The Good Earth


Chapter 10 to Chapter 13

Chapter Ten Summary

Wang Lung goes to town with his family with his father on his back. Because of his anger toward the gods, Wang Lung will not stop at the statues of the gods and pay them homage. Wang Lung hears word of a train or “firewagon” that could potentially take his family south. All of the villagers are hungry and must search for food. Despite the famine, the Hwang House drinks wine. Even though he fears that the firewagon will not take them south as promised, Wang Lung and his family get on the train.

Chapter Eleven Summary

While aboard the train, Wang Lung wonders what changes the south will bring to his family. Some travelers attempt to teach Wang Lung how to beg, but he still hopes that he will find work once in a new location. Once they reach the south, Wang Lung and his family buy mats so they can construct a hut. They also buy some cheap food. Although O-lan and the two sons must beg for food and money, Wang Lung eventually finds a job. He pulls a rickshaw, and is thus able to meagerly support the family. Although they feel the loss of their home, Wang Lung and his family eventually begin to settle into the lifestyle.

Chapter Twelve Summary

Wang Lung overhears men in the street talking about a revolution. Although many people starve in the city, the environment shows signs of wealth and prosperity. O-lan has the children steal just so the family can eat. The youngest son steals a piece of pork, which is the first meat that the family has had since they murdered the work ox. Despite the fortune of getting a piece of meat, Wang Lung will not eat the bounty because it is stolen. He later beats the younger son for stealing the food. At the close of the chapter, Wang Lung wishes that he and his family could return home.

Chapter Thirteen Summary

The city’s young men focus on revolution and revolt. O-lan becomes pregnant again. Wang Lung, however, aches to return home....

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Essays About The Good Earth