Questions and Answers for The Good Earth

The Good Earth

What are the Chinese customs in The Good Earth? 

One Chinese custom that is explored in Pearl Buck's The Good Earth involves the symbolism behind the color red. When O-lan's first son is born, she asks Wang Lung for money so that she can buy him...

Latest answer posted February 23, 2010 5:26 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

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

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...

Latest answer posted July 9, 2013 6:55 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

What is the setting of The Good Earth?

The Good Earth was written by American author Pearl S. Buck and was published in 1931. Buck was the wife of a Christian missionary and, by the time of the book’s publication, had been living in...

Latest answer posted April 29, 2019 2:25 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Good Earth

How does Wang Lung become rich in The Good Earth?

Wang Lung's accumulation of wealth begins when he and Olan travel to the city to escape the famine sweeping across the land. In the city, both Wang Lung and Olan get caught up in a mob that loots...

Latest answer posted August 28, 2012 1:15 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

In The Good Earth, how is Wang Lung characterized? 

Wang Lung is a character that is characterized by two major changes over the course of the book. The first of these changes is physical. Wang Lung goes from a man of the most humble financial...

Latest answer posted September 22, 2019 9:45 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Good Earth

What is the resolution in The Good Earth?

Pearl S. Buck's 1931 novel The Good Earth has a tragic ending. The main character, Wang Lung, is nearing death and sees all he worked for his entire life evaporating before his eyes. His children...

Latest answer posted April 26, 2018 9:18 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Good Earth

In The Good Earth, why does Wang Lung wear a braid?

The episode with the braid illustrates the changes that China was experiencing in the early twentieth century. Though Buck's hold on chronology seems to be somewhat unreliable, there's no doubt...

Latest answer posted September 17, 2018 8:56 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Good Earth

What are some symbols in The Good Earth?

In The Good Earth, Pearl S. Buck uses several examples of symbolism. The pearls that O-lan places between her breasts, the House of Hwang, and Wang Lung's disabled daughter (the "fool") are all...

Latest answer posted October 11, 2010 12:33 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

What are the best quotes from O-lan showing how she is a good person, or quotes that show her character.

O-lan is certainly a good person, to say the least. She is kind, considerate, self-sacrificing and hard working. To the best of my knowledge, there is not one incident in the novel that tells of...

Latest answer posted May 5, 2010 12:07 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

Is there figurative language in Chapters 28 and 29 of The Good Earth?

tPearl S. Buck's novel's title, The Good Earth, is itself a personification as the carrier of sustenance and the giver of life. In Chapter 28, Buck continues this use of personification, the...

Latest answer posted March 9, 2013 8:43 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

What are some customs and traditions that have to do with death in Wang Lung's culture in The Good Earth?

In Wang Lung's culture, when a person dies, his or her body is placed into a coffin bought by the family. The coffin is carefully sealed "according to custom", and a geomancer is consulted to...

Latest answer posted April 8, 2009 8:46 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

In chapter 9  of The Good Earth, what does O-lan tell Wang Lung about their girl child?

This is actually one of the more tragic events that occur in this book. After the birth of her latest child in this chapter, when Wang Lung goes into his wife's room to see how she is and how the...

Latest answer posted March 22, 2012 3:37 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

What do the pearls signify in The Good Earth? Chapter 15-16.

When Wang Lung discovers Olan's stolen pearls and jewels, he makes her give all of them to him so he can buy more land. Even though he takes the jewels from her, Wang allows Olan to keep two of...

Latest answer posted July 8, 2012 3:44 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

Where does Wang Lung decide to move his family in The Good Earth?

In The Good Earth, Wang Lung does decide to move his family south when a drought takes over the land, but this happens earlier in the novel. In Chapter 29, Wang Lung and his family have already...

Latest answer posted June 30, 2011 9:51 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

What is the significance of the title, features, and conclusion of the novel The Good Earth?

In Pearl Buck's The Good Earth, the protagonist Wang Lung and his family are farmers who must rely on the earth for their survival. Wang Lung and his family had always been relatively poor and...

Latest answer posted May 20, 2010 9:47 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

What happens when O-lan gives birth a 5th time?

After a still birth from her fourth pregnancy, for her fifth pregnancy, in chapter 17, O-Lan gives birth to twins. Wang-Lung's father declares, "An egg with a double yolk this time!" One is a boy...

Latest answer posted September 11, 2013 3:39 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

In The Good Earth, Wang declares, “Land is one’s flesh and blood.”  Wang Lung, the central character of the novel,...

In The Good Earth, the cycles of the earth run concomitant to human life; thus, there is a spiritual and moral connection to the land for Wang Lung. Indeed, the earth is "one's flesh and blood."...

