The Good Earth

In the critically acclaimed novel , Pearl S. Buck depicts a humble farmer and his obedient wife O-lan. The Nobel Prize winning classic, set in late eighteenth century China, begins with Wang Lung going to the "Great House of Hwang"(49) to collect the wife that was betrothed to him by his father. Wang Lung lived with his father, wife, and five children, one of whom is mentally retarded. Although Wang Lung supplied all the physical needs for his family and upheld all the family traditions, he showed a strong insensitivity through his extra marital affairs. The story continues to portray the trials and tribulations of their life in a time when a persons livelihood came from the earth. From ...

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slaves. In the early chapters of the novel when Wang Lung was poor, he gave O-lan four silver pieces so she may return to the House of Hwang in grand style. He also offered to pay five thousand silver pieces for her recovery after he discovered she had a "fire in her vitals"(170). He then spent the rest of her days by her death bed and bought her the best quality coffin. Furthermore, Wang Lung had a special relationship with his first daughter,
Poor Fool, his mentally retarded offspring. Poor Fool did not speak and did nothing more
then twiddle a piece of cloth in the sun. Although Wang Lung had servants and slaves, he
personally took care of his daughter after O-lan died. He also yelled at his love Lotus when she called Poor Fool an idiot:
Now I will not hear my children cursed, no and not by anyone...For he was most angry of all that Lotus dared to curse this child of his and call her idiot, and a load of fresh pain for the girl fell upon his heart, so that for a day and two ...

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highlighted her extremely large features:
He saw for the first time that her hair was rough and brown and unoiled and that her face was flat and coarse-skinned, and her features too large altogether and without any sort of beauty or light. Her eyebrows were scattered and her hairs too few, and her lips too wide and her hands and feet were large and spreading...I would have my wife look less like a hind. And those feet of yours-.(169, 170)
This continuous battery of insults convinced O-lan that they lost the love they once shared. Furthermore, Wang Lung confiscated the two pearls O-lan saved from the south. O-lan wanted to have the pearls set in earrings to give their youngest daughter on ...

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The Good Earth. (2005, August 24). Retrieved June 20, 2018, from
"The Good Earth.", 24 Aug. 2005. Web. 20 Jun. 2018. <>
"The Good Earth." August 24, 2005. Accessed June 20, 2018.
"The Good Earth." August 24, 2005. Accessed June 20, 2018.
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Added: 8/24/2005 10:12:36 AM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1326
Pages: 5

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