Most people think being rich is good. Wang Lung, the main character in The Good Earth thought that too. However, if you read this book, you will probably conclude that being rich is not really important.
The Good Earth takes place in a small house in northern China. Wang Lung is a really poor farmer who has just married O-lan. To support the family, they work extremely hard in the field under the fiery hot sun. However, his luck changes. One day, Wang is swept along by a mob that breaks into a rich man's house. He suddenly comes face to face with the terrified owner, and when the man offers him money to spare his life, Wang takes everything the man has. Our main character suddenly climbs from poverty to paradise. He also changes from a nice, hardworking man to a man of bad character. Wang's life becomes miserable after his helpful spouse Olan dies.
Pearl S. Buck's book doesn't just have a strong and interesting plot, it also focuses on Chinese culture. Mrs. Buck is American, yet her book gives a better understanding of Chinese culture for American readers. It gives us an idea of what Chinese people do during wedding, birth of a new child and holidays. I strongly recommend it to people interested in Chinese culture. Out of all the books I have read, I rate this book number one. The book has a 25-page pictorial background section that gives you a better understanding. If you have read The Joy Luck Club, you should consider reading The Good Earth. It makes me realize being rich is not that important, rather joy and your family are the most important elements in life
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.