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    A Fine Balance, written by Rohinton Mistry’s, illustrates the path to wisdom and humility before a calamitous end. The novel, A Thousand Acres, by Jane Smiley parallels a lot of similar themes and ideas depicted in A Fine Balance. As the story develops, a connection forms between the improbable household in both books and they generate an unbelievably uneven dysfunctional family, to either protect or torment one another through the experiences they encounter. Both novels develop the themes of, concern

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    King Lear by William Shakespeare and A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley are both fantastic tragedies that follow a similar story arc. Although King Lear was written in 1606, and A Thousand Acres was written in 1999, they contain the same essential elements of a tragedy. Jane Smiley modeled her novel after King Lear, focusing less on Lear’s story, and more on the daughters’ stories. Both story-lines are extremely similar: a father chooses to divide his land amongst his daughters, and everything following

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    Comparing A Thousand Acres and King Lear A Thousand Acres is a novel, which is written by American author Jane Smiley in 1991, won several rewarding awards, like the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction in 1991. The novel has some connections with king Lear -- a tragedy which is written by Shakespeare. A Thousand is a classic tragedy, which is a reworking of the King Lear plots, represents a modernized interpretation of Shakespeare’s King Lear. It means that it is common to figure

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    While it may appear that Jane Smiley's A Thousand Acres is nothing but a modernized interpretation of Shakespeare's King Lear, one can see that below the surface these two tales are anything but alike. Through Smiley's characters Larry, Caroline, Ginny and Rose, it is easy to conclude that they contrast their "parallels," Lear, Cordelia, Goneril and Rose, greatly from Shakespeare's play. Among the multiple themes that make this conclusion possible, the most prominent are the contrasting themes of

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    A Thousand Acres is the story of King Lear updated for a modern audience hungry for an understanding of the malady that ripped apart Lear's family. Unlike King Lear, A Thousand Acres has one of the "bad" daughters as its narrator, which provides insight into the bitter conflict that undoes the family in the end. Those familiar with Shakespeare's play may be bothered by the idea that such stately patriarch could unknowingly produce such selfish schemers as Regan and Goneril, and Smiley's novel gives

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    is through nature that we are able to exist in the first place, and it is through nature that we can continue to live. In “King Lear” by William Shakespeare and “A Thousand Acres” by Jane Smiley, the authors both illustrate just how important nature really is in the world through actions of Goneril and Ginny. Even though “A Thousand Acres” is a modern retelling of the famous “King Lear,” both authors bring out the elements of nature, which in turn echoes the themes of both the play and the novel.

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    Incest in A Thousand Acres Incest in A Thousand Acres invades all the other items: it is there, and is crucial for everything that happens, but it is hidden beneath the surface of appearances. Tim Keppel has pointed out not only that "Smiley's major departure [...] is her decision to tell the story from the viewpoint of Ginny and explore the inner lives of the so-called 'evil' sisters" (Keppel, p.105), but that "Smiley makes her most dramatic re-vision of Shakespeare" (Keppel, p.109) in the storm

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    King Lear by William Shakespeare, and A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley are both fantastic tragedies that follow a similar story arc. Although King Lear was written in 1606, and A Thousand Acres was written in 1999, they contain the same essential elements of a tragedy. Jane Smiley modeled her novel after King Lear, focusing less on Lear’s story, and more on the daughters’ stories. The story-line of both is extremely similar: a father chooses to divide his land amongst his daughters, and everything

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    A Thousand Acres and King Lear: A New Twist When Jane Smiley wrote A Thousand Acres, she consciously made the story parallel to Shakespeare's King Lear for several reasons. The novel's characters and basic storyline are almost direct parallels to King Lear, but Smiley's dissatisfaction with the traditional interpretation of King Lear is showcased in her modern day version (Berne 236). The story of the Cook family is almost a carbon copy of the saga of Lear's family. The ruler, or father, possesses

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    A Thousand Acres as Movie is Melodramatic and Bogus Perhaps Jane Smiley's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "A Thousand Acres" was a bit over-rated. For one thing, the book's "dark secret" seemed utterly implausible. I just didn't believe that the book's protagonist and narrator, a 37-year-old Iowa farm wife named Ginny, could have completely repressed the fact that her father had sex with her when she was 15 years old, night after night, for a year. For True Believers in "Repressed Memory Syndrome

