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What is the summary of "The Good Deed" by Pearl S. Buck?

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facquote | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted August 24, 2011 at 8:02 PM via web

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What is the summary of "The Good Deed" by Pearl S. Buck?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 25, 2011 at 8:12 PM (Answer #1)

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This story focuses on the experience of migrancy from the perspective of an elderly Chinese lady who is taken to New York from China by her son. Mrs. Pan at first, like many migrants, misses her homeland greatly and finds it very difficult to adjust to American life. However, what restores her spirits is trying to arrange a marriage for Lili Yang, a young friend of hers. This is an important event for Mrs. Pan, who becomes rejuvenated through the experience, as she realises that she has skills and abilities that are necessary for the Chinese community in her new country that allow her to contribute to this new society whilst also remaining true to her Chinese heritage and culture. The story thus charts one migrant's experience of migrancy and leaving her homeland behind, and the gradual proces of finding her new niche in America.

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mlsldy3 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted December 8, 2014 at 5:59 PM (Answer #2)

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Mr. Pan brings his mother to live with him and his wife and children in America. Mrs. Pan is not very happy. She longs to return to her home, but knows she can not do this. She worries that her grandchildren can't speak Chinese, and she thinks that they are not being taught manners. She longs for the days of when she was younger. He son begins to worry about his mother. He asks his wife to get her friend, Lili Yang, to come and spend time with his mother. Lili is a social worker and speaks Chinese, so his mother will enjoy the company.

On Lili's visit, the two women have a wonderful time. Mrs. Pan loves being able to communicate in her language and worries about Lili. Lili's parents had died and she is an only child. Mrs. Pan comes from the place where the parents arranged marriages for their children, but knowing that Lili's parents are dead, Mrs. Pan decides to do this for her.

"Old Mrs. Pan was dignified about this. "I can not be responsible for what other persons do, but I must be responsible for my own kind," she declared. "Allow me to know the names of the suitable persons who can arrange your marriage. We are all in a foreign country now and we must keep together and the old must help the young in these important matters."

Mrs. Pan takes it upon herself to find a suitable match for Lili. She arranges a meeting between Lili and Mr. Lim. The two hit it off and Mrs. Pan is pleased with herself.

This is a beautiful short story. On act of kindness turns into many more. Lili going and spending time with Mrs. Pan, and showing her kindness, opens the door for love to come in. Mrs. Pan is brought back to her former self and enjoys helping Lili. This story teaches us that good deeds are always important and we need to do more of them.

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