Comparing 'King Lear And A Thousand Acres'

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Roger Ochoa Mrs. Jurik Period. 8 December 15, 2015 King Lear and A Thousand Acres Comparative Essay Through a modern day and revived version of William Shakespeare’s King Lear, Jane Smiley was able to capture the same enduring plot and drama in A Thousand Acres. As a modern day interpretation of King Lear, Jane smiley revisits the drama with a very similar plot and storyline. Each character in A Thousand Acres mirrors the actions and thought process of their counterpart. As King Lear gave away his power and divided his realm between his three daughters, Larry gave away his farmland to his three daughters. This only leads to resentment and hatred between the families. What I like about A Thousand Acres is that I felt that Smiley gave us a…show more content…
Through our knowledge of past experiences in A Thousand Acres, we know that Larry sexually abused Ginny and Rose as they grew up so it is hard for us to commiserate with Larry. As we got into the thoughts if Ginny and Rose on that period in their life, it is something that clearly changes their life forever “One thing Daddy took from me when he came into my room at night was the memory of my body.” (Smiley, 302). In King Lear, we are able to sympathize with King Lear because his daughters manipulate him that they actually love him, when in reality they have a deep loathing for their father. His daughters try to strip him of all his patrons when they say” You will return and sojourn with my sister, Dismissing half your train, come then to me” (Act II Scene iv, 198). King Lear is very confused and appalled at the behavior of his now malevolent daughters. Due to the absence of historical context in King Lear and presence of historical context in A Thousand Acres, we have no other option than to feel pity for the King and hate…show more content…
We learn the notion that the Mother was very caring of her three children which has impacted the way Ginny and Rose raised Caroline and their children. Since they had a good mother as described by Ginny as one who “kept the house clean...and cared about what we did or failed to do” (Smiley, 241). The past and childhood of the three girls is vital to how they are in the future. We look at the daughters as how we look at the mothers, caring and benevolent. Since Rose is the mother of two children, her innocence is heightened as she does not look like a bad person. Just the fact that she is a mother, everyone's perspective on her is that “she can do no wrong” because it is assumed that she is just like her mother. It is evident that Rose is a caring mother when she send her children to boarding school because the fear of what Larry might to do the children. Even though Caroline is tagged as the “bad daughter” we can't blame her for separating herself from the family and holding in anger because she is totally oblivious of what her sisters had to go through with their father. The absence of a mother in King Lear causes us to think that the evilness of Goneril and Regan comes from not having that mother figure. They might have had a great mother but since Shakespeare decided to leave that part out, we suspect their heinous personality and

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