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The Good Earth

The Good Earth


by Pearl S. Buck

The Good Earth Chapter 14 Summary

  • It's springtime. In the warm weather, people start venturing outside of their huts and gossiping with one another. As usual, Wang Lung is thinking about his land.  
  • Wang Lung is totally that awkward guy in the conversation, because while everyone else is talking about winning the lottery, he just says he would buy land with the money. Total buzz kill.
  • So like we said, all Wang Lung is thinking about is land, so much so that he doesn't notice the weird stuff that's going on until one day, a foreigner hands him a piece of paper with Jesus crucified on it. Obviously, he's a little creeped out.
  • No one knows what's the deal with this picture, and in the end O-lan just uses it to make some soles for the family's old shoes. 
  • Another day, Wang Lung gets another piece of paper—only this time, it's communist propaganda. He still doesn't get it, and even when he listens to a guy explaining how the man is keeping him down, he doesn't see the use to talking about it if they can't figure out how to make the rain come to water the crops. This guy really is a farmer at heart. 
  • Every day, the people are getting angrier and angrier. That's nothing new. But then one day, while Wang Lung is working, he sees men being arrested in the streets. This is bad. Real bad. He hides behind the hot water cauldrons until the strange people leave. When they're gone, he asks the shop owner what just happened. Guess what? It's war. 
  • Wang Lung runs back home and tells O-lan that they need to get out of there. Quickly. She tells him to wait a few days. We think she knows something he doesn't know. 
  • Wang Lung is so scared of going to war that he hides during the day and only goes to work at night. Strange things are happening during the day: the rich are fleeing and taking all their fancy stuff with them. 
  • Now it's going down. Soldiers are marching the streets, and all the shops have closed. Even the public kitchens are shut down. With no money and no food, Wang Lung is thinking about selling his daughter again. Then, just when he thinks there's nothing else to do, he hears a loud noise. 
  • It finally happened: the soldiers have broken into the walls surrounding the rich city, and it's about to get looted. As you can guess, things get a little crazy. 
  • The crowd is screaming. Wang Lung doesn't even know what's going on. While everyone else is stealing stuff, Wang Lung is just getting pushed along. 
  • That is, at least until he comes to the room of a very large man. As soon as he sees Wang Lung, this guy freaks out. He offers Wang Lung money for his life, and even though he wouldn't hurt a fly, Wang Lung takes it. Looks like he won't have to sell anyone, after all.

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