O-Lan In Ernest Hemingway's The Good Earth

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A fresh earthen scent rises up from recently tilled land as a young Chinese man sets down his hoe and wipes a day 's sweat and dirt from his forehead. His home awaits him now, and he quickly travels back to his cozy dwelling made of the same earth upon which he daily labors. Upon entering, he is relieved to discover delicious food already lined up on the table, a new-found luxury for Wang Lung since he married. His wife, O-lan, constantly provides him with necessities for life. In this isolated area of China during the early twentieth century, a woman is expected to stay quiet and well-behaved, as a slave to men. Technology could not be more distant, and the agrarian society still reigns supreme, emphasizing the importance of the land. O-lan’s lower status, plain appearance, and simple mind have much in common with the rugged earth, yet despite these apparent “inadequacies,” they both help Lung survive. The Good Earth demonstrates the similarities between this hard-working woman and the land upon which …show more content…

By providing enough to satisfy all of the Wang family’s needs, O-lan represents these attributes as well. She constructs the foundation of her family with her love and devotion and greatly contributes to their survival. However, when Wang Lung’s greed evolves past the basics that the earth and O-lan provide, he falls astray in his morals and traditions in an attempt to please himself. Eventually, a time comes when O-lan cannot satisfy his desires, even though she provides for all his needs. Just like her, the earth is often taken for granted because it cannot appease the greed of every man. If O-lan considered herself as an embodiment of the land, she definitely would agree with the words of Mahatma Gandhi, a pacifist leader of the Indian independence movement, who stated, “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.”okay! Well

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