© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Good Earth

The Good Earth


by Pearl S. Buck

The Good Earth Chapter 20 Summary

  • Wang Lung's uncle comes back to town and ruins his nephew's romantic fantasies. When he sees how rich Wang Lung is, the uncle decides to move on in. Not just him, but his wife and his son, too.  
  • Wang Lung can't do anything about it, because of filial piety. He gets so angry that he doesn't go to see Lotus for three whole days. But as soon as he's not angry anymore, he runs straight back to her. 
  • Now, remember we said that O-lan has no idea what's going on? Well, it doesn't take Wang Lung's aunt very long to figure it out, and she tells everybody. 
  • When Wang Lung's aunt tells O-lan that it's totally normal for men to take another wife, Wang Lung gets a bright idea: he'll just buy Lotus. How? Just trust Auntie; she'll take care of everything. 
  • But Wang Lung doesn't like waiting. He starts terrorizing everyone in the house, cleaning this and that, and building new rooms for his wife-to-be. Now that she knows what's going on, O-lan isn't doing so well, and she cries when Wang Lung bullies her. She has been a perfectly good wife, after all. 
  • Then the day finally comes. Cuckoo brings Lotus to Wang Lung, and she moves in with all of her stuff. Hooray? Wang Lung gets to be with Lotus all day, and Lotus gets to lie around all day doing nothing. It's a win-win situation, right?

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...