Analysis of woman in The Good Earth
The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck, truly illustrates the life of Chinese women in the twentieth century. Not only does it describe the daily life of women but it also goes in depth about the perceptions of women back then. Although there are several other women in the story who leave an imprint on Wang Lung’s life.
By seeing this, the readers realize and connect the land and the family together and find some logic between them. Moreover, “she was, after all, only a woman.” (Chapter 4) Here is another symbolism at the beginning of the Novel. Throughout the novel, it seems that women are oppressed and treated unfairly. And this quotation represents some kind of idea of men of thinking about women.
One of the most important ways for Buck to look at O-lan and other women in society is to describe the lack of women’s rights through their description of O-lan and Wang Lung. Because of her appearance, Wang Long did not like his wife. In Chapter 4, he asked his wife, O-lan, to help him cultivate the land, even if she was pregnant, like a slave. His patriarchal tradition concept is strong, his wife He gave birth to a child with a first child. He was not sympathetic to his wife, and he was eager to ask whether he was a man or a woman. In addition, after a day of giving birth to a baby, Wang still asked his wife for help, and no one expressed severeness to this behavior and pointed out that this should not happen.
In order to grasp how poor woman right in the society of ancient China, readers must analyze the layers of comparison and contrast. Comparing to both characterizations of O-lan’s and prostitute. They both are the woman, with little right to survive in that society. But there is a huge difference between them is the performance. The prostitute has a beautiful face, a hot body, small foot and so on, that ‘s O-lan did not have. Only because the prostitute has a good performance, so she had more love for Wang, more rights, more money. A man can divorce his wife as he likes because of his supreme authority in a family. As for Wang Lung, he takes Lotus as his concubine because love does do not blossom between him and O-lan. O-lan cannot thwart Wang Lung from taking a concubine. She only can remain silent all the time when Lotus moves into her house, “Then when they slept and O-lan still sat at the table dreaming she washed for sleeping and at last she went into her accustomed room and slept along upon her bed”(Chapter 20). This reveals that women have to accept their fate of being betrayed by their husband. Men are allowed to do anything to a concubine as long as he provides the concubine with comfort and pleasant things. When he first sees Lotus, he is entirely attracted to her physical appearance especially her bound feet which O-Lan does not have. this is the reason:” This was easy for Lotus Flower since Wang Lung has an all-consuming desire for Lotus Flower.
Her beauty, including her small feet, totally captivated him.” If the love foundation between Wang Lung and O-lan is strong enough, he will not be tempted that easily to exercise his lust with Lotus. There is some news about women who cannot bear her husband for betraying them and kill themselves,” Some women will even hang themselves upon a beam with a rope when a man takes a second woman into the house”(Chapter 16). As such, Wang Lung feels guilty and ashamed for his affair with Lotus. The feeling of guilty does not hinder him from demanding the pearls from O-lan to give to Lotus since she is too irresistible for him to stop continue having such affair. Wang Lung even releases anger on O-lan when his uncle’s wife arranges all the matter regarding Wang Lung and Lotu’s reunion. O-lan’s depression is shown by the quote, “I have borne you sons- I have borne you sons” (Chapter 20). He tries to convince himself that he has done nothing wrong as rich people taking concubine is a practice at that time. Thus, this shows that the woman has no power at all and is subjected to any kind of suffering in every facet of life
I think liberate women is appropriate, things that happened to O-lan should not occur in the life as it is unjust, we neither should adjust to prejudice and discrimination.