The Failure Of Beauty In The Good Earth By Pearl Buck

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In the United States, beauty is highly respected and is responsible for multimillion dollar industries. The United States is not the only country obsessed with beauty. The Good Earth by Pearl Buck reveals one of the most gruesome yet popular customs associated with beauty, foot binding. Since the time of the novel, the extreme lengths that women take for the sake of beauty have not changed to this present day. Perhaps one of the most memorable moments in the Good Earth is when Wang Lung stumbles upon his younger daughter with a depressed look on her face. Wang Lung asks her in a kind voice why she had wept, and she cries, “Because my mother binds a cloth about my feet more tightly every day and I cannot sleep at night” (Buck, 248). Foot binding was a common practice in China before it became outlawed in 1915. The process involved forcefully breaking the bones of the young girl, which would cause her permanent pain for the rest of her life. Small feet were considered to be beautiful in China, and women with large feet were considered unattractive. Women with bound feet were unable to walk long distances and as a result had to be carried. Although it has been over a century since foot binding has last been permitted, people in the United States are still completing horrendous acts for the sake of beauty. One such example is a tongue piercing, where a needle is painstakingly stuck through the tongue and metal pieces of various sizes are inserted. Perri Klass, in her

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