Throughout the novels A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley and King Lear by William Shakespeare, the two antiheroes experience similar conflicts. These two heads of family, secret holding, narcissistic elders seek to separate their most prized possessions among their three daughters. Division of their property lead to both receding families: which triggers rebellion of those who love them dearly. King Lear and Larry Cook's similar conflicts evolve into unnatural situations which oblige in one half of the duo to reflect among his demanding qualities. .
Though the indistinguishable qualities contribute to each family's hatred towards the protagonist, the way various events that transpire in these works reveal how each novel borrows from the other. King Lear is the elderly king of Britain who decides to step down from his throne. He then attempts to divide his kingdom evenly between his three daughters; Cordelia, Goneril, and Reagan. During the land splitting ceremony, Lear speaks, "Come forth, and profess thine love for your elderly father." This line alone provokes every daughter to impress their father verbally by word choice and in return receive the land chosen for them. Cordelia, the candor daughter, rebels and states, "Why have my sisters have husbands, if they say they love you all?" Such disrespect causes King Lear to become outrageously upset and disown her. .
In A Thousand Acres, Larry Cook is an elderly farmer in Iowa who is distributing all one thousand acres to his two favorite daughters; Ginny and Rose, although he has a third by the name of Caroline. Caroline ran away from home when she was younger to venture in the city of Des Moines. There she practices law with her husband. Like Cordelia, Caroline is also disowned by her father due to her honest personality. The difference between the fathers is Lear is more about speaking love; whereas, Larry is more about actions of love.