Jane Smiley’s A Thousand Acres

This paper presents a critical review of Smiley’s novel, focusing on the concept of evil within it.

The paper begins by claiming that Caroline is the most evil of the characters in the novel, and then goes on to argue this point. It explores the nature of sibling relationships and focuses on the communication between the sisters in the novel. Following the plot of the novel, it gives reasons for the claim that Caroline is the most evil character her accusations and her denial of her sisters’ pain. The writer’s arguments are supported by quotes from the novel.
`The grief process that accompanies child sexual abuse is often a grief process that is delayed well into adulthood. For this reason one of the most important steps in that grief process has to do with gaining validity and acceptance from your peers, often siblings. The dynamics of parent-child relationships, even in rather large families often makes it feel to the individual person that each sibling grew up in an entirely different household. In this narrative the most evil character in the novel is Caroline because she does not lend the support her sisters need when they are beginning the healing process. Yes, the father is evil, yet he is lost to the girls already. There will be no reconciliation because he is to angry and afraid to handle his own demons and he eventually gets lost in dementia so he never has to make amends. The healing the women need must take place in the present, with people who they will know for the rest of their lives, mainly their sisters.`