How Does Wang-Lung Change In The Good Earth

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The Good Earth, written by Pearl S. Buck, is a novel that amplifies Chinese culture in the 1920’s. Wang-Lung, a small Chinese man, is the main character, who establishes the ideas of marriage, family, and wealth. Living in the agrarian locations of China, Wang-Lung financially matures to a wealthy man through the novel. This dynamic character struggles with lack of money in the earlier parts of the novel, and through dedicated farming and work, he rises to power, both financially and socially. During this transition, Wang-Lung becomes an unrecognizable man. He resents his uncomely life, and begins to prioritize his riches, changing him to a selfish man. Wang-Lung’s transition from kind and selfless to selfish is induced by his increased wealth …show more content…

After him and O-Lan returned home, they began to work hard on producing crops from their land. Wang-Lung began to harvest land avidly, and birth flourishing crops. He began to acquire more and more money, and built a larger earthen house, adding more courts to comfortably fit all of his children and O-Lan. As Wang-Lung is becoming wealthier, he begins to change his attitude towards O-Lan, as she, in his eyes, is extraordinarily ugly. She does not fit the social standards of a rich man’s wife, and he rebukes her for it, ridiculing all of her features. Wang Lung spoke to O-Lan, “‘Now anyone looking at you would say that you were the wife of a common fellow and never of one who has land which he hires men to plough!” (Buck 180). This demonstrates Wang-Lung’s selfishness because his ideal is to breed a wife who is fit for a rich fellow, as himself. This is an anomaly to Wang-Lung’s previous character who was kind and respectful towards O-Lan. He would go to great lengths to make sure that O-Lan was cared for, to, in the end of the novel, not caring for her and her emotions, at all. To continue, as Wang-Lung began to enjoy his riches, he continued to demonstrate selfish characteristics. Wang-Lung wanted to reflect the life of a rich man, and brought a mistress to his house to live with him and his family. In doing so, Wang-Lung knew that he was upsetting O-Lan with his infidelity, but decided to shrug his shoulders, and not care about how she had reacted. In the text it states, “And even though he saw by O-Lan’s sullen looks and Cuckoo’s sharpness that something was amiss, he would not pay heed to it and he was careless of anyone so long as he was still fierce with his desire” (Buck 215). Wang-Lung was only concerned with his desires, and paid no heed to how he was affecting others, especially

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