A Thousand Acres

A Thousand Acres

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A Thousand Acres Book 5, Chapter 35 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Ginny remembers when she was a child and she ate dozens of baby aspirins. She was rushed to the hospital, and narrowly escaped dying. Ginny also remembers marrying Ty at the age of nineteen. It occurs to her that she never really touched her own body: even when washing herself, she always used a washcloth, so that there was a “layer” between her hands and her skin. On her wedding night with Ty, she felt alienated from her own body—and in the present, she realizes that Larry took her body away from her.
The passage conveys a sense of distance between Ginny and her own body. Whether as a child or as an adult, Ginny didn’t really understand her own body; she barely even touched herself. The passage is also representative of the sexism of Ginny’s culture—because she grows up in a patriarchal farm society, she’s taught to fear her own femininity, and surrender to men like her father.
Themes
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Ginny thinks about one more memory: being fourteen years old, on a Saturday night. Larry had sex with her, and she felt dominated by his smells: the smells of whiskey, sweat, cigarettes, etc. It’s the smell that she remembers most vividly, not the pain of penetration.
The memories of Larry’s abuse become more and more vivid and horrifying, as Ginny can’t stop reliving them. This past trauma is then powerfully contrasted with the present situation, in which Larry seems (on the surface) like a harmless old man, just longing for respect and love from his ungrateful daughters.
Themes
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon