Tradition In Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth

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Tradition is defined by the Merriam Webster Dictionary as “an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (such as a religious practice or a social custom)”. The role of tradition plays an important part in Pearl S. Buck’s The Good Earth as the characters live their life around the customs. It especially shapes Wang Lung’s life as he followed certain practices, but defied others that he did not feel were so important to him. This influenced the way he related to his father and uncle and it played a part in his daily life. He tried to stick to his family rituals of working on the land, wearing a braid, and respecting his elders. Even though he strayed away from these values as he got older, he mostly found his way back. Tradition (culture?) plays a huge role and the start of The Good Earth and later diminishes. People believe that you should respect your elders, listen to the gods, and follow what life is planned for you. If one were to speak against their elders, they would no longer earn…show more content…
The major values that they challenge are respecting your elders and the value of the land. They did not respect their father’s wishes, especially the third son. Wang Lung’s third son became a soldier even though his father had disapproved of it and he was resistant. They are more interested in the money because they did not grow up poor and ??. At the end of the novel, when they want to sell the land is when I believe that is when they challenge practices. The land is Wang Lung’s life and blood. In the text it states, “‘If you sell the land, it is the end.’... ‘Rest assured, our father, rest assured. The land is not to be sold.’ But over the old man’s head they looked at each other and smiled.” (Buck, 385). The “evil idle sons” did not follow his line of work and did not know the value of the land. Ultimately, their wealth weakened their value of
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