Friday, October 5, 2007

The Good Earth

"The Good Earth" by Pearl S. Buck was the first novel that I read when I was in my early teens. It is not a cool book for teens to read nowadays because it was set in China at the turn of the century when China was ruled by warlords and when possessing land was the ultimate accomplishment in the life of a respectable man because land brings wealth and wealth brings the lifestyle of the rich who equate wealth with not having to work because the land brings in the cash.

Though the time, place of this novel is far removed from today's reality of how life is led, the characters in the book are recognisable amongst us today. The story starts with Wang Lung, a poor farmer who slogged to buy a piece of land that he worked with his bare hands producing enough grain to give him just enough silver to buy over the house and all the land belonging to a rich family whose fortunes were declining.

Wang Lung was so poor that he could only afford to marry a slave called O Lan from that particular household. She was plain and not good to look at. However, she was hardworking, frugal and in her quiet, almost silent way, helped Wang Lung to rise from poverty to a farmer that was the envy of others because while they remained poor, he managed to acquire enough land and wealth to become known as a rich man.
To be continued upon request.

No comments: