The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

967 Words4 Pages
In the novel, The Good Earth, written by Pearl S. Buck, Wang Lung proves himself to be a successful person. Wang Lung starts out as a poor peasant, but overcomes starvation, droughts, and bandit tribes to prosper and become wealthy enough to live in the former great House of Hwang. Wang Lung achieved fame from everyone around him. At the beginning of the novel, Wang Lung wasn't well-known. Everyone thought of him as a poor, naive farmer. By the time Wang Lung achieved his goal of becoming wealthy and owning an abundance of land, everyone knew who he was. Poor refugees, with great respect toward Wang Lung, returning from the south would come to borrow money at high interest from Wang Lung to buy seed. He is a kind and gentle master to his servants, and men come to him when they must sell their daughters. His judgment is respected, and people ask him for advice. Wang Lung is a good, well-known, and honest man. Wang Lung gained an abundance of wealth by working hard. Wang Lung begins the novel as a poor, simple, young farmer who married a slave, and ends it as a wealthy, honorable man with enough money and power to own mistresses. He was so poor, on his wedding day, while Wang Lung washed himself, his father was complaining at the waste of so much water. Even a bowl of tea was a luxury for a poor farmer. After two years of good harvests, Wang Lung earns enough silver to spare to buy more land. When Wang Lung buys a piece of land from the Hwangs, it proves that he is growing richer. Then the drought hits and the family moves south. O-lan and the two boys have to earn money by begging. Wang Lung finds a job pulling a rickshaw, and, with effort, he is able to earn enough money to feed his family. The difficult months in the south strengthen Wang Lung's love of the land and of hard work. He doesn't like the idea of begging; he prefers the backbreaking labor of pulling a rickshaw around the city. When his sons begin to steal, he is more determined than ever to return to his land and earn an honest living. When Wang Lung gets enough gold to move back to the farm, he buys more animals and builds new rooms for his house.
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