By: Lisa Hohol
The film "A Thousand Acres" is a reworking of the novel King Lear. Both novels contain primary themes that are common to one another, although there are some differences. The primary theme that is familiar to both is the generational struggle between the young and old. The old, who through the power they hold, end up corrupting relationships between family and friends. Absolute power corrupts absolutely and in the end, the corrupted fall from grace. Although King Lear's and Larry Cook's persona are very similar, there are some qualities each possesses that show differences between them. Throughout the novel "King Lear" , it is shown from beginning to end the changes Lear went through from being a tyrant to a man who becomes changed in his outlook and discovers the errors of his ways However, Larry Cook does not change, and never changes his attitude towards his possessions. He is continuously stubborn and dominative. The telling of "King Lear" also differentiates from "A Thousand Acres". "King Lear", the novel, is told from a male point of view while "A Thousand Acres" is from a female's perspective, that being of Ginny's. Through Ginny's self revelation the reader becomes aware of the reasons a daughter can hate her father. The quote from King Lear "a man more sinned against than sinning" does not apply to Larry Cook. He molested his daughters Ginny and Rose. Nevertheless to his countrymen, he was considered the most respected farmer in the county. The town thought that the sisters were cruel to their father, when in fact they were not. Certainly, no one thought that King Lear's daughters were cruel to him. There is a difference in themes. King Lear is made up of themes that are associated wholly with men, such as the theme of abuse of -2-
power. On the other hand, the themes in A Thousand Acres are about living life to its fullest and living for yourself. As stated...