The main character in the story is Wang Lung, a hard working, but poor, farmer. At the age of marriage, and being of low class, Wang Lung, and his father decide that it is best that he marry a slave, who would be less expensive than other possibilities. Also, if it were to be a slave than it was less likely to being a pretty wife, and they did not want their woman to be pretty.
To have a pretty wife would mean that she would have to be kept beautiful and pretty which was expensive, and they were not rich. Wang Lung needed a wife of low maintenance, who would be willing and able to help work the land. Also, a wife who was pretty would be more likely to be looked at and desired by other men and less likely to be a virgin still.
The most important thing in Wang Lung's life is his land. To him, the land is everything; his work, his food, his standing in society, his sustenance. It is, essentially, his life force. His understanding is that as long as he has land, he has enough, and to live without it would seem impossible.
It is said that every seven or eight years the gods feel the need to punish the people, and they do so sometimes by flooding the precious land. This can be a life threatening occurrence depending on how long the flood stays. The floods take over all of the fields, killing most or even all of the crops. Without their crops to harvest, people starve, and many die.
One of the first floods that takes place during the novel is not as bad as some. It kills much of the crops, but they are able to survive on what they have stored and what... [continues]
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