Character Overview of Pearl S Buck's The Good Earth

Pages: 3 (959 words) Published: December 17, 2013
Characters Roles In The Good Earth
In The Good Earth, the introduction states that “The Good Earth endures because it reminds, once again, that despite our differences- in language, culture, and religion- there are certain qualities that we share as humans.” (Buck viii) The Good Earth written by Pearl S. Buck is an outstanding book that portrays people in many ways. In The Good Earth, many characters have many personalities. Some can be malevolent, some can be nice, but all of the characters have different roles to fill in the novel. Buck does not create characters at random, but the character she is putting in has a specific personality and role to play. In The Good Earth, there are three characters that serve as a purpose in the book- the Poor Fool who shows a moral side of Wang Lung, a concubine named Lotus that drives the plot and deepens a conflict, and the Uncle, Wang Lung’s rival, shows a theme, extends a conflict, and surprises the reader.

The Poor Fool shows a moral side of Wang Lung by providing him comfort and love. Wang Lung proclaims to the Poor Fool, “Poor fool- poor little fool-“ (82) While in the south, Wang Lung says to the Poor Fool, “Eat, poor fool- eat, while there is yet that which can be eaten” (74) Buck narrates, “And it seemed to Wang Lung that he looked at O-lan for the first time in his life and he saw for the first time that she was a woman whom no man could call other than she was, a dull and common creature…” (179) Wang Lung has pity for the Poor Fool because she just sits there and has nothing to do. As a result, that causes Wang Lung to think of her more often than other people. The Poor Fool serves as a bonding point between Wang Lung and her. Without the Poor Fool, Wang Lung would have no one to care about, and therefore, Wang Lung would live a bad life. On the other hand, Wang Lung’s wife, O-lan, is not liked because of her big feet, and that she is a dull creature.

Lotus, bought from Wang Lung as a concubine, drives a...
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