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    Jane Smiley’s novel, A Thousand Acres, is a bold, modern day response paralleling William Shakespeare’s play, King Lear through both plot and characterization choices. King Lear is based on a King’s difficult decision of dividing his precious kingdom between his daughters, whose names are Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia. Likewise, A Thousand Acres centres around Larry Cook regretfully signing his land to his daughters Ginny, Rose, and Caroline. Both fathers make the mistake of leaving their youngest

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    Body and Nature as Metaphor in A Thousand Acres Most issues on a farm return to the issue of keeping up appearances. (Smiley p.199) [T]he female body is a reservoir, a virgin patch of still, pooled water where the fetus comes to term. (Paglia p.27) [A] fetus is a benign tumor, a vampire who steals in order to live. (Paglia p.11) The epigraph to this novel is from "The Ancient People and the Newly Come": The body repeats the landscape. They are the source of each other and create each other

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    Ginny’s as a Barren Whore in A Thousand Acres Into her womb convey sterility, Dry up in her the organs of increase, And from her derogate body never spring A babe to honor her. (King Lear, I.iv. 285-288) Within the logic of the novel, it is soon established that Ginny understands and feels external reality through her body, and the most important instance of this is her bodily urge to have children. The sight of Rose's daughters, contrasted with her own miscarriages, Ginny says, "affected me

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    Women Finding Their Voices in A Thousand Acres "Women, just like nature or the land, have been seen as something to be used,' says Smiley.'Feminists insist that women have intrinsic value, just as environmentalists believe that nature has its own worth, independent of its use to man'" (Duffy 92). Larry Cook, the senile, old power holder and father in Jane Smiley's A Thousand Acres, is a prime example of a man who believes that women and land are nothing more than objects that exist on this earth

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    [N]ature is a festering hornet's nest of aggression and overkill. (Paglia p.28) In a patriarchal and capitalist society grounded in the rape of the land, it is crucial that men should be able to tame both the female body and nature. This most often takes the forms of covert control, naturalizing the imperatives of the patriarchy into the whole of social interaction on one level, and the exploitation and gradual poisoning of the earth on another. But there are examples of overt control, too, in

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    Signifying System in A Thousand Acres The fascinating aspect of theories about the bodies, is that our bodies lie somewhere in the grey area between the physical and the intellectual realm (in itself testifying to the falsity of such dichotomies). On the one hand, they are biological; genetically programmed flesh. On the other, they are continuous sites of signification; embodying (no pun intended) the essentially textual quality of a human subject's identity. A Thousand Acres foregrounds issues

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    Body and Nature as Signifying System in A Thousand Acres The female body, in literature as in other texts, functions as a kind of signifying system; a site of continuous signification. Traditionally, this has been understood in terms of transposing patriarchal or even misogynist cultural values onto the construction of the female body. In A Thousand Acres, however, Smiley turns this around. Just as this novel tries to gain control of the discourse of King Lear, and of metaphors of women therein

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    Body and Visibility in A Thousand Acres The west insists on the discrete identity of objects. To name is to know; to know is to control. (Paglia, p.5) [Woman's beauty] gives the eye the comforting illusion of intellectual control over nature. (Paglia, p.17) If the male gaze is a tool to conceptualize reality, then -like an axe- it can also be used as a weapon. The Paglia quotes above refer not only to matters of epistemology or even ontology ("This is what we see; therefore, this is what exists")

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    Covert Control in A Thousand Acres Though there are instances of overt control and destruction performed by the patriarchy upon both women and nature, the most pervasive forms the Apollonian controlling impulse takes, are covert. What Ginny says about Larry, also goes for the system of which he is the ultimate signifier: "I feel like there's treacherous undercurrents all the time. I think I'm standing on solid ground, but then I discover that there's something moving underneath it, shifting from

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    The Corrupt Patriarchal Society of A Thousand Acres Jane Smiley's A Thousand Acres tells a dark tale of a corrupt patriarchal society which operates through concealment.  It is a story in which the characters attempt to manipulate one another through the secrets they possess and the subsequent revelation of those secrets.  In her novel, Smiley gives us a very simple moral regarding this patriarchal society: women who remain financially and emotionally dependent on men decay; those able to break

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