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When he does not physically assault her, he verbally assaults her, insulting her and belittling her in front of her sister, father, and daughters.In addition to Pete's violence, the reader becomes aware of sexual and physical abuse by Larry.
Soon afterwards, her own repressed memories of incest with Larry return.
Then the novel opens into what it moves toward from the moment Ginny begins narrating, the story of how Larry has followed the traditions of the conquerors of his land, doing what he wants to because he has power that cannot be opposed, justifying his crimes to himself and forgetting who pays the price, mainly his women.
He is driving while intoxicated, spending recklessly, and not contributing to any of the day-to-day workings of the farm.
The main plot in the story is about the conflict between the two generations.
In the movie, a well respected Iowa farmer by the name of Larry Cook is ready to retire and he's handing down his entire farm to his three daughters, Ginny, Rose, and Caroline.
This is about as far as the film gets before the deception and betrayal comes into play.
Larry’s will to power is not just his own, but America’s, and it is ultimately self-destructive.
He willfully destroys what he has made rather than see his children change it, and he participates in destroying his children physically and spiritually through his uses of them and of the land.
The main characters of the book are mostly driven by the wealth of their land.
The emphasis put on the amount of land owned and the amount of wealth any given family has adds to the importance of wealth.