From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
How would the novel be different if we could see O-lan's thoughts and emotions instead of Wang Lung's? What if the novel were written in third-person omniscient point of view instead of third-person limited?
Why do you think Buck has decided to write this story as a trilogy? What do you imagine will happen in the second book, Sons, and the third book, A House Divided?
How does Buck's use of language manage to feel foreign, even though she only uses English words? Would using Chinese words change the feeling of the story? How?
Buck loves to compare moments of the characters' lives with seasons. Does the novel have a winter, spring, summer, and fall? If so, what are they?
What roles do luck, heavenly favors, and hard work, play in the novel? What does Wang Lung believe about them? What do the other characters believe?