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The Good Earth

The Good Earth

by Pearl S. Buck

The Good Earth Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

The Natural World

The Good Earth is about one man's relationship with the natural world. We're not talking about the whole natural world; it's mostly the earth that gets Wang Lung's attention. His life is directly t...

Women and Femininity

Worthless. Slaves. These are just the words commonly used to describe women in The Good Earth. Not too pretty, huh? Some of the women in this novel are not even second-class citizens: they're barel...

Mortality

Life and death are just two sides of the same coin. Most of the characters in The Good Earth don't see death as such a big deal. Death isn’t some mystical scary unknown place with totally differe...

Change

The more things change, the more they stay the same.Things seem to change in The Good Earth, but is the change real? On the small scale, Wang Lung's life changes completely. He goes from starving p...

Religion

Gods, what are they good for? Huh? Standing all smug in their temples with their songs and books dedicated to them.Okay, maybe it's a little more complicated than that. One thing The Good Earth doe...

Wealth

Wealth, you say? Well, that’s a tricky word, indeed. What can it mean? It can mean a bed to sleep on, or food to eat. It can also mean diamonds, jewels, and the ability to do whatever you want, w...

Town vs. Country

The city that never sleeps. The big city. The modern Gomorrah.Yeah, we're not talking about New York, but the nicknames still fit. When Wang Lung goes to the South, it's like a country boy's first...

Politics

Vive la révolution! There are revolutions and rebellions going on everywhere. You can't throw a rock without hitting a soldier. Yet somehow, Wang Lung and his family seem completely oblivious. Wha...

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