Pearl S. Buck was the “Link between China and America.” (Spurling, 109.) Her rich childhood, filled to the brim with inspiration, led her to a career writing books about her homeland of China to her fellow Americans. After large success, she also became an active member of the civil rights movement and also had her own adoption agency. Persevering through opposition from Christians and Communists alike, the Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winner Pearl S. Buck was one of the most influential women in United States history.
On June twenty-sixth, 1892, Pearl Comfort Sydenstricker was born to parents Absalom and Caroline Sydenstricker. She was born on a trip to the United States, which was a short break from Absalom’s missionary work in China. He had delayed the return trip in order to possibly save his daughter. The parents of Pearl were very conscious of their children’s health, as they had already had three children of theirs die in infancy. As soon as Caroline and Pearl Sydenstricker were well and rested enough to travel, the Sydenstrickers left for China on a treacherous voyage, first across the United States and then across the Pacific Ocean. In China, Pearl grew up with two parents, but her father was away so much doing missionary work where no white man had gone before, that her mother was almost like a single mother. During this time, her mother was in charge of the religion that happened in the house. The nightly prayers that were forced onto her children were often neglected. Pearl realized that God wasn’t real to her, so she stopped praying. Later in life, she would completely discontinue all religious beliefs, in hope it would bring a better social equality.
The other children who had died in infancy left a mark on Pearl, including the one she knew. She was old enough to understand that child death is a serious matter. As Pearl grew, she could go to the fields of China to play. In the fields, she would find baby girls, neglected by their Chinese families who were socially embarrassed by the birth of a female in their family. Pearl would give a proper funeral for these helpless babies, often already eaten by wild animals. Pearl knew it was not right that people were given no chance at life just because they were female, so she later helped provide for and adopt unwanted children. Pearl’s first published writing was published at the same time, which was a letter to the editor of a newspaper in Louisville, Kentucky. She wrote about her siblings living in heaven. It was impressive for a writer at the age of only six.
When Pearl grew old enough to go to a formal school, she was sent to Shanghai, where she was able to attend the best white girls’ school in all of China, Miss Jewell’s School. This was because her parents knew of the value of a complete education. Pearl hated the school, but Shanghai was a wondrous place to be. Exploring and staying in the city was not the best part though. Pearl more enjoyed her time working...