CLAYTON–A group of Clayton High sophomores have learned from a recent study of Jane Smiley’s controversial novel A Thousand Acres in their Honors English class, that men have caused the entirety of the world’s pain, suffering, and grief.
The 1991 novel, which is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear to a 1970s Iowa farm, has been criticized for its ultrafeminist themes. Nevertheless, clearly inebriated literary scholars awarded it the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the 1991 National Book Critics Circle Award.
Acres follows the story of three daughters after their father, himself a senile drunk, splits his Iowa farm between the trio. One daughter, however, is unsatisfied with the land-sharing agreement and pursues a career in Des Moines as a successful lawyer. The other two, Rose and Ginny, struggle with their father and the various obstacles to their “liberation” placed by their father and husbands. Eventually, the father sues the daughters over the farm, and the family collapses. At every turn, the two remaining sisters are confronted with man’s cowardice and weakness, contrasting their liberated sense of entitlement.
Suzy Harriston, one student studying the book, said, “I think the book is really eye-opening … it really highlights how terrible creatures men really are. Just look at when Rose gets cancer from the men’s pollution of the farm’s groundwater – that’s a perfect example of the effect men have on the world.”
Another student noted that the book did a “great job of highlighting that literally all men are terrible human beings, every single one of them. Just take a look at the worst people in history – Hitler, Stalin, Mao, George Bush – they’re all men!” Indeed, several students noted that the common factor in every single malaise that women have ever suffered was men. “Look at the recent Boston Bombings, and 9/11 – both perpetrated by the Jews, but more importantly by men!” added Harriston.
When asked about the controversial content of the book, the teacher offering the course declined to comment, only referencing the book’s aforementioned awards. Even male students seemed to agree with the book’s message, however.
“I personally agree wholeheartedly with the book’s message, and I think hating myself is the only way to remedy the problem,” said David Williams, a student studying Acres. He also noted the common theme in all of the world’s woes, but specified that men’s impact is most obvious in the U.S. Presidency: “There has never been a female President, and look at where this country is! We have a trillion-dollar yearly deficit, we’re stuck in one war and are readying for at least two more, and we still haven’t publicly acknowledged the Jews’ role in 9/11. That’s where men have gotten us.”
Williams and Harriston added that maybe they should print up some posters with overly broad and idealistic buzzwords like HOPE, CHANGE, or maybe even YES WE CAN.
At press time, the class was staging an Occupy Men protest outside several men’s bathrooms throughout Clayton High School.
The Strobe is pretty sure that this is satire. Why only pretty sure? Because we wouldn’t be surprised at all if this were to actually happen. Any quote or views attributed to anyone mentioned in this or any of our stories should under no condition be considered to reflect their actual beliefs.