The Good Earth Argumentative Essay

816 Words4 Pages
Celia Beyers
World Literature
15 January 2017
Argumentative Essay “Man endures pain as an undeserved punishment; woman accepts it as a natural heritage”. Pearl S. Buck’s novel, The Good Earth, was focused mainly around the life of a Chinese peasant called Wang Lung. Although the novel was written about his character, another influential aspect of it was the portrayal of women and how they were restrained by the traditional Chinese society during the early 20th Century. Whereby the role of women is suppressed and is expected to be an inferior group in almost every aspect of life. They are only either slaves, concubines, mothers or wives. Their lives were entirely dictated to men.
The clearest and most obvious instance of society oppressing
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The birth of a female was seen as a misfortune and was believed to bring bad luck into the family. Daughters were valued almost nothing compared to sons and were said to just be a burden amongst the family. Therefore when the first girl was born into the family, O-lan strangles her and says that “it is only this time-not worth mentioning” (Buck, 65). When their second daughter, and eldest daughter was born, during a time of famine, she received very little attention and was not nurtured during her first years, so she lived handicapped. But when their last and youngest daughter was born it was a celebration because of the riches Wang Lung had gained throughout the years. The youngest daughter shows a well-off attractive young girl during the Chinese culture. At a young age, her mother worked at binding her feet, no matter the pain it caused and she was sent off to her new husband and family. The depiction of women in The Good Earth is an accurate example of their treatment during that century in China. Practices of foot binding, concubines, and wife acquirements all portrayed in this novel and it mirrored society precisely back then. Throughout most of history, women have had less rights and opportunities. A woman is still regarded to be a weaker gender in today’s society and the imbalance between males and females continue to
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