The Good Earth, The Book Vs. The Movie.

878 words - 4 pages

The Good Earth, made in 1937, was an interesting portrayal of life in China during these times. Although I think it is a great movie for this era, I had a hard time relating to the film. The advancements in film have made it hard to go back to older movies; things like digital effects and color have really made older movies seem like ancient history. The characters seemed over dramatized and unrealistic. The plot did not stick to the book and seemed to change some of the symbolism the Buck used. The book was much better then the movie and the movie did not do the book justice.The book is a good representation of Chinese society and shows the independence of each community and the lack of support that the government gives them. The movie did not feature any Chinese actors in the lead roles, but appeared to speak for the Chinese people. Still, the book and movie made Chinese people real for millions of Americans. The Earth is seen through out both the movie and book as a metaphor for the growth of life and culture in China. Loosing touch with the land also meant loosing touch with traditions, morals, and their identities. By the end of the book the sons no longer realize where they come from and take the land for granted. They have forgotten that the land was their source of wealth and that they are dependent on the land for their future. The land also was very cruel to Wang Lung at times. Everyday he struggled and O-lan struggled besides him. All his life he spent his time in the fields, not until his the end of his life did he get to relax.The Characters O-Lan and Wang Lung changed throughout the story. Wang Lungs character portrays a man's unselfishness, determination, and loyalty towards his family and friends. The character in the end desires rich things and spends money frivolously, and turns away from his family and towards pleasures. Although during his younger years the family was his main focus. Wang Lung is not "free" as a male to do what he wants; he serves his father and his uncle and it his responsibility to also take care of the community because of his good fortune. Wang Lung is just such a person, the impassive farmer happily bound to the eternal Good Earth. The family system oppresses but also supports O-lan with the values, which explain, and support her life.I felt that the feminist symbolism was very small. There were many ideas that I thought went against western ideas. Making it harder for Americans to relate too. We saw child-selling, wife-buying,...

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