The Good Earth - Wikipedia
The Good Earth is a novel by Pearl S. Buck published in that dramatizes family life in a The realistic and sympathetic depiction of the farmer Wang Lung and his wife O-lan . He caused trouble for Wang Lung and others in the household for many years, The Clash: U.S.-Japanese Relations Throughout History. These wise words, quoted by the main character Wang Lung, come from Pearl S. . Good Earth Olan Throughout The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck, O-lan O-lan was a slave in the House of Hwang before her marriage was arranged by the. In the end, I think it is because of the complexity of Wang Lung's characte I appreciated the contrast made between Olan and the prostitute who captured Wang Lung Issues such as infanticide, pillaging, slavery, drug selling, and other less His relationship with O-lan strikes me as typical in the timeframe of the story.
She even tells Wang Lung that if it were up to her, she'd sooner kill her own daughters than sell them into slavery during a famine. O-Lan and Lotus were both sold into slavery when they were little girls, but because she was pretty Lotus was sold to a brothel where she was pampered but sexually abused, while O-lan was made to work because she was plain where she was regularly beaten but not sexually violated. As wives to Wang Lung, O-lan is an excellent house-keeper and child-bearer but not beautiful enough for him, while Lotus is beautiful but barren and useless.
Personality-wise, Lotus is vain and cruelwhile O-lan is humble and hard-working. Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: His eldest son is more concerned with spending money than making it, while his second son is more concerned with making money and saving it. From the Mouths of Babes: Wang Lung tells his youngest daughter she shouldn't get her feet bound if it hurts her so much, to which she innocently replies that her mother told her she needs to have her feet bound or else her future husband won't love her "the way your father doesn't love me.
Wang Lung and his descendants. Lotus refuses to agree to be Wang Lung's concubine until he's able to guarantee he can provide the luxurious lifestyle to which she's become accustomed. Lotus and Cuckoo spend their time gossiping. While Wang Lung himself is no prize, he's not necessarily a bad guy, so much as he is a bit selfish and overly ambitious. His uncle, on the other hand, is a monster—he speaks cruelly towards both Wang Lung and his family, is implied to have eaten his own children during a famine and before his death of opium addiction, he's stated to have joined and implicitly be leading a gang that steals, kills, rapes and pillages.
After O-Lan's death, Wang Lung realizes that he took her for granted and weeps. Wang Lung assumes O-lan is slow and stupid because she doesn't speak or emote much, and so is often surprised when she displays moments of cunning, prudence, resourcefulness, insightand passion.
The Good Earth (House of Earth, #1) by Pearl S. Buck
Wang Lung has a massive one. Wang Lung's third son is implied to be this for Pear Blossom, who can't love him back and is interested in his father because she doesn't like young men. Wang Lung doesn't like women with unbound feet, but objects to O-lan binding their daughter's feet even though failing to do so would make her unattractive in her own future husband's eyes.
O-lan indirectly calls him out on this. Wang Lung is unhappy to learn that his daughter-in-law wants to have a wet nurse in order to keep her breasts nice and pert, fondly reminiscing the days when O-lan nursed their children. He conveniently forgets that this caused her breasts to sag as she got older, which he threw in her face when he left her bed for Lotus's.
Wang Lung noticing a pattern, here? Earlier, when living on the streets during the famine, Wang Lung beat his eldest son for stealing some meat, calling the boy a thief. He later has no problem taking jewelry from a rich man who had assumed Wang Lung to be one of the violent looters he was hiding from.
Nor does he mind O-lan stealing an even larger bag of jewels. Suspected of Wang Lung's aunt and uncle during a period of famine: They appear much better fed than their neighbors, and some of their children disappear and are never seen again. The House of Hwang, which is forced to sell most of their properties to Wang Lung.
It's All About Me: Wang Lung rarely thinks of anyone but himself. The few times he does he worries about whether he looks good in the eyes of other men, or whether his family makes him look bad to the neighbors. Wang Lung to variable degrees, particularly his treatment of O-Lan. Many of the characters are none too kind.
