In The Good Earth, as the family works and begs in the city, what do they think of the foreigners they encounter?

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As Wang Lung and his family work and beg in the city, they encounter many foreigners.  The first foreigner whom Wang Lung meets is an American woman who hires Wang Lung to drive her in his rickshaw.  Wang Lung does not quite know what to make of this person--he cannot even tell at first that she is a woman.  He has never seen anyone who has her kind of features, and he is amazed by how different she looks from the local people.  When she exits the rickshaw, she pays him double the fare and tells him that he should not work so hard.  Wang Lung's life has been all about hard work, so again he is amazed that someone would give this kind of advice.  He also does not understand how someone could give money away so freely.  As the family continues to live in the city, they see the market place where many goods are available to the rich and are shocked that these types of things are for sale.  It is here in the city that Wang Lung starts to ponder a dream of also being rich.

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The Good Earth

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