Essay on Pearl Buck’s “The Good Earth”

The Good Earth is a story by Pearl Buck that tells the tale of a Chinese peasant farmer and his family as they moved from extreme poverty to filth richness, from their young age as they grow old and their death. Wang Lung started his adult life as a poor, almost poverty-stricken farmer. He was so poor to the extent that he could not even afford to marry a slave. However, the slave, O’Lan, might have been ugly but was so energetic and hardworking. Together, they could beat the odds. The author gives a detailed description of life in rural China during the end of the 19th century and the start of the 20th century. Wang could be seen as someone with passion about the land he farmed, and he was the only person who sorts out the varying demands of his family. He did all he could do to change his life and that of his family. He was a moral and honest who believed that real wealth lies in the land. He was a hardworking man. As he started making more money (silver) from his farming activities with paid laborers, he began living a complicated life. During this time, women were considered to be inferior to men. Wang started giving little attention and thoughts to his wife, with whom they had borne three sons and a daughter, worked not only as a slave but also as a mother, and without her hard work, the family could not have passed through a horrific famine. As the tale advances, Wang reached a level where he could afford a concubine. His wife and mother passed away. Later, he decides to move with the remaining members of the family to town to stay in a palace resembling residence with several courts and luxuriously equipped rooms. Several woman slaves came to look after and care for his sons and their enlarging family in their new palace. Wang starts yearning for and struggles for peace in the events of various family jealousy and dramas transpire. However, he hardly gets peace because when he gets his second concubine, he was much older. The second concubine was, however, sweet and serving out of her appreciation for Wang’s protection and the kind manner in which she is handled. During his old age, she comforted Wang and tried to give him peace of mind. Until his death, she remained devoted to him and even after his death, she continued to remember him always.

As it tells the story of moving from extreme poverty to wealth, this story is related to society. Farming is presented as a significant way of earning a living in society, especially for Wang. It is an inspiring story because however poor you may be, through hard work and determination, you can become the richest in the community. From the story, we tend to learn that nothing comes easier. For you to achieve something, you must toil for it. Wang worked so hard with his family even though the horrible famine to end up living in a palace-like house. Nothing comes out of a silver plate!