The Good Earth

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The Good Earth

The Good EarthBy Pearl S. BuckFirst Semester IRU GlogMalia Swager - Per. 1

"Then Wang Lung set himself robustly to the soil and he begrudged even the hours he must spend in the house for food and sleep. He loved rather to take his roll of bread and garlic to the field and stand there eating, planning and thinking, 'Here shall I put the black-eye peas and here the young rice beds'" (Buck, 102).

Wang Lung was so willing to spend his life out on his land. As the quote states, he would rather eat outside among his harvest than sit inside. He was attached to his crops and land and painstakingly tended them as if they were his life. Along with his pregnant wife, the two would hoe the land under summer sun, dripping sweat at the end of the day. They would not complain, because the land will reward them for their hard work.

"...jewels red as the inner flesh of watermelons, golden as wheat, green as young leaves in spring, clear as water trickling out of the earth" (Buck, 104).

The Earth and its harvest, when seen as beautiful and rich, is often compared to jewels. To Wang Lung, his harvest meant everything to him - it was his wealth and a way to obtain more wealth. When the land was returned to normal after the drought, Wang Lung started farming again, even buying land from the House of Hwang - O-Lan's past house. From that, he is able to spend more on himself and the house, eventually renting the great House of Hwang. Wang Lung and his wife have more children until they have three boys and two girls. The cared-for land rewards him with fortune, making him one of the richest men in the village.

"'They cannot take the land from me. The labor of my body and the fruit of the fields I have put into that which cannot be taken away...I have the land still, and it is mine'"(Buck, 53).

The land of a Chinese farmer was important in the book's time period. The source of income and food for the family solely depended on the land. After a drought affected the whole village, Wang Lung and his family almost die from starvation. O-Lan assumedly strangles her newborn daughter to death just so that it would not slowly die from hunger. Even with lives on the line, Wang Lung is not willing to give up his land.

Summary:The Good Earth is a story about Wang Lung, a Chinese man, and his journey in life. After marrying O-Lan, a slave from a rich family, he builds up his small farm, cares for the crops, and welcomes his children. A drought hits his village, and he and his family are forced to move to a more populous city. They start from the bottom, Wang Lung pulling passengers in a rickshaw for measly copper coins, and the family begging on the streets, but they eventually work for enough money and return to the land and village. Wang Lung ends up as the owner of a mansion and acres of land with farm hands and is rich beyond all the other villagers. Along the way, other conflicts interfere with Wang Lung's life, such as a spoiled uncle, a lust for a younger woman, fights between family members and servants, and a loss of a good friend.

Thesis Statement:Those who put effort into their works will reap a bountiful reward.

In the video, Ron Enos is farmer and owner of Enos Family Farms in Northern California. Much like Wang Lung, he puts out a lot of effort to grow crops and also to operate the only local organic store. Even with the techonology today, Enos states that he starts from sun-up to sun-down and makes numerous drives from farm to market to provide fresh produce. He feels rewarded when customers praise him for the well-grown produce. To Enos, farming is more than a job, it is part of his life.


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