Racism In The Good Earth

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The 1920s produced a highly egocentric generation in the history of America. Typical American literature of the time centered around wealth and success. This created an attitude of self-centeredness as well as a mindset focused on possessions and social class. However, with the release of one of her first successful books, The Good Earth, Pearl S. Buck brought some refreshing reality to American society. Raised in China as the daughter of missionaries her entire childhood, Pearl had a deep understanding of culture that was lacking in the lives of American authors of that time. Pearl S. Buck was significant to American literature because of her overseas experience and her multinational heritage. Born in June of 1892, Pearl Comfort Sydenstricker was a miracle child to her parents, being the first of four children to survive infancy (Conn 22). Shortly after her first few months of life, her parents, Absalom and Carie, returned with…show more content…
Her most successful novel, The Good Earth, shortly after being published became the best-selling book of 1931 and 1932, and also received the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize (“Brief Biography of Pearl S. Buck”). “For many reviewers and critics, the realism of The Good Earth contributed to its universal appeal, making discussions of race irrelevant. Despite the limited criticism of the novel, readers in the western world have overwhelmingly considered the novel realistic in its portrayal of Chinese culture” (“The Discourse of Whiteness”). As a writer, Pearl attempted to promote intercultural understanding through her work (Conn 51). Majority of critics have had good things to say about The Good Earth and her other works. Other successful stories that Pearl is known for are A House Divided, Sons, and East Wind: West Wind. She came to be appreciated for her realism and creativity in displaying life on the opposite side of the world. Her death of lung cancer in 1973 was mourned by many of her
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