What are three major themes that are prevalent in The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck?  

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

With its epic qualities, Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth traces the struggles, the passions, the desires, and rewards of Wang-Lung and his family during the Ch'ing Dynasty and after the Revolution of 1911 when the Chinese Republic was first established with Sun Yat-sen as its new president.

Throughout the entire narrative, important themes prevail.

  • The land and its value

As its title indicates, the novel expands upon the value that land possesses. For the peasant farmer Wang Lung the earth is, indeed, good and is the source of nourishment for his soul as well as his and his family's bodies. The cycles of the earth parallel those of human life; there is a spiritual and moral connection to the land for Wang Lung. When he forgets the importance of the land, he loses his existential meaning and becomes dissatisfied and spiritually corrupt. 

There was only this perfect sympathy of movement, of turning this earth of theirs over and over to the sun, this earth which formed their home and fed their...

(The entire section contains 616 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team