The Good Earth


Pearl Buck

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The House of Hwang

The House of Hwang represents the wealth and respect to which Wang Lung aspires, but also the danger of excess and degeneracy that goes along with it. Wang Lung is first entirely intimidated by the…

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The Land

This novel centers around the land more than anything, as indicated by the title. Wang Lung feels deeply connected to the earth, and it symbolizes life in all its forms as Wang Lung’s life literally…

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Opium represents the destruction of the wealthy by their own excessive wealth. When Wang Lung meets the Old Mistress at the beginning of the book, he sees that her opium use makes her weak and…

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The Pearls

When Wang Lung discovers the handful of jewels that O-lan has stolen from the great house in the city, she asks to keep two pearls, and he lets her. However, he later takes them from…

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