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Good Earth

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The novel begins on the day of Wang Lung's marriage. The woman he will be getting as his wife has been a slave since being a young girl at the great House of Hwang. Wang Lung, a humble, poor peasant farmer, goes to the great house to get his woman. O-lan is plain looking, dull, and slow, but she is hard working, thrifty, and resourceful. One day, she tells Wang Lung that she is with child, and later gives birth to a boy by herself. Winter comes, and Wang Lung is ready because of the good harvest he has had. There is a surplus of silver that he hides in a hole in his bedroom.

The New Year comes, and on the second day, O-lan visits the House of Hwang with the first born baby. The great house is not as prosperous as it has been before, and Wang Lung decides to buy some of their land with the extra silver he has hidden in his hole. Spring comes, and O-lan is again with child, giving birth to another boy. Again, Wang Lung's harvests are good, and he hides more silver in the hole. Wang Lung's own status in the village grows as a result of his prosperity.

One day, Wang Lung's uncle, a lazy old man, comes to ask for money for his daughter's wedding dowry. On the same day, O-lan gives birth to a third child-this time, a girl. Wang Lung is hit with a sense of evil. All during the summer, rain does not come, and the fields dry up. A period of famine follows. Soon, O-lan is big with yet another child, but the famine continues. Wang Lung, unable to bear it anymore, suddenly decides that he and his family will go south. O-lan gives birth, but the baby is dead when Wang Lung comes to look at it. Later, as he is wrapping the body to bury it, he notices bruise marks around its neck.

The next day, Wang Lung's uncle comes to make him sell his land, but he does not sell it, determined to return. Wang Lung and his family walk through the town, and get on a train that takes them to a southern city. At the city, they build a hut along the wall of a big house. O-lan and the children beg for money, and Wang Lung works as a ricksha puller. Wang Lung constantly longs for his land. One day, the gates of the wealthy family's house are opened to the poor, and the commoners swarm in to loot the property. Wang Lung, swept into the innermost court of the house, discovers a frightened rich man from whom he demands money. With the gold he



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