Book Report Good Earth

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The Good Earth Book Report

This book report is written for Humanities III, and the instructor Mr. Stiles. It is on The Good Earth, written by Pearl S. Buck. It contains 368 pages, and was published by The John Day Company. This book is historical fiction, and it has won the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel in 1932. As it was the best-selling novel in the United States in both 1931 and 1932, it was an important factor in Buck's winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938. It is the first book in a trilogy that includes Sons and A House Divided. I read this book for a literature class, but I really enjoyed it as it very well portrayed the life of an average peasant in China during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

The protagonist of The Good Earth, Wang Lung, begins the novel as a poor, simple farmer forced to marry a slave, and he ends the book as a wealthy person with enough money and power to own concubines. In many ways the strongest and most memorable character in The Good Earth was O-lan. Her character shows the situation of women in traditional China and the sacrifices they had to make in order to be within the cultural expectations. Another important character is Wang Lung's eldest son. Wang Lung’s oldest son is in many ways similar to Wang Lung himself. The primary difference is that Wang Lung was raised in poverty, and his son is raised in luxury. Wang Lung's second son is crafty, enterprising, and miserly, Wang Lung’s second son is more responsible than the first son, but he also rejects his father’s traditional values as outdated. These are the main characters in The Good Earth.

Wang Lung's eldest daughter is also in the story. Wang Lung often feels sorry for her, as you can see when he keeps calling her “poor fool”. Wang Lung's father is also mentioned. He is just a typical traditional Chinese peasant, who follows all of the regular practices. Wang Lung's uncle is a cunning scoundrel and thief. He is the younger brother of Wang Lung’s...
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