Usually before starting any book I make sure to read the blurb or at least few reviews. But for ‘The Good Earth’ i didn’t even try to read either, which actually turned out to be a plus point for me because if i had read i wouldn’t have picked it up for sure. I picked it on a friend’s recommendation, i wanted to read a good book with good writing and she promised me it was one of those and she was absolutely right. Now I am glad for having read this.
This is a simple book on a simple man, but what makes it special is the way the story has been told, which instantly connects and binds the readers to the story and all the characters.
The story is about a poor farmer Wang Lung who marries a slave from the big house, O-lan. Wang’s love for his land was pure. All he ever wished was to work on it, earn money, buy more land and stay happy. But life was not as simple as he thought it would be. He had his share of difficulties which he over came with the help of his wife. As time passed with his efforts he became rich his family grew, he had more mouths to feed including his father’s brother’s family.
But as he grew richer the problems in his life became bigger and more complicated. When he was poor he was satisfied with food and shelter but his richness bought him unnecessary wants in his life and a different kind of problems which only people with money could have.
Personally i loved Wang’s character until he became rich, not that i hated him afterwards but i did not like the way he treated his obedient wife as nothing more than a servant in his life. Suddenly he started ignoring her, married someone much prettier than her, without even knowing how she felt. But finally when he realised her value in his life it was too late.
Also, this book brings out the generation gap between Wang and his sons, wherein the good earth (his land) plays a prominent role. While he respected his land never even thought of selling it even when he was poor but whereas his sons never bother about it at all because they were well educated and their mind worked differently. They also thought about selling the land even though they had enough money, forgetting all the richness that they enjoyed throughout their life came from this good earth. Likewise, there are few situations in this book which makes one think about what money can do to a human being if it is in abundance and not spent meaningfully.
On the whole i loved this book. The beauty of this book more than in story or characters lies in the way it has been conveyed by author Pearl S Buck.