly strong. Fathers protect their little girls from all harm so they proclaim. What happens when something shatters the respect and trust within the father-daughter relationship? What happens if the father hurts the daughter or vice versa? William Shakespeare's King Lear and Jane Smiley's A Thousand Acres delve into the subject of father-daughter relationships. Both works of literature carefully examine the father-daughter theme, but, in King Lear, Lear receives the sympathy and not his sinister, evil daughters, Goneril and Regan, while in A Thousand Acres Larry Cook emerges as the villain, the daughters, Ginny and Rose, emerge as the heroines.


          In every family resides the favorite. The favorites get eve...

... middle of paper ... stand as the ones that survive through the storm that rages in their lives. Although some of the heroes ultimately die, Lear of King Lear and Ginny and Rose of A Thousand Acres establish themselves as examples of total self-respect. Though people disrespect them, they persevere and live their lives to the best of their abilities emerging as the only true, heroic characters.


Works Cited

Harbage, Alfred. " King Lear: An Introduction." Shakespeare: The Tragedies: A Collection of Critical Essays.

Englewood: Prentice-Hall, 1964: 113-22.

Knight, Wilson. "King Lear and the Comedy of the Grotesque." Shakespeare: The Tragedies: A Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood:

          Prentice-Hall, 1964: 123-38.

Shakespeare, William. King Lear. New York: Scholastic, 1970.

Smiley, Jane. A Thousand Acres. Thorndike: Thorndike Press, 1991.

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