Wang Lung's uncle and aunt die of an opium addiction. Invoked because Wang Lung notices their addictions and sends his sons to give them more.
Wang Lung's treatment of O-lan after he starts seeing Lotus; particularly when he makes her give him the two pearls she'd humbly asked to keep from the bag of gems she'd originally stolen that made them richand which she'd planned to make into earrings as a wedding gift for their youngest daughter, so he can give them to his mistress Lotus.
Lotus has an almost literal case when she strikes the poor fool for trying to touch her. Like Father, Like Son: Wang Lung's oldest son takes after him the most. Like Parent, Like Spouse: Wang Lung's oldest son is a lot like him, so when Wang Lung learns of his son's interest in his concubine he finds him a wife who looks just like her. He does this by asking Lotus if she knows of anyone, and she tells him of an old client who stopped seeing her because she looked just like his young daughter.
Wang Lung and Pear Blossom. He loses sexual interest in her quickly, but enjoys her companionship. Cuckoos are birds that lay their eggs in other birds' nests and push the other eggs out in favour of their own. Cuckoo will do anything for money, and she inserts herself into Wang Lung's household to do so.
Lotus flowers are beautiful but grow in dirty, muddy water. Lotus is beautiful on the surface but everything underneath is dirty and disgusting. Pear blossoms are often used as a symbol of hope and lasting friendship. Pear Blossom becomes Wang Lung's companion who he views with affection rather than lust. Wang Lung realizes that he, in all respects still a peasant despite his great wealth, would look like a servant next to his well-dressed son. He doesn't like this realization.
Wang Lung develops some affection for his mentally handicapped daughter. More Deadly Than the Male: While both Wang Lung's uncle and aunt extort him for money and favors after he becomes wealthy, he soon notes that his uncle usually just asks for simple pleasures and then lets him be, while his aunt keeps making incessant and increasingly unreasonable requests.
Wang Lung doesn't realize how cruel and unfair he's been to O-lan all these years until she's on her deathbed, but by then it's far too late to make it up to her. Nice to the Waiter: When Wang Lung pulls a rickshaw, he gets a generous payment from a foreigner, but he soon realizes that she doesn't know how valuable the payment she gave was.
Most characters in the narrative are not named, including all of Wang Lung's relatives and their spouses. The trials and tribulations of the novel's female characters remind readers that pre-revolution China was a scary place to be female. Men had absolute authority over their wives, concubines, and children. The social acceptability of polygyny and concubinage meant that a wife's status in the home was never secure.
The absence of contraception meant that women could expect to bear large numbers of children and suffer reproductive health problems as a result. Girls born to impoverished families could be killed as infants or sold into slavery, where a life of servitude, physical abuse, and sexual violence awaited them.
Middle and upper class girls were subjected to foot binding and child marriage. It's strongly implied in the novel that O-Lan has fallen in love with Wang Lung a rarity in old fashioned arranged marriages, especially in China but Wang Lung mistakes her devotion and obedience as slowness and stupidity, and repays her years of faithful servitude—and her having given birth to several sons, especially a first-born one—by falling in love with another woman, which breaks O-Lan's spirit.
A particularly tragic example, when O-lan is implied to have killed her newborn daughter during the famine. One of the Kids: The poor fool with the twins when they're toddlers, despite nearly being an adolescent at the time, because developmentally she's at the same mental state as them. Wang Lung has ONE moment in his life, when his children sneak into Lotus' room to get a look at her, and she screams and tries to strike them.
Wang Lung openly favors his eldest son, since he's a first-born son who takes after him. His second son doesn't mind since he knows how to manipulate his dad into giving him what he wants anyway, but his third son does mind. It goes without saying that he favors his sons over his daughters.
O-lan is indeed the perfect wife to Wang Lung, but since she is not beautiful Wang Lung can't love her. Invoked by his second son for himself. After Wang Lung finds his eldest son a beautiful wife, he assumes his second son will want the same. The kid replies that he actually wants a girl who's sensible, pretty but not so pretty as to be vain, and from a decent family but not so good a family that she's be haughty or arrogant.What Islam really says about women - Alaa Murabit
Confused, Wang Lung carries out his requests, and from all appearances his second son's marriage is more stable than any other man's in the family. At the end of the novel, Wang Lung overhears his sons planning to sell the land and tries to dissuade them.
