Rose And Caroline In A Thousand Acres By Jane Smiley

493 Words2 Pages

In A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley, the mother of Ginny, Rose and Caroline is absent for most of the daughters’ lives. Their mother has died when they were young due to cancer. With their stereotypical female roles, Rose and Ginny had to take care of her mother when she was sick and when she passed away were left to take care their younger sister Caroline. Before their mother’s death Ginny explains to Jessie Clark her responsibilities during those difficult times: “Rose and I nursed her for two months, in the living room. I missed two hours of school in the mornings. Rose missed two hours in the afternoon” (Smiley, 56). Despite the fact that Rose and Ginny had school, as females in a patriarchal system they were expected to stay home and take …show more content…

He takes advantage of his daughters with his powers. “My father, though, simply declared that Rose and I were old enough to care for our sister, and that was that (Smiley, 66). At a very young age, Rose and Ginny are given a lot of responsibilities from not only cleaning and managing the household but to parenting their younger sister, Caroline. The female and male roles are clearly defined as Larry did not have any part in caring for Caroline despite him being her father, he left the duty of raising Caroline to Rose and Ginny as it was seen to be a less important duty compared to maintaining his farmland. Rose and Ginny’s childhood consisted of growing up to become a suitable housewife, Ginny and Rose as teenagers “were able to devote ourselves to the aspects of child raising that we knew best-sewing dresses and doll clothes, baking cookies...enforcing rules about keeping clean, eating properly, going to bed at a set time” (Smiley, 66) instead of being able to go and help out with their family’s farm. The women in A Thousand Acres are seen to only be useful of being “housewives” and are expected to do as they are told as in this patriarchal society, they are seen less capable than

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