The Good Earth


Chapter 7 to Chapter 9

Chapter Seven Summary

Wang Lung criticizes his aunt (his uncle’s wife) for not disciplining her daughter. The daughter is of the age to be married, but the aunt tells Wang Lung that they cannot afford a dowry. O-lan becomes pregnant for a third time and eventually gives birth to a daughter. Therefore, Wang Lung must work alone in the fields. When his uncle asks him for money, Wang Lung lashes out at him for not saving money. When his uncle hits him because of the insult, Wang Lung loans him money to prevent him from telling the entire village.

The conflict causes Wang Lung to fear that his good luck has run out. Furthermore, O-lan gives birth to a baby girl, which Wang Lung believes to be an unfortunate event.

Chapter Eight Summary

There is a drought that causes destruction to Wang Lung’s farm. The weather also causes the House of Hwang further difficulties. Wang Lung buys some land from the Hwangs, but the harvest does not yield many crops. O-lan becomes pregnant with their fourth child, and Wang Lung is forced to kill his work oxen to provide food. Wang Lung’s uncle confesses to the village that O-lan has food and money stored in his home. Village thieves come to Wang Lung’s home; they steal some food and try to steal the furniture. O-lan criticizes the village thieves for stealing her and Wang Lung’s furniture when they have not attempted to sell their own.

Chapter Nine Summary

A famine causes some people to consume human flesh. Ching, Wang Lung’s neighbor, tells Wang Lung about the people who eat other humans to survive. Because he took part in the thievery of Wang Lung’s home, Ching experiences guilt and gives Wang Lung a small amount of beans. When she gives birth to another daughter, O-lan strangles the baby and kills her. O-lan cannot bear the thought of feeding another mouth. Wang Lung attempts to bury the baby, but a dog refuses to leave the corpse alone. Because he feels so weak, Wang Lung does not...

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Essays About The Good Earth