Goneril And Ginny Analysis

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Both William Shakespeare with his play King Lear, and Jane Smiley with her modern adaption A Thousand Acres, create their own respective versions of a strong- willed woman who tries to survive the situations she is faced with in her life. Shakespeare created the malicious and scheming character of Goneril who was raised with power and status, while Smiley created the subdued and obliging character of Ginny who was raised to be a respectable woman with strict morals. Despite being placed in similar situations regarding their father 's actions against them, relationship with their sisters, and marriages, Goneril and Ginny reacted with contrasting mannerisms and attitudes towards their situations because of their different background and morals…show more content…
Both fathers, King Lear from King Lear and Larry cook from A Thousand Acres, believe that their daughters are mistreating them by leaving him out in the rain and refuse to admit that they are taking advantage of them. This then results in both fathers insulting their eldest daughters by pointing out how neither Goneril or Ginny cannot carry children and how they are ungrateful for everything their father gave him. Despite being thrown into the same situation, Goneril and Ginny act in a different manner from one another. For example, when Larry bellows his insults at Ginny, “You don’t have to drive me around any more, or cook the goddamned breakfast or clean the goddamned house...Or tell me what I can do and can’t do. You barren whore!...Just a dried-up whore bitch.”(181), she says nothing back at her father and just stands there in shock and listens “I admit that I was transfixed; yes, I thought…Spittle formed in the corners of his mouth, but if it flew, I didn’t feel it. Nor did I step back.”(181) In contrast to Ginny’s actions and attitude, when King Lear begins hosing her. “Hear, Nature, hear; dear Goddess, hear...Into her womb convey sterility,...Create her child of spleen...To have a thankless child. Away, away!”(1.4.282-296) Ginny, angry, lets her father leave with no arguments or protests. She then proceeds to plot against her father, to make him weak so that he does not have the protection to overtake or harm her. “This man had good counsel….And hold out lives in mercy. Oswald, I say!”(1.4.328-333) “Safer than trust too far….When I have showed him th’ unfitness”(1.4.335-339) Because of their different morals and backgrounds, Goneril and Ginny acted in the way that they were raised to behave under the rules of their father. Goneril acted in a destructive
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