Published in 1931, Pearl S Buck's ''The Good Earth'' is about China before the Second World War, and its problems and lives and people. As it is basically an historical novel, it is full of historical allusions, but probably the two most important relate to:
1. The decline/weakness of the Manchu and the old Chinese nobility; and
2. The increasing growth of Chinese hostility towards Japan, prior to World War 2.
Many further allusions of a minor nature can also be found on a close reading of the novel's text.