A Thousand Acres

A Thousand Acres

The Jar of Sausages Symbol Analysis

The Jar of Sausages Symbol Icon

Toward the end of the novel, Ginny Cook Smith learns that her sister, Rose Cook Lewis, has been sleeping with Jess Clark, with whom Ginny herself has been having an affair. Furious with her sister for betraying her, Ginny researches poisons and cooks Rose some sausages poisoned with hemlock, which she places in a jar. Ginny, knowing that Jess is a vegetarian, is hoping that Rose will eat the sausages at some point and die. The jar comes to symbolize Ginny’s (seemingly-irrational) capacity for hatred, jealousy, and revenge. Her desire to be revenged on her abusive father has corrupted Ginny more than it’s punished Larry, leading the two sisters to become broken down by hatred and bitterness, and to turn on each other. Over the years, the jar remains in Rose’s cellar, uneaten—symbolizing Ginny’s longstanding, unrelenting hatred, and her inability to really move on in her life while still burdened by her past and her desire for revenge. (At the same time, some critics have noted that the “jar of sausages” murder plot seems a bit far-fetched and out-of-character even for the jealous Ginny, though it does echo the plot of King Lear.)

The Jar of Sausages Quotes in A Thousand Acres

The A Thousand Acres quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Jar of Sausages. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Anchor Books edition of A Thousand Acres published in 2003.
Book 2, Chapter 9 Quotes

I have this recurring nightmare about grabbing things that might hurt me, like that straight razor Daddy used to have, or a jar of some poison that spills on my hands. I know I shouldn’t and I watch myself, but I can’t resist.

Related Characters: Rose Cook Lewis (speaker), Ginny Cook Smith, Laurence Cook
Related Symbols: The Jar of Sausages
Page Number: 62
Explanation and Analysis:

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Book 5, Chapter 39 Quotes

One of the jars of sausage was close to the edge of the table. I pushed it back and looked at Jess again. For the first time in weeks what was unbearable felt bearable.

Related Characters: Ginny Cook Smith (speaker), Jess Clark
Related Symbols: The Jar of Sausages
Page Number: 314
Explanation and Analysis:

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Book 5, Chapter 40 Quotes

I continued to behave as if I was living in the sight of all our neighbors, as Mr. Cartier had told us to. I waited for Rose to die, but the weather was warm for sauerkraut and liver sausage—that was a winter dish.

Related Characters: Ginny Cook Smith (speaker), Rose Cook Lewis, Jean Cartier
Related Symbols: The Jar of Sausages
Page Number: 316
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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The Jar of Sausages Symbol Timeline in A Thousand Acres

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Jar of Sausages appears in A Thousand Acres. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 5, Chapter 39
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Revenge Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
...completely “premeditated.” She finds hemlock growing near a river, and cooks into a dish of sausage and sauerkraut. She then cans the dish and brings it over to Rose’s house, where... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 42
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
Revenge Theme Icon
...to get a note in return: she was sure Rose would have eaten the canned sausage by now. (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 44
King Lear and Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Revenge Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
Ginny tells Rose that she tried to kill her years ago with the jar of poisoned sausages. Rose barely reacts; she explains that after Jess abandoned her she put... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 45
Women, Sexual Abuse, and Fertility Theme Icon
Inheritance, Land, and Memory Theme Icon
Revenge Theme Icon
Appearance vs. Reality Theme Icon
...and drives back to the farm. She goes down to the cellar and finds the jar of poisoned sausages. She also notices some old tins of DDT. Ginny takes the sausages... (full context)