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The Good Earth

The Good Earth

by Pearl S. Buck

The Good Earth Chapter 9 Summary

  • Things are bad now. Wang Lung even goes to the gods of the earth and spits in their faces. No one's eating, no one's moving, the baby isn't even crying. It's bad
  • The only person who is doing well is Grandpa, since all the food goes to him before anyone else. Rumors are going around that cannibalism is happening in the countryside, and that somehow Wang Lung's uncle is looking pretty good considering that he has no food. 
  • That's enough to make Wang Lung decide that it's just about time to blow this Popsicle stand. O-lan's down with the plan, but she asks to leave only after she has given birth. That's when Wang Lung remembers that she is pregnant, and he asks Ching for a little food so that she won't die from hunger.  
  • The next day, like all the other days when his children were born, Wang Lung waits outside of the room until O-lan is all done. For a moment, he hears the baby cry and starts saying how it would be better if the baby were dead. Then he doesn't hear the baby crying anymore. Be careful what you wish for, Wang Lung. 
  • When he goes to see the baby, O-lan tells him it is dead. We can tell that she killed it by crushing its neck. He doesn't say anything, but he just wraps up the baby and tries to bury it in a graveyard. A dog keeps trying to eat the baby, and eventually Wang Lung just goes back home. 
  • How are Wang Lung and O-lan going to get to the South? He is so hungry that he's not even hungry anymore, and he's feeding the kids dirt to keep them full. It doesn't look too good for anyone. 
  • Suddenly, Wang Lung's uncle is back. He is certainly upbeat, considering that he should be starving, but he doesn't look like he hasn't been eating. Suspiciously, his three younger children are missing. You can connect the dots. 
  • Anyway, this uncle is here as a favor. Some nice men from the city are here to buy Wang Lung's land. Isn't that generous of them? Wang Lung's so desperate that he's thinking of selling it—until he realizes that they only want to give him chump change. 
  • No way is Wang Lung going to give it up his land for nothing; he'd rather die and bury his children on the land instead. As usual, O-lan suddenly appears to settle all the hubbub. They won't sell the land. But they will sell their furniture. That's that. The guys give them some silver, and Wang Lung and O-lan are on their way to the South.

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