Essay PreviewMore ↓
It is amazing to me the extraordinary job that Jane Smiley has done with her book A Thousand Acres. The parallels that she draws with Shakespeare's classic story of King Lear are unsurpassed by any book to which I have had the pleasure of reading. These two works represent an excellent example of literature that is able to engage readers young and old.
In A Thousand Acres, I read Ginny as being the reserved quiet daughter who, up until the very end, bends to her father's tyranny. As a result of he fathers incestuous ways, and his constant verbal degradation and abuse of her and her sisters, Ginny bows to her father's every whim. It is only when she realizes the awful things he has done to her that she finally takes a stand.
Upon reading King Lear we see that Ginny's character is taken directly from that of Goneril in the story about the King who gives up his kingdom. Goneril has also been under the rule of her father for as long as she can remember and when the power becomes hers, she uses it to further her causes. Ultimately I see her as much more villainous than Ginny, only for the fact that situations were vastly different.
In comparing and contrasting the two Gemini-like characters I think you will see that, at least in my humble opinion (well, I must confess that I enjoyed reading A Thousand Acres much more than I did King Lear) you come away at the end hating the character of Goneril, while one is obliged to think that Ginny has suffered so much and that she finally has some good that she deserves. I feel that Ginny is not vindictive in the story, because we see that even up until the very end, she is attempting to be the peacemaker. She does try to do some good, at least in the light of the circumstances. If we were to apply the same lens to Goneril, I think you would find that she has her own best interests always close at hand, and the compassion in her body could be summed up by the size of her stirrup bone in her ear (coincidentally the smallest bone in the human body.
How to Cite this Page
"Similarities Between Goneril in Shakespeare's King Lear and Ginny in Jane Smiley's A Thousand Acres." 123HelpMe.com. 22 Sep 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- William Shakespeare’s ‘King Lear’ is thought to be one of his most powerful plays written. Many works have been inspired and adapted through the themes and messages of ‘King Lear’. An example of this would be, ‘A Thousand Acres’ written by Jane Smiley. Smiley’s ‘A Thousand Acre’s is Shakespeare’s work set in rural 1980s Iowa. The story has an interesting twist which is told by Goneril, who here is called Ginny. Ginny’s farmer is a stubborn farmer who unthinkingly decides to give his land to his three daughters.... [tags: Literary Comparison]
725 words (2.1 pages)
- 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 so much power that he is driven to insanity.... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
538 words (1.5 pages)
- King Lear & A Thousand Acres: The Storms That Loom Within Our Lives Dadds 1 Thesis Statement: The similarities that have been revealed in King Lear and A Thousand Acres are havoc, turmoil and dysfunction that so many families have been plagued with for centuries. There have been many movies made in the last century that have remarkable similarities to movies and plays made decades ago.... [tags: essays research papers fc]
1521 words (4.3 pages)
- 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 daughters out of the division, and are ultimately driven into insanity because of the drama that unfolds as a result.... [tags: Jane Smiley, William Shakespeare, Analysis]
1451 words (4.1 pages)
- The Selfish King in Shakespeare's King Lear In Shakespeare's King Lear a king is stripped of his land, wealth, soldiers, and all of his power because he is stubborn, egocentric, and unkind. Other than losing money and power he loses his three daughters as well. Lear?s pride is so overwhelming that he is unwilling to allow anyone to contradict him. If anyone (besides his fool) even remotely hints that his actions were wrong he gets unnecessarily enraged.... [tags: King Lear William Shakespeare Tragedies]
1012 words (2.9 pages)
- William Shakespeare's King Lear "A man more sinned against than sinning" King Lear is one of Shakespeare's more complex plays and within it many different themes are addressed and explored. King Lear is the somewhat unfortunate vehicle that Shakespeare uses to explore many of these themes creating a complex character including the roles of a father, king, friend and adversary.... [tags: William Shakespeare King Lear]
1855 words (5.3 pages)
- Lessons in King Lear by William Shakespeare Satisfying, hopeful, and redemptive: some critics would say that these adjectives belong nowhere near a description of King Lear. One critic, Thomas Roche, even states that the play’s ending is “as bleak and unrewarding as man can reach outside the gates of hell” (164). Certainly, Roche’s pessimistic interpretation has merit; after all, Lear has seen nearly everyone he once cared for die before dying himself. Although this aspect of the play is true, agreeing with this negative view requires a person to believe that Lear learns nothing and that he suffers and dies in vain.... [tags: King Lear Shakespeare Essays]
3490 words (10 pages)
- Madness in William Shakespeare's King Lear In his play, King Lear, Shakespeare introduces many themes. The most important theme is that of madness, which is portrayed, during the course of this play, by the tragic hero, King Lear. Though Lear shows great egotism at the beginning of the play, he actually begins to show signs of madness in Acts 3 and 4. In these acts, King Lear is shown spiraling into madness and then eventually regaining his sanity. Shakespeare develops his madness theme through several phases. In the first phase, Lear's madness is shown through his strange conversations and the tearing off of his garments; in the second phase, Lear is shown em... [tags: King Lear essays Shakespeare]
977 words (2.8 pages)
- William Shakespeare's King Lear The locations in Shakespeare’s King Lear fall into three categories: inside a court, out in nature, and in-between nature and civilization. Lear himself also wavers between three states: sanity, senility, and the fine line between the two. These states of consciousness relate directly to the scenes’ locations. However, Lear’s insanity is not the fault of his location in the world; for the most part, he has control over his situation. The series of events in correspondence with the location show that man must acknowledge the nature he originated from and live in the civilized world, but not abandon nature all together because too much control or chaos leads t... [tags: Shakespeare Play King Lear Essays]
1567 words (4.5 pages)
- Importance of Nothing in William Shakespeare's King Lear The Tragedy of King Lear has many important themes. One major theme concerns "nothing." The main focus around the discussion of "nothing" is that "nothing" is a many things. Nothing is what binds everything. The first mention of "nothing" is when King Lear asks his daughters to profess how much they love him. The eldest daughters shower compliments upon him tickling his ears. Yet the Lear's favorite daughter Cordelia will only speak the truth.... [tags: King Lear essays William Shakespeare]
588 words (1.7 pages)
I hope that you will not take offense at my obvious bias towards A Thousand Acres and specifically the character of Ginny. I find much more substance and emotion in her, and this helps me to appreciate her actions, even though I wouldn't always agree with them.
Siley, Jane. A Thousand Acres. 1995
Shakespeare, William. King Lear.