How is religion emphasized in The Good Earth? What religions are evident in the novel?

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msray eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Religions that the main character pays homage to are Taoism and Buddhism; he is also found consulting a geomancer, who deals in superstitions. He visits temples when he is seeking wealth or prosperity in some form, and he prays to gods promising loyalty if they give what he asks for, but vows to turn from them if they don't.  His main "religion" or devotion is actually to the land itself, as seen in the gods he prays to, which are actually made of earth themselves. He says that the earth "formed their homes, fed their bodies, and made their gods". So, even though the main character is rooted in a background of Taoism, Buddhism and superstitions, he really only is faithful to the earth, cultivating it so that it can in turn serve him and his needs.

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The Good Earth

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