The Good Earth Essay

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Mahatma Gandhi once said,“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed.” In Pearl S. Buck's novel, The Good Earth, a poverty-stricken Chinese farmer, Wang Lung, climbs his way to new wealth, and in turn, loses his good morals. The book begins with an innocent Wang Lung working on his farm and preparing to meet his new wife, O-lan. O-lan is an unattractive, hardworking woman that Wang Lung appreciates at the start of the book, but he loses all respect for her once he is surrounded by riches. Wang Lung becomes a greedy man, altering all of his morals for his own selfish desires. In the novel, The Good Earth, the downfall of Wang Lung begins with his newly sprouted wealth.

When O-lan and Wang Lung first begin living together, Wang Lung holds appreciation for her, and is glad that he now has a dedicated wife to take care of him and his father. “...In his heart he was proud of the dishes, for with what meats she had the woman had combined sugar and vinegar and a little wine and soy sauce and she had skillfully brought forth all the force of meat itself, so that Wang Lung himself had never tasted such dishes upon the tables of his friends” (page 25). Here Wang Lung is shown caring for his wife with respect in his heart. He is proud of his wife for making him look good in front of his peers, and is glad that he has such a hardworking spouse despite the fact that she is homely. It is not until later in the novel that Wang Lung grows greedy and desires a prettier, more petite wife.

Once their family becomes rich, Wang Lung finds a pretty girl, Lotus, to keep him company and begins to constantly insult O-lan. O-lan provides Wang Lung with riches when she steals pearls from the wealthy and gives them to Wang Lung to sell. “Then he was angry beyond bearing and he seized O-lan's shoulder and he shook her soundly and he said, 'Do not be yet more of a fool. It is not for the servant but for the mistress.' And she bore his violence and she...
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