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

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schulzie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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 because people were starving and needed to buy food.  In exchange for food, his uncle told them that he would help them buy land.  He tells Wang Lung,

"...I borrowed from these good men in the town a little food on the promise that with the strength it gave me, I would help them to buy some of the land about our village." (pg 61)

Although the men saw Wang Lung's starving son, they still make Wang Lung a poor offer, a hundred pence per acre.  Wang Lung says that he paid twenty times that himself for the land.  They reply,

"Ah, but not when you buy it from men who are starving."  (pg 61)

Wang Lung's uncle wants him to sell his land for nothing so that he can have food and the comforts that these two men afford him.

Secondly, O-Lan offers to sell them the table, chairs, bed, bedding, and cauldron of the household for two pieces of silver.  She knows that it is worth more, but she knows that they have to go south and soon or her family will die.  Wang Lung's uncle knows that it is not a fair price, but he does not speak up. 

When they take the deal and start to remove the furniture, Wang Lung's uncle stays outside because

"He did not wish his older  brother to see him, not did he wish to be there when the old man was laid on the floor and his bed taken from under him." (pg 62)

Wang Lung's uncle did not come to help him, he came to use him for his own purposes.

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The Good Earth

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