Symbolism In The Good Earth

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The Good Earth is set in China in the early twentieth century. As warlords and robbers hungrily roam the land for women and riches, Wang Lung tends to his land. Day after day in the sweltering summers Wang Lung’s back drips with sweat as he works his fields, bending over them in exhausted agony. In the frigid winters Wang Lung feasts on the rice his land produces, as the wind that beckons to scourge even the most miniscule piece of human flesh traps him inside of his home. Through each new season Wang Lung lives away from all of the political chaos, only caring for his land. Wang Lung, at his father’s request, accepts a wife from the House of Hwang who is fit for labor rather than beauty. Her name is O-lan. She, like the land, becomes a blessing to Wang Lung. In this novel by Pearl Buck, O-lan symbolizes the earth.
The basis of the Wang family’s success rests upon the productivity of both the earth and O-lan. O-lan steals a plethora of priceless jewels from a rich man’s house in the city, which starts the family’s rise to astounding prosperity. O-lan, a fecund mother, also provides sons for Wang Lung, the true pride of all men in this period of time. All of the clothes that cover the flesh of Lung and his children are stitched …show more content…

This character, O-lan, rarely spoke; instead, O-lan did the work that needed to be done to please her family. Likewise, the earth waited for spring, for in the spring Lung’s men began threshing its harvests. Through all of the droughts and floods the earth never stopped seeping with crops; similarly, O-lan never stopped her labor, even when she was neglected and forgotten. O-lan, a plain, silent woman much like the earth, would most likely agree with Walt Disney, who once stated, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin

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