The Good Deed Summary

What is the summary of "The Good Deed" by Pearl S. Buck?

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The title of Pearl S. Buck's story "The Good Deed" is a double entendre because the deed which Mrs. Pan sets out to perform is both beneficial to her and to Lili Yang, thus giving it a double meaning. While Lili meets a man to whom she is clearly attracted and will probably marry, Mrs. Pan has found meaning in the foreign land to which her son has brought her.

When Mrs. Pan first arrives in New York from her ancestral village of Szechuen, which rogue local ruffians have occupied since the government fell, she experiences culture shock. Everything is strange to her; her grandchildren speak Chinese, but their pronunciation is wrong, and they also do not behave in the customary way; her daughter-in-law is kind and respectful, but she knows nothing of life in China, having been born in America. While her son tries to make his mother feel comfortable in her new home, her sense of alienation grows until she loses her appetite and becomes listless. Finally, anxious for his mother's health and...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 1400 words.)

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