The Good Earth


Chapter 26 and Chapter 27

Chapter Twenty-Six Summary

O-lan is so sick that she cannot get out of bed. Without her help, the family realizes how much they relied on her when she was well. Wang Lung’s kindness toward his wife returns. During feverish dreams, O-lan cries for her parents or speaks as if she is a slave. O-lan requests that her son’s future wife come to her bedside, and she does. The betrothed behaves pleasantly, which pleases Wang Lung and O-lan. Before she passes, O-lan has one final request: She wants to see her son’s wedding. The betrothed’s father, Liu, agrees to this plan, even though this means that the wedding will take place an entire year early. Wang Lung’s and O-lan’s son returns from the university, and the wedding takes place. O-lan cannot attend the wedding, but she listens from her bedside. Directly after the wedding, O-lan perishes. Her last words are “beauty will not bear a man sons,” indicating that despite her appearance, she has done well for her family.

After O-lan’s death, Wang Lung’s father dies. They are buried at the same ceremony. As the funeral comes to a close, Wang Lung realizes that he will not be able to see Lotus wear the pearls that he took from O-lan.

Chapter Twenty-Seven Summary

A flood comes and brings a famine. Wang Lung cuts back on the family’s spending, which causes his uncle’s brood to complain. Wang Lung’s elder son becomes angry at his uncle’s and cousin’s behaviors. Wang Lung’s son also fears that his uncle is attracted to his new wife. Wang Lung’s son wants to drown his uncle’s entire family to spare Wang Lung’s family the trouble; however, Wang Lung explains that the uncle is part of the band of robbers who may loot the house if Wang Lung turns against them. His elder son then suggests buying opium so that the uncle and his family become addicted and forget about their other needs. Even though opium is expensive, supplying the drug will be less...

Sign up to continue reading Chapter 26 and Chapter 27 >

Essays About The Good Earth