They say that they will do as he wishes but smile knowingly at each other. Characters[ edit ] Wang Lung — poor, hard-working farmer born and raised in a small village of Anhwei. He is the protagonist of the story and suffers hardships as he accumulates wealth and the outward signs of success. He has a strong sense of morality and adheres to Chinese traditions such as filial piety and duty to family.
He believes that the land is the source of his happiness and wealth.
The Good Earth
By the end of his life he has become a very successful man and possesses a large plot of land which he buys from the House of Hwang.
As his lifestyle changes he begins to indulge in the pleasures his wealth can buy—he purchases a concubine named Lotus. In PinyinWang's name is written "Wang Long. O-Lan — first wife, formerly a slave in the house of Hwang. A woman of few words, she is uneducated but nonetheless is valuable to Wang Lung for her skills, good sense, and indomitable work ethic.
She is considered plain or ugly; her feet are not bound. Wang Lung sometimes mentions her wide lips.
kpole « Duty of a Wife in Chinese Culture
Nevertheless, she is hardworking and self-sacrificing. Towards the end of the book, O-Lan dies due to failing organs. When she lies on her deathbed, Wang Lung pays all of his attention to her and purchases her coffin not long before her death.
Wang Lung's father — An old, parsimonious senior who seems to only want his tea, food, and grandsons. He desires grandchildren to comfort him in his old age and becomes exceedingly needy and senile as the novel progresses. He has strong and out-dated morals. He grows up as a scholar and goes through a rebellious phase before Wang Lung sends him south for three years to complete his education. He grows up to be a large and handsome man, and he marries the daughter of the local grain merchant, Liu.
As his father's position continues to rise, Nung En becomes increasingly enamored with wealth and he wants to live a showy and rich life. He has a shrewd mind for business but he's against his father's traditional ethics.
He is described as crafty, thin, and clever, and he's far more thrifty than Wang Lung's eldest son. He becomes a merchant and weds a village daughter. The Poor Fool — first daughter and third child of O-lan and Wang Lung, whose mental handicap is caused by severe starvation during her infancy.
As the years go by, Wang Lung grows very fond of her. She mostly sits in the sun and twists a piece of cloth. By the time of Wang Lung's death, she was to be cared for by Pear Blossom.
Second Baby Girl — Killed immediately after delivery. Third Daughter — The twin of the youngest son. She is described as a pretty child with an almond-colored face and thin red lips. During the story, her feet are bound. She is betrothed to the son of a merchant her sister-in-law's family at age 9 and moves to their home at age 13 due to the harassment of Wang Lung's cousin. Youngest Son — Put in charge of the fields while the middle and eldest sons go to school. My Grandma, the real Chinese in the family, still brings Moon Cakes during the Chinese New Year and we do maintain fireworks when celebrating.
We also drink herbal tea at home and have this uncanny favoritism for Chinese restaurants during family get-togethers. Aside from that, you could say that I'm really much more familiar with Filipino and Western cultures. So when I picked up this book, I didn't know what to expect. My only assurances were that it won the Pulitzer Prize and the author is a Nobel Prize winner.
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck is a beautiful and sweeping story of farmer Wang Lu and his wife O-lan. The Land, the man, and their bond. This beautiful tale left me thirsty and craving for knowledge about this race that resides within me yet has not fully manifested itself. This may sound fancy but I have to say what I feel. This book made me fall in love with China, the Chinese culture, my Chinese roots. It whispers an earnest plea of the oldest kind, it whispers "Remember the land.
In this age of technology, internet, GMOs and fast foods, we forget the land. We ignore the Good Earth that has sustained the lives of everyone before us, and lives of this generation.
And his two sons held him, one on either side, each holding his arm, and he held in his hand the warm loose earth.