“On the other hand, perhaps she hadn’t mistaken anything at all, and had simply spoken as a women rather than a daughter.”

In King Lear there is a significant dynamic Jane Smiley also explores in A Thousand Acres, with M. Night Shyamalan twists! In King Lear there is a political patriarchy, the king is male and will have male successors. His daughters are only dowry to be bargained off. Within the first 40 pages of A Thousand Acres we see a similar dynamic, though the patriarchy scheme is culturally and by fate (death of the mother) instilled within the family and the community.
The interesting action brought up in A Thousand Acres, however, is that all major female roles (Caroline, Rose and Ginny) have three different ‘degrees’ of childlessness. This leaves all three without their most gender defining characteristic; the ability to have children. The author even takes it to the point in which one of the characters has had her secondary sex characteristics taken from her (mastectomy). To see these interesting new twists in gender roles unfold will change the way the women (and the reader) interact with the modern patriarchy presented.

(the more the parentheses the better).