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Chapter 4 Notes from The Good Earth

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The Good Earth Chapter 4

The day after the son is born, O-lan gets up to prepare food, but does not go out to the land to work with Wang Lung. Wang Lung goes to town to buy eggs and red sugar. He proudly tells the storekeeper of the sweet shop that the sugar is for the mother of his first born son. Coming out of the shop, however, Wang Lung is overcome with a sudden fear of ill-meaning spirits in the air. Stopping by the candle shop, he buys incense and places them before the gods of the earth at the temple, thinking to himself that the earthen figurines wield much power.

Topic Tracking: God 2

Soon, O-lan is back in the fields. As she works, the child lies on the ground, sleeping. O-lan nurses him whenever he becomes hungry.

Winter approaches, but the family is comfortable and well fed. The harvests have been good, and there are plenty of foodstuffs for the family. Because Wang Lung does not gamble away his money or spend it extravagantly like some villagers, he is able to sell his grain at the best price. Unlike Wang Lung, however, his uncle always sells his grain prematurely.

On the child's month birthday, Wang Lung invites people to distribute dyed eggs. After the celebration, the long awaited rains come, and Wang Lung is relieved. During this time, there is usually visiting among the villagers, but Wang Lung and O-lan do not do much visiting, fearful of those who might be prone to borrow things from them. From his crops, Wang Lung is able to make a lot of money. Afraid to keep it himself, Wang Lung and O-lan dig a hole in their room to store the silver which gives them "a sense of secret richness and reserve."

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