There are 4 critical essays on The Good Earth.
Critical Essays on The Good Earth
Critical Essay by Dody Weston Thompson
1,982 words, approx. 7 pages
[Why was the response to Pearl Buck's early works so sweeping when they were so far from the literary vanguard?] Because they spoke to the poverty and uncertainty of the times. There hovered over them the certitudes of an inner-directed and Victorian spirit with a large and generous view of life, which could present values rather than seek them in a troubled world. In those Depression years The Good Earth's vivid and compassionate picture of the bare subsistence level of the Chinese masses fed...
Critical Essay by Malcolm Cowley
718 words, approx. 2 pages
["The Good Earth" is] a parable of the life of man, in his relation to the soil that sustains him. The plot, deliberately commonplace, is given a sort of legendary weight and dignity by being placed in an unfamiliar setting. The biblical style is appropriate to the subject and the characters. If we define a masterpiece as a novel that is living, complete, sustained, but still somewhat limited in its scope as compared with the greatest works of fiction—if we define it as "Wutherin...
Critical Essay by W. J. Stuckey
647 words, approx. 2 pages
[If The Good Earth] is not about America, it is "American" in the Pulitzer way. The Good Earth is the story of how Wang Lung rises from his lowly position as a poor farmer to lordship of a great house; how his rich sons are softened by the idleness to which they are bred; and how the house of Wang will sink back into the poverty from which it arose, now that the great principle of honest toil has been forsaken. Thus, despite its Chinese setting, The Good Earth is another ethical-moral American...
Critical Essay by Walter G. Langlois
486 words, approx. 2 pages
[The Good Earth illuminates the death of Confucian China.] Pearl Buck defends [the premise that China's vitality would continue to flow upward from the land]…. As the title of Mrs. Buck's novel suggests, land was the basic social and economic value in Wang's life. (pp. 3-4) In the early part of the novel at least, Wang is the epitome of farmer virtue…. Yet it is impossible for his family really to prosper. (p. 4)
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