“Lets just wait a bit longer, Larry.” And he looked out the front door, and so did I, and here came Caroline, across the road from Rose’s up the porch steps.. I opened the door for her. But my father stepped around me and took the door in his hand and slammed it in her face and then he whirled Ken around with a hand on his arm, and said, Now” (Smiley, 39).
This was the last line of our reading for today, and it really left me with a lot of questions about Larry and what was next. I felt like a lot happened in the story over the first 39 pages, and it really kept me on the edge of my seat. Why does Caroline deserve the treatment she is receiving? What is going to happen in the next 300 pages? I had a lot of questions. However, I did understand a few elements of the story fairly easily. When I started reading, I couldn’t help but notice the overlap of A Thousand Acres and King Lear after only a few pages.
It seemed as if A Thousand Acres was the semi-modern tale of the Shakespearian play; from the themes, family structure, and down to some of the characters names.After thinking about the characters of King Lear: Lear, Goneril, Regan, & Cordelia I noticed the interesting name play of the characters in A Thousand Acres: Larry, Ginny, Rose and Caroline. Ironic? I think so. Both King Lear and Larry Cook have some sort of wealth in which allows them to be of importance. When it comes down to the end of their working lives, they both decide to give up their kingdom/farm to their three daughters as well as their husbands (which can be compared to Albany and Cornwall). Similar to Cordelia failing her fathers “love test”, Cook’s daughter Caroline said “I don’t know” about his idea to forming a cooperation to allow shares for each of his daughters, and was instantly left out of the running for a share of the land. Those are the elements that stuck out to me at this point in the story, I have a feeling that there will be more in the upcoming chapters.
I absolutely love A Thousand Acres takes place in Iowa. The Quaker School in West Branch where Pammy and Linda went to school is right by my grandparents house and about fifteen minutes from where I grew up. I really enjoyed that this novel has the Iowa feel to it, growing up on a farm I think it has allowed me to relate to it a lot better than the past novels/plays we have read. Not to mention, Jane Smiley coming from the University of Iowa writing program is an added bonus.