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The Good Earth Character Analysis

Decent Essays
The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck, tells the story of Wang Lung, a poor farmer, during the turn of the century in China. One important aspect of the novel is the way in which women rise to power. For example, Lotus Flower Flower, a prostitute, uses Wang Lung’s attraction towards her in order to secure herself a higher place in society. Next, Pear Blossom, a slave, uses flattery and sexuality to persuade Wang Lung to take her as a concubine. Finally, O-lan, Wang Lung’s wife, rises to power in her new home by inserting herself into a position usually held by men. Throughout the novel, women carefully navigate the misogyny expressed by men and rise in status and power by taking advantage of Wang Lung’s feelings towards them, exploiting his…show more content…
Pear Blossom rises from a slave to a concubine by taking advantage of Wang Lung when he is at his lowest point. After Wang Lung's son expresses interest in their slave Pear Blossom, Wang Lung grows jealous and insecure. One night, Wang Lung summons Pear Blossom in order to give her away to his son, but Pear Blossom refuses and insists that she wants to be with Wang Lung instead. The author writes, “And hearing her small childish voice quavering up from about his feet his heart welled up in a great wave of love for this maid, and he took her and raised her gently, and then he led her into his own courts.” This quote displays Wang Lung's reaction towards Pear Blossom’s comment that she prefers older men who are kind, to young men, who are just fierce. When Wang Lung summons her, he is set on giving her over to his son, but Pear Blossom fills his hole of insecurity with her flattery. Her answer pleases Wang Lung so much that he decides to take her as a concubine, despite Lotus Flower’s disapproval. From them on, Pear Blossom and Wang Lung form a special bond, as he transforms into a father figure and trusts her to take care of his daughter. Pear Blossom is able to see how vulnerable and insecure Wang Lung is and seizes the opportunity to find a way into his court. Lotus Flower rises from a slave to a concubine by flattering Wang Lung when he is in a state of insecurity. Finally, O-lan rises in power in Wang Lung’s household by inserting herself as his
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