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

The Good Earth


by Pearl S. Buck

The Good Earth Chapter 21 Summary

  • There are problems. O-lan hates Cuckoo. Wang Lung is surprised, because he expected her to hate Lotus. But what he didn't think about was that they both worked in the great house. From what we can gather, they weren't exactly the best of friends. 
  • Drama ensues, but even though he's ashamed, Wang Lung is too stubborn to change his mind about Cuckoo and Lotus. So, for the first time, O-lan stands up to him. 
  • Then there are other problems. For one thing, Cuckoo and Lotus are used to expensive food, so they spend Wang Lung's money like water. Also, Lotus and Wang Lung's aunt are a little friendlier than he would like them to be. He thinks that it doesn't reflect well on Lotus's character, since everyone knows that his aunt is a bad seed.  
  • Well, what does that tell you about Lotus? All of these things make Wang Lung love Lotus less and less. On top of that, one day Grandpa wakes up and notices that Lotus is there. He screams at her, "Harlot!" 
  • Just in case you thought we missed anyone, Lotus hates Wang Lung's kids, too. After she yells and calls them filthy, her spell over Wang Lung is broken, and he doesn't like her so much anymore. 
  • Of course, none of this matters once the flood has gone down. Then, as always, Wang Lung goes back to his land.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...