In The Good Earth, Wang Lung considers the birth of his daughter to be a bad omen. How does he come to regard this girl who grows up to become a fool?

Expert Answers
teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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 because there had been little food to sustain O-lan during her pregnancy.  So he wonders whether her birth is a sign of more bad times to come. 

However, he begins to feel pity for the girl because she is so helpless yet sits around with a smile on her face even if she is hungry.  As the story goes on and Wang Lung has more children, he comes to value his "poor little fool" even more because she gives him a sense of peace.  His three sons constantly bicker and want their lives to be different, and they press their father for money and access to opportunities.  Lotus always wants money and gifts from him, and she causes him more stress than she does happiness.  By the end of the novel, Wang Lung has taken a section of the house with only Pear Blossom and his daughter because he feels that he can grow old peacefully in their company.