The Good Earth

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Ching starts out as a fellow farmer and Wang Lung’s neighbor. When a mob comes to Wang Lung’s house to steal food during the famine, Ching takes a handful of beans. He feels terribly guilty about it and later gives Wang Lung some beans to help his family move south. When Wang Lung returns to his land after the famine, he hires Ching as his steward over the land, and the two become fast friends. Ching is an honest, hardworking man who represents the best of those connected to the land. Wang Lung is distraught when Ching dies and buries him at the entrance to the family burial plot.
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Ching Character Timeline in The Good Earth

The timeline below shows where the character Ching appears in The Good Earth. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4
Rich vs. Poor Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...O-lan. Wang Lung even has a leg of pork that he bought from his neighbor Ching when his pig began to sicken and had to be killed. (full context)
Chapter 8
Rich vs. Poor Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women Theme Icon
...points out that she’s pregnant, and the men leave, ashamed. One man, a neighbor named Ching, wants to apologize, but he can’t bear to return the beans he’s stolen, so he... (full context)
Chapter 9
Family Theme Icon
One day, Wang Lung’s neighbor Ching comes to the house and wonders what’s left to eat now that all the animals,... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Wang Lung begs Ching to give him any food he has left, and he’ll forgive Ching for stealing from... (full context)
Chapter 15
Family Theme Icon
Finally Wang Lung’s neighbor, Ching, tells him that robbers lived in his empty house and attacked the surrounding area. There... (full context)
Chapter 17
Rich vs. Poor Theme Icon
Connection to the Earth Theme Icon
...can handle, so he adds a room to his house, buys a donkey, and asks Ching to move in and help him out. The rains come at the right time and... (full context)
Rich vs. Poor Theme Icon
Connection to the Earth Theme Icon
Social Status Theme Icon
...in a house behind his own. He expands his own house to form a courtyard. Ching acts as his steward, organizing the farm work. Ching remains very thin and quiet, but... (full context)
Chapter 20
Family Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women Theme Icon
...lavishly, and his uncle’s wife helps him. He doesn’t speak of it to O-lan or Ching. (full context)
Chapter 22
Rich vs. Poor Theme Icon
Social Status Theme Icon
...to marry a slave as Wang Lung himself did. He discusses his son’s marriage with Ching, though he doesn’t expect him to be much help. Ching wishes he could offer his... (full context)
Chapter 26
Family Theme Icon
Connection to the Earth Theme Icon
Wang Lung pays no attention to the land while O-lan is dying. Ching takes care of everything, coming twice a day to ask after O-lan, but Wang Lung... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Connection to the Earth Theme Icon
Social Status Theme Icon
...and Buddhist temples and chant all night. If they stop, Wang Lung pays them more. Ching has arranged the burial plot with plenty of room for future family burials. It shows... (full context)
Chapter 27
Rich vs. Poor Theme Icon
Connection to the Earth Theme Icon
Wang Lung has hardly thought about his crops, but after the burial Ching tells him that a terrible flood is coming. Wang Lung replies that the gods never... (full context)
Chapter 28
Family Theme Icon
...the eldest son announces that his wife is pregnant. Wang Lung is joyful and has Ching buy good food for the pregnant woman to eat. The thought of the birth comforts... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Wang Lung goes across his land with Ching, discussing the soil, and brings his youngest son to teach him about farming. He never... (full context)
Chapter 29
Family Theme Icon
...out his uncle’s son. Wang Lung’s house is peaceful and he rests. Eventually he asks Ching to find a wife for his second son. Ching goes to various villages to look... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Connection to the Earth Theme Icon
Social Status Theme Icon
...promised the goddess before his grandson’s birth. On his way home, he receives word that Ching is dying. Wang Lung blames the earth gods’ jealousy of the robe, and he rushes... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Social Status Theme Icon
Wang Lung demands to know what happened to Ching, and the laborers tell him that Ching, now an old man, was showing a new... (full context)
Chapter 32
Rich vs. Poor Theme Icon
Social Status Theme Icon
...long, the uncle’s wife dies. Wang Lung sends for the farm laborer who accidentally caused Ching’s death. Wang Lung sits on the dais where the Old Mistress used to sit and... (full context)