The Good Earth
Wang Lung and O-lan are a poor couple in rural China who both work hard to support their family. With some luck and help from his wife, Wang Lung is able to build his fortune and eventually becomes a wealthy, respected lord with three sons.
As Wang Lung ascended to his wealth, he left a lot of his past behind, becoming a different person; he becomes more arrogant and superficial in contrast to his past humble and simple self. Unfortunately, this change in personality only drives him to yearning for peace and contentment later on, proving that money really does not buy happiness. However, what remains consistent with Wang Lung throughout the story is his loyalty to the land; it is the land that makes him rich, explaining the title "The Good Earth".
I had to read The Good Earth for English this year, and truthfully, I was horrified by it from beginning to end. I understood the messages of the book, but I could never relate to the protagonist. I just couldn't bring myself to enjoy the book, and it wasn't a book I would have chosen if I had a choice. Wang Lung emotionally mistreats O-lan just because of his poor opinion for her looks, despite her faithfulness to him and her effort to support the family. As he became wealthier, he buys a concubine for himself, Lotus Flower, who he treats like a goddess. Lotus Flower, in turn, acts as a spoiled brat, sucking up his wealth. Because of Wang Lung's character, it was hard for me to feel sorry for him during his misfortunate times.
The characters were well-fleshed out and complex; perhaps, it was because they were so real to me that I was horrified by the novel. It had many strong themes, the strongest one (to me) telling about the power of wealth and corruption.
This wasn't a horrible book, but perhaps it wasn't the book for me.
Reposted from: booked-books.blogspot.com
I personally wouldn't recommend this to anyone under 14, I myself had to read it when I was 13 and I hated the experience. There are a lot of harsh topics discussed that might be inappropriate for younger readers.
Other than that, I thought the book itself was wonderful. Wang Lung himself was hard to like, but the themes and lessons portrayed through the novel were huge, and the way Pearl S. Buck portrays them, with her unique style, is just as cool.
This novel is basically about Wang Lung, a poor farmer that goes to get married one day. He is poor, and has to work a hard life, but life gives him profits. It's about the nature of human beings, and the point of life.
As the book draws to a close, one is truly able to see the full circle life is, and the many wonderful and not wonderful experiences it brings.
A realistic story of life in China. From living in poverty to living with wealth, this book tells the story of family life, how family matters the most, and how owning land can accomplish what you want in life.