Chapter 3 Notes from The Good Earth

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The Good Earth Chapter 3

When the birth of the child approaches, Wang Lung tells O-lan that someone should come to help with the giving of birth. When Wang Lung suggests that someone from the House of Hwang comes to help her, O-lan becomes angry because she will not return to the great house without her son in her arms, dressed in good clothes. Because of her pride, O-lan wishes to return to the great house as a respected mother of a male child. Wang Lung is surprised that O-lan speaks so much and that she has thought all these things. Nevertheless, he gives her the cash to buy the necessary cloths to make coats for herself and the child. Wang Lung thinks of the silver that has come from earth: it will be used to dress his first born child.

O-lan works beside Wang Lung in the field until the very hour of giving birth. Wang Lung arrives home from the fields to discover in astonishment that O-lan has even prepared food for himself and the old man. Standing by the door, he hears O-lan panting in whispers. After smelling blood, Wang Lung hears a cry, and O-lan tells him that it is a male child. The old father laughs at the good news, even as he says that there will no longer be any peace in the house because of the child. Wang Lung is happy and proud.

When he enters the room, O-lan is lying on the bed, with the child next to her. Seeing her tired face and sunken eyes, he is touched. He declares loudly that he will go to the city the next day to buy red sugar for her to drink with water and eggs to dye red for the village. He wishes for everyone to know that he has a son.

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