The Land Brought Food and Wealth in Pearl Buck's The Good Earth

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Throughout The Good Earth, by Pearl Buck, the land brings forth nourishing food and wealth as well as comfort to those who work it. Those who are not close with the land suffer immensely and are corrupted by their distance from the land. Distance from their land is usually because of money, which is overriding corrupting force. The corruption of money causes people to leave their land. This in turn causes further corruption because the nourishing land is not able to save the people from their obsession with money. Wang Lung starts off poor, but happy. While he is not satisfied with his place in life, especially compared to the seemingly mighty and rich House of Hwang, Wang Lung is pleased to have a wife, Olan. Olan helps him in the…show more content…
Wang Lung would not have wanted another wife if he had not been idle and he would not have been idle if he did not have hired laborers to do all of Wang Lung’s work instead of Wang Lung. Hiring the workers distances Wang Lung from his land, making it easier for the money to corrupt him. After this period of idleness though, Wang Lung returns to being more of the family man after he begins working in the fields again. His second wife does not enjoy his love of the fields, he smells like dirt and sweat, but he simply laughs it off instead of changing everything to please her. He comes in smelling of the earth everyday and returns to loving some of his old, hearty, foods, instead of the delicate rich foods. Simply working in the land returns his good spirits and prevents him from harassing and belittling his first wife. After his return to the land, he also starts to pay more attention to the prominent illness his first wife is facing instead of completely ignoring her. This illness begins to take up his time and he again starts to spend money on his loyal Olan. He makes sure that she is as comfortable as possible, given the advanced stage of her condition, until she dies. He even makes sure to grant her last wish, seeing her oldest son get married. Shortly after Olan’s death, Wang Lung returns to his old ways. His sons convince him to move into the old house of Hwang and away from the land. After this move, the family
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