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The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

Essay by review  •  September 7, 2010  •  Essay  •  732 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,224 Views

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In the book The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck, the fall of the House of Hwang and the rise of the

Wang family was shown. The story completed a "circle of life", with Wang being the center of the

circle. While Wang at first was intimidated, he also looked down on the House of Hwang, he soon

found that when his family became rich, his house fell onto some of the same "curses". In both

houses, a lack of love for the land was highly noticeable (except for Wang Lung), opium was used,

slaves were bought and sold even though Wang first opposed slaves, and the future heirs wished to

sell the land for money but at the same time lose their support for if the house should fall.

When the House of Hwang was in power, Wang noticed how they had a complete lack of love

for the earth. They had to constantly sell pieces of land to pay their immediate debts, but by doing

this they gave away their support if a dark time should fall upon the house. Wang knew that this

would be the downfall of the house, so he bought the land from the house. After the House of

Hwang fell, the House of Wang came to power. Wang kept in mind his whole life that without the

good earth, he was nothing. Wang worried when he noticed that his sons lacked his love for the

land. Wang was disturbed to think that when he passed away his sons would sell the land, and his

family would succumb to the same fate of the Hwang house; as shown on page 37 when Wang said,

"Sell their land!...Then indeed are they growing poor. Land is one's flesh and blood".

Opium usage was a major role in the downfall of the Hwang house. The Old Mistress was

heavily addicted to the drug, and in her desire for the drug, she drove her house "into the ground".

On page 39, Wang was paying the Gate Keeper for the land he was purchasing and the Gate Keeper

said "Here is enough for a few days of opium for the old lady, at any rate". For the House of Wang,

opium became almost a relief for Wang when he devised his plan to rid his family of his Uncle and his

wife. He could not cast out his Uncle because he was providing protection from marauders. Keeping

this in mind, Wang then gave his Uncle and the Uncle's wife some opium hoping that they would

become a slave to the drug and hopefully they would die, ridding the Wang family of such a sinister

influence.

When Wang went to the House of Hwang,

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