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What is the name of the main female character in the book The Good Earth?The Good Earth...

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tdevani | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 2, 2012 at 6:54 PM via web

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What is the name of the main female character in the book The Good Earth?

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck talks about the lives of a farmer and his wife who helped him to be a rich man but was forgotton at the end.

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schulzie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted February 12, 2012 at 3:06 AM (Answer #1)

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Her name is O-Lan.  She is the servant of a wealthy man in the village.  Wang Lung does not know her when he marries her.  His father has arranged the marriage. 

"With weddings costing as they do in these evil days and every woman wanting gold rings and the silk clothes before she will take aman, there remain only slaves to be had for the poor." (pg 6)

She is 20 years old when she marries Wang Lung. Her family sold her at the age of ten to the wealthy couple because they had nothing to eat. Her mistress describes her as

"She is not beautiful, but that you do not need.....Neither is she clever. But she does well what she istold to do and she had a good temper......She is a good slave, although somewhat slow and stupid." (pg 13-14)

But Wang Lung doesn't care about the beauty; the mistress was correct in that.  The mistress tells him that O-Lan will work beside him in the field and bear him children.  In fact, her last instruction to O-Lan was to bear him children.  The only disappointment Wang Lung had at that time was that it was obvious that her feet were not bound.  In those days, they wrapped the feet of the women to keep them small because they felt it was more feminine. If the feet were not bound, they were larger. The practice of binding feet, however, led to a lot of foot problems later.

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