Latest answer posted July 10, 2013 12:43 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

Why does Wang Lung use his remaining money to buy more land?   The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

In Chapter 5 of The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck, Wang Lung declares, "Land is one's flesh and blood." Clearly, then, Wang Lung perceives land as that which sustains all life, for from the land he...

Latest answer posted August 3, 2011 6:26 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

In The Good Earth what is the resolution of the narrative and are there any propaganda techniques used? Pearl S....

Having gone from a poor farmer who eked a living from the earth to one who prospered, and then to a starving man who clung to that which had sustained him--his land--selling only part of it in...

Latest answer posted July 27, 2011 7:17 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

What are the preparations Wang Lung does for the New Year in Good Earth?

To prepare for the New Year, Wang Lung first goes into town to the candlemaker's shop and buys "squares of red paper on which were brushed in gilt ink the letter for happiness and some with the...

Latest answer posted April 8, 2009 8:31 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

What are some motifs in The Good Earth?

One of the major ones, particularly significant given the title "The Good Earth," is the importance of land and the earth itself in people's lives. The earth is what nourishes Wang Lung and he...

Latest answer posted October 8, 2010 6:34 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

In The Good Earth, Wang Lung considers the birth of his daughter to be a bad omen. How does he come to regard this...

When Wang Lung's first daughter is born, he realizes that she is mentally retarded and considers it a bad omen. He considers his family's situation and thinks that his daugher is not healthy...

Latest answer posted July 18, 2010 9:14 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

What is the main setting of The Good Earth, and why is it significant?

The setting in The Good Earth is not specifically named in the novel, but the reader does know that the story mainly takes place in rural China on Wang Lung's farm. The plot of land seems to have...

Latest answer posted June 29, 2011 9:54 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

What are good quotes from the novel "The Good Earth" that show the qualities of Wang Lung's Dad?

In Chapter One of Pearl S. Buck's novel The Good Earth, the reader is introduced to the antagonist, Wang Lung, and his father. Wang Lung is preparing to go collect his bride from the House of...

Latest answer posted December 14, 2010 12:48 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

How does the gateman at the House of Hwang take advantage of Wang Lung?

Wang Lung approaches the House of Hwang as naive to the world. Wang Lung is not wealthy and does not have much to his name. His initial approach to the House of Hwang is peppered with his own...

Latest answer posted February 2, 2014 7:43 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

In Pearl Buck's novel The Good Earth, why does O-lan hate Cuckoo so much? 

The basis of O-lan's lifelong enmity for Cuckoo is that when they were both slaves in the House of Hwang, Cuckoo did not treat O-lan well (Chapters 20-22). Because of this, O-lan will not speak to...

Latest answer posted April 15, 2008 1:04 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

How is vanity starting to show itself in Chapter 5 of The Good Earth?

At the beginning of Chapter 5, the family is preparing for New Year's celebrations. Because Wang Lung now has a store of disposable money, he goes to the shops and buys notions that he has never...

Latest answer posted April 23, 2010 4:00 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

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

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...

Latest answer posted August 9, 2008 11:07 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

Who is Wang Lung? To whom is he getting married? What kinds of rituals does Wang Lung perform to prepare himself for...

Wang Lung is a poor farmer in a Northern Chinese village, and the main character of The Good Earth. His father has arranged a marriage for him to Olan, one of the servants in the great house of...

Latest answer posted January 16, 2009 3:20 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

In The Good Earth, how does the family change as the main character gets wealth?

As Wang Lung grows in wealth, this family that has been historically and traditionally tied to the land, grows away from the land and evolves into a new social class. Wang Lung himself, in the year...

Latest answer posted September 27, 2013 1:03 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

"He would, he told himself, in spite of gods and drought, do that which he had determined." What did Wang Lung do?...

At this point in the story, Wang Lung has worked hard and scrimped and saved so that he was able to buy a small plot of land from the House of Hwang near the mote. By focusing only on this land...

Latest answer posted September 27, 2013 2:00 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

What is odd about the girl child? Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth

In the Chinese culture of the setting of Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth, there is more value placed upon boy children as they can help with the land, carry on the family name, and be valuable to...

Latest answer posted August 5, 2011 2:14 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

In The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck: "And so this parcel of land became to Wang Lung a sign and a symbol" (56). What...

To add to the above, the parcel of land is also a sign and a symbol for the economic system and class stratification of Wang Lung's community. As Wang Lung pays the agent for the parcel of land,...

Latest answer posted June 30, 2011 9:58 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

What do you conclude from Wang Lung's change of behavior in The Good Earth?

Wang Lung's change in behavior, a reflection of his change in values, does not reflect well upon him; it shows that he has become corrupted by wealth. Once he acquires the money (through O-lan's...

