The Good Earth


Chapter 14 to Chapter 16

Chapter Fourteen Summary

A missionary hands Wang Lung a tract. Wang Lung cannot read, so he gives the paper to his father. On the paper is Jesus at the scene of the crucifixion. Wang Lung’s father assumes that the man on the cross was surely evil to be treated so horribly. Always the practical wife, O-lan decides that the paper is best suited to help her line her family’s shoes. A different man gives Wang Lung a tract that shows a large man stabbing a poor and skinny man. The man explains that the large man symbolizes capitalists, and the skinny man symbolizes the poor. Again, Wang Lung has trouble understanding the emphasis of the message. He sees land as the only eternal material, so he laughs at the man’s message. Wang Lung saves this paper for the repair of the family’s tattered shoes.

Fighting begins, and poor males are forced into the army. Unrest abounds in the city, where the rich begin to take their goods to other lands. Many businesses shut down. Wang Lung thinks of selling his daughter, but he fears for her safety. Wang Lung asks his wife if she was ever abused, and she rather unemotionally replies that she was hit with a leather thong on a daily basis. She also tells her husband that in the House of Hwang, pretty girls were raped repeatedly.

Riots and unrest continue in the city. Wang Lung loots a bunch of gold coins. Even though he is now a thief, Wang Lung feels joy at the thought of the gold giving his family the ability to return home.

Chapter Fifteen Summary

Wang Lung buys seed and an ox so that his family can leave the city and return home. He learns from Ching that some untrustworthy friends of his uncle have been living in his house. Ching tells Wang Lung that during the winter his wife died and his daughter left with a soldier. Ching preferred giving his daughter to a soldier so that she could avoid starvation. To repay Ching’s generosity for the beans he gave him, Wang Lung gives Ching some seeds.

Though his house has seen better days,...

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Essays About The Good Earth