The Effects of a Family Breakup in "A Thousand Acres" Essay

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Jane Smiley uses the characters' changing personalities and attitudes in A Thousand Acres to demonstrate the major effect the break up of a family can have on people. Many of the characters change through the novel with some becoming more insular and others becoming more outspoken.

One of the main people to change in the novel is Ginny. However she still has one major factor that remains throughout the novel - she worries about people. In Chapter 28 when she first sees her father after him staying at Harold's she says that the sight of him "startled" her. Also she immediately says to Rose "look at him." This shows that she is still caring for people and shows her pity. This is constant throughout the novel as she always made the
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However she is still being intimidated and controlled by Rose as she is told what to do at the church dinner and not to "drown in that ocean" of pitying him. There is also a sense of temptation when Rose declares that destroying their father isn't enough. She says "it was intoxicating, too, as sweet and forbidden as anything I had ever done" and this is a parallel to the other temptations she has had with Jess and partly with Pete at the quarry.

Ginny never strays from the fact that she is loyal to Rose and constantly sticks by her against Larry, Harold and when Pete dies. This is the same throughout the novel until Rose betrays her by being with Jess. Ginny still has an obsession with Jess as the smile he gives when he enters the room is one that "I felt myself hook onto." This is an ongoing theme throughout the novel of the affair with Jess and only stops once she finds out about Jess and Rose.

Ginny is still showing naivety when it comes to Harold's objectives at bringing them all together at a table as it takes Jess telling her that e is sceptical to make her think of it. This is a common personality trait of Ginny's that she sees the best in people and doesn't suspect anyone. This is partly why she doesn't find out about Jess and Rose until quite late on. Ginny still shows signs of

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