Latest answer posted April 17, 2009 9:26 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

In The Good Earth, why are the cakes and the visit to the House of Hwang important?

The answer to this question can be found in Chapter 5 which is when O-Lan begins to use some of the best lard and flour to make some special cakes. When Wang Lung asks her what she is doing, O-Lan...

Latest answer posted March 22, 2012 3:49 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

Please explain the quote "out of this body of his, out of his own loins, life!" from chapter two of The Good Earth,...

The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck, is set China and its protagonist is a poor farmer named Wang Lung. He wants a wife to do the household chores while he works in the fields; however, he is so poor...

Latest answer posted August 19, 2013 6:44 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

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

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...

Latest answer posted August 23, 2010 7:47 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

In The Good Earth, how did they travel south even though they were so weak?

In The Good Earth, Wang Lung and O-lan still manage to pack up their family and travel south even though they are really weak. The two realize that their land will not support them, so they feel...

Latest answer posted March 1, 2010 7:25 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

What is the genre in "The Good Earth" by Pearl S. Buck? I think it's a parable, but i am not sure how.

One reviewer wrote of The Good Earth: Nobel Prize winner Pearl S. Buck traces the whlo cycle of life: its terror, its passions, its ambition and rewards. Her brilliant novel--beloved by millions...

Latest answer posted July 24, 2011 2:51 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

What are the similarities between Wang Lung and Hwang family? Consider that Wang Lung became as rich as the Hwang...

Wang Lung and the Hwang family are similar in that wealth destroyed their sense of morality and family values. The House of Hwang fell into ruin and bandits stole the money from the house. The...

Latest answer posted July 3, 2010 5:37 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

One of the greatest values of The Good Earth is its attempt to present for the reader a clear view of the Chinese...

Since The Good Earth is the chronicle of the life of a simple farmer and his struggles for the universal desires of all men; namely, survival, success, and contentment, it lends itself in its...

Latest answer posted July 11, 2013 6:28 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

What does O-lan's name in The Good Earth mean in English? All the other girls have names like Lotus and Pear Blossom...

The word "lan" in Chinese refers to "orchid." So O-lan's name is likely a derivative of this idea (which would go along with Lotus and Pear Blossom referring to flowers). It is ironic here that...

Latest answer posted March 1, 2010 7:45 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

In The Good Earth, why did Wang Lung's family move to Hwang house to live?

After enduring through the Great Famine, Wang Lung returns to his home and purchases land from the house of Hwang with money that a rich man in the city gave him, fearing for his life during a riot...

Latest answer posted May 2, 2010 3:49 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

How has Chinese custom influenced Wang Lung's response to his uncle? If you were in Wang Lung's position, how would...

Nobel Prize-winning author Pearl S. Buck published The Good Earth in 1931. Since her parents were missionaries, she spent her childhood in China, where she experienced Chinese culture first-hand....

Latest answer posted February 23, 2020 10:28 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

What is the significance of Chapter 24 in The Good Earth?

I believe the significance of Chapter 24 is that it illustrates so clearly how the way to the peace and happiness Wang Lung longs for throughout his life is there all the time, right before his...

Latest answer posted April 8, 2009 1:48 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

Wang Lung's uncle is shown to be a shady character. What two pieces of evidence for this are given in Chapter 9?

When times are hard and Wang Lung and his family are starving, his uncle comes to him with a deal. He had gone into town and made a deal with two men who wanted to buy property at a low cost...

Latest answer posted February 9, 2012 3:28 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

Discuss the incident surrounding this quote from Pearl Buck's The Good Earth: "Now get you to your room and do not...

After Wang Lung has brought his concubine Lotus home, he says to himself that "peace (is) in his house". The moment of perceived calm is soon disrupted, however, when his oldest son, petulant and...

Latest answer posted April 21, 2009 6:08 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

In "The Good Earth" by Pearl Buck, how is Wang Lung treated differently in the country and in the village?

Wang Lung is treated differently throughout the novel "The Good Earth" by Pearl Buck. When he first goes into the village, he does so in order to pick up his new wife. He does not have a...

Latest answer posted January 5, 2009 4:04 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

When Wang Lung becomes swept up with the mob and enters the rich mans house is the gold he gets there a curse or...

With revolution in the air and confusion and fear abounding, the gift of money from the fearful man to Wang Lung contributes greatly to his fortune. For, the next day Wang Lung and his family...

Latest answer posted August 21, 2010 3:16 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Good Earth

Who does O-lan think is ugly? Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth

Within the setting of Peal S. Buck's The Good Earth, the nineteenth century Chinese believed in the binding of women's feet; as a result of this binding of feet, women's "dainty" feet were only...

Latest answer posted March 30, 2010 6:14 am UTC

2 educator answers

Showing 1-50 of 91