The Essence Of Pearl S. Buck´S The Good Earth

808 words - 4 pages

The Essence of The Good Earth
A universal story is one that can be related to and appreciated by any single person on any part of the globe, regardless of age, race, or cultural background. Universal stories usually contains a theme or lesson that is not limited to the time period during which the novel takes place, but can be applied to any time period, because the lesson is ageless. Pearl S. Buck’s The Good Earth is a novel in which the theme can relate to almost anyone, regardless of circumstance or environment. The events of the story, however, relate to almost no one in the current time, because it is a story which takes place in pre-revolutionary China, during a time when life was completely different than the way it is today. When thinking about the characters, the events, and the entire story of The Good Earth, it seems completely foreign. It is the story of Chinese peasants. They struggle with famine, drought, flood, and locusts. These are hardships that are completely unknown to modern people. The incredible thing about Buck’s novel is that even though it seems that these concepts would be entirely out of the readers grasp, they are reasonable to the reader while reading. Suddenly they become familiar and almost second nature to the reader, because Buck writes it in a simplistic way so that the reader is drawn into this life, and all of the feelings and thoughts of the simple Wang Lung. For this reason, most readers are in fact able to relate to the story, and its universal nature. The themes in this story can be applied throughout time but the modern person cannot.

The Good Earth really includes two major themes. There is the blatantly obvious theme of the earth being the source of all good, prosperity, success, and happiness. As Buck describes it, “this earth which formed their home and fed their bodies and made their Gods. The earth lay rich and dark, and fell apart lightly under the points of their hoes…Some time, in some age, bodies of men and women had been buried there, houses had stood there, had fallen, and gone back into the earth. So would also their house, some time, return into the earth, their bodies also. Each had his turn at this earth.” This first theme...

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