A Thousand Acres By William Shakespeare

1726 Words Nov 2nd, 2014 7 Pages
Lake Crawford
Crawford-Parker
Engl 105
3 November 2014
A Thousand Acres
A Thousand Acres is a brilliant novel that puts a modern twist on Shakespeare’s King Lear. Jane Smiley spends a great amount of time describing the modern labels that society places on the different genders. Females are described as inferior to men; they spend their days cooking, cleaning, and trying to remain anonymous. The men in the story are portrayed as the patriarchal figures; they rule over their family with an iron fist. Social relationships between the two genders are fundamentally based on fear and social captivity, which often leads to identity development problems. A Thousand Acres offers particular insight into the results of gender roles; this is seen in the positions of women and men, and the nature of the relationships between the two opposing sexes.
This novel greatly illustrates the results of labeling the role of women in society. In the world of the Cooks, females are the masters of the house—the home is their dominion. It is from the home that the women glean their sense of dignity and worth. “Farm women are proud of the fact that they can keep the house looking as though the farm stays outside” (121). In their day to day lives, these women do not have a great deal to be proud of, but the physical state of their home is a visual example of the labor that they commit. So, it is from the state of their living environment that they derive a sense of self. Similar to the men comparing…
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