A Thousand Acres

A Thousand Acres

A Thousand Acres Book 4, Chapter 33 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
When Ginny returns home, she finds that Ty has eaten and left the house. She sits outside and watches the building crew that’s been developing the farmland: there are now hog pens, costing many tens of thousands of dollars.
Throughout the novel, Ginny’s family’s plan to install hog pens continues, even while the family goes deeper into debt. Rose and Ginny have a financial interest in maintaining control of their land—if they left, they’d be deep in debt with no way to pay it off.
Themes
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Revenge Theme Icon
The narrative flashes forward to Sunday afternoon: Ginny is in the kitchen, basting a turkey. Ty enters the room carrying some of Ginny’s clothing—clothing that’s covered in “rusty stains,” which she had buried underneath the dairy barn. The building crew found the clothes while installing the new hog facilities. Ty, furious, tells Ginny that they have something to talk about that night, but Ginny says there’s nothing to talk about.
Ty learns that Ginny had a miscarriage she didn’t tell him about. Ginny has thought of the bulldozers and movers as burying the past, but in reality, they’re uncovering it.
Themes
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
Revenge Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
Ginny reveals that the clothes are a relic of her most recent miscarriage—she threw her bloody clothes away, thinking that Ty would never find them. She considers the fact that it’s still possible that she could get pregnant. She also considers that she and Ty haven’t had sex since she remembered her father’s abuse.
Here, one senses that Ginny is considering telling Ty the truth about her father, but she doesn’t. Ginny’s life is still shadowed by her father’s crimes; she finds it impossible to have sex with her husband. Also compare this scene with the trust and love that defined Ginny and Ty’s relationship at the start of the novel—secrets, affairs, revenge, and greed have driven the couple apart.
Themes
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
Revenge Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
Ty and Ginny eat dinner with some of their workers, who tell Ty that they’ll be done with the construction soon. Later that night, when Ty and Ginny are alone in their bedroom, Ty asks Ginny about the old clothes, and Ginny admits that she had a miscarriage that she never told Ty about. Ty reveals that he already knew that Ginny had another secret miscarriage—Rose told him about it. Ginny is surprised that Rose would betray her trust. Ginny also mentions that Jess has suggested that she’s had so many miscarriages because of the bad water in the community.
Ty is furious that Ginny had a miscarriage, and yet his response makes Ginny angry, too. At the beginning of the book, Ginny and Rose had seemed to have a close relationship: Ginny was taking care of Rose and cooperating with her on their farmland. And yet now there’s a distance between the two elder sisters: Rose and Ginny can’t entirely trust one another anymore. Once again the idea of the land’s fertility (which is associated with water, fertilizer, and pesticides) is connected to Ginny’s infertility.
Themes
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
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Ty accuses Ginny of hiding secrets from him, and Ginny realizes that lately she’s hated Ty: for talking to Caroline about Larry, for weakening her trust in Rose, etc. Ty says that Ginny has destroyed his excitement in the hog pen: he was looking forward to the future until he discovered Ginny’s miscarriage.
As is sometimes the case, fighting and confrontation has a cathartic function: Ty and Ginny have a fight, but their fight uncovers an important truth (Ginny has been hating Ty lately). The secrets and divisions within the family continue to grow.
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
Late at night, Ginny wakes up next to Ty. She sneaks out of the house and goes over to Larry’s house, where Jess Clark is sleeping. She calls out to Jess and Jess comes outside. Ginny tells Jess she loves him, and Jess replies, “Oh, Ginny.” He starts to come down to talk to Ginny, but Ginny, afraid that Jess is just going to clarify why he doesn’t love her, walks away and returns to her home. That morning, she learns that Ty has been forced to stop work on the hog plant because of Larry’s lawsuit.
In this passage, inspired by her argument with Ty, Ginny professes her love for Jess. Ginny is sure that her disagreements with Tyler amount to irreconcilable differences; Jess, on the other hand, represents a way out and an escape from her traumatic memories. And yet Jess doesn’t share her feelings. Without Jess to “save” her, Ginny is still dominated by Larry’s aggressiveness, and by her own past.
Themes
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
Revenge Theme Icon