A Thousand Acres Dialectical Journal

Topics: Sexual abuse, First-person narrative, Farmer Pages: 9 (3922 words) Published: September 24, 2012
Simmy Shah

Quotes| Commentary|
“When I think of them now, I think of how they probably seen nearly as little world as I had by that time” (5). | This quote displays the importance of the first person point of view in this novel. The unique perspective from Ginny not only allows the reader to view the events from her own angle, but it also allows the readers to understand her personality. In addition, this quote describes the tragedy of the farmer’s life: no new possibilities of adventure or travel. This foretells the possible challenges that occur between generations because the elders do not have an open mind. | “My father’s pride, always touchy, had been injured to the quick” (21).| This first description of Larry Cook illustrates one of his faults, pride, and prophesies the problems that will occur. The audience also begins to understand Ginny’s and her family’s lifestyle is revolved around her father.| “I saw that maybe Caroline had mistaken what we were talking about, and spoken as a lawyer when she should have spoken as a daughter. On the other hand, perhaps she hadn’t mistaken anything at all, and had simply spoken as a woman rather than as a daughter” (21). | This portrayal of Caroline makes it seem that she will prove a challenge to the authority of Larry Cook and will not act like “normal” women in Cabot because she speaks what is on her mind, not what she should say as the youngest daughter. However, it also seems that this is the first time for Ginny to realize that having the ability to express her opinions and stand up to her father is not wrong.| “That laughing, musical boy, the impossible merry James Dean, had been stolen away” (32).| This allusion and comparison to James Dean, a cultural icon in the 1970’s, displays the contrast between Pete’s personalities over time. It is clear what toll the farm’s endless amount of work taken upon farmers.| “One of the many benefits of this private project, I thought at the time, was it showed me a whole secret world, a way to have two lives, to be two selves” (26).| This is describing Ginny’s secret attempts at trying to get pregnant. This “private project” was so important to her because this was the one aspect of her life that she could control. Everything else in her life was always for her family. Before she was married, her abusing father controlled her and after she got married to Ty, he controlled her life. This gave her a surge of power and the ability to be the one in control of her life.| “We might as well have a catechism: What is a farmer? A farmer is a man who feeds the world…How will you know a good farmer when you meet him? He will not ask you for any favors” (45).| Jane Smiley provides the audience with an understanding, through this passage, of how simple the farmer’s life is. But, through Ginny’s perspective, this passage also displays the tiresome routine that she has dreaded for years.| “…what my worst habit was, I would have said it was entertaining thoughts of disaster” (65).| This thought seems important because this pessimistic habit seems to define Ginny’s character and allows the readers to understand why she takes specific actions and views events or characters in a certain way.| “`She [Ginny’s mother] knew what your father was like, even though I think she loved him…For one thing, she wanted you to have more choices. I know she wanted you to go to college. She never wanted you to marry so young, before seeing some other places and trying some other things’…`She was most worried about you. She used to say, `Ginny won’t stand up to him…’” (91-92).| Even Ginny’ mother had strong concerns for Larry’s oppressive manner when Ginny was merely four years old. She wanted Ginny to stand up for herself and explore the possibilities that she could have outside of the farm. Her mother’s wishes for Ginny and Ginny’s wishes for Caroline were both similar. Caroline represents what Ginny and Rose have always hoped for in their...
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