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Chapter 7 Notes from The Good Earth

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The Good Earth Chapter 7

Wang Lung's uncle is the younger brother of Wang Lung's old father. He is a lazy man whose wife does not work, and whose children, dirty and disgraceful, roam around the village. One day, Wang Lung is ashamed and angry to see his girl cousin, a daughter of the uncle, going around the neighborhood, talking freely with a village man.

Topic Tracking: Women 3

Wang Lung goes to the uncle's house and begins to shout at the uncle's wife. She is a shrill woman and angrily cries back at Wang Lung. She profusely sheds tears. In return, Wang Lung becomes angry and talks back to the uncle's wife. He leaves her screaming and ranting, wallowing in self-pity.

The next day, Wang Lung's uncle comes to the field where he is working. O-lan is not beside him because of a third birth that is coming. When Wang Lung's uncle approaches him, Wang Lung knows that he has come to ask something of him. The uncle starts blaming his evil destiny and bad luck, lamenting that he cannot be as rich as Wang Lung. Wang Lung becomes angry and talks back to the uncle, telling him that he is rich because he works. The uncle, insulted at Wang Lung's shouting, slaps him on his cheeks and denounces him for being so insolent to an elder. Unable to say anything, Wang Lung listens to his uncle threaten to tell the whole village of his behavior. Wang Lung has no other choice but to give what the uncle has come to request--some silver for the dowry of his grown daughter.

Wang Lung goes to his house and into his room where he detects a smell of blood. O-lan then tells him that she has given birth to a girl: "It is only a slave this time-not worth mentioning." Chapter 7, pg. 42. A "a sense of evil" strikes Wang Lung.

Topic Tracking: Women 4

He tells O-lan that he needs to lend some silver to his uncle, and O-lan says that it is not lending, but giving. After giving the money to the uncle and returning to the field to work, Wang Lung is pained to think that his uncle will probably waste the money on a gambling table. Returning home, Wang Lung is depressed and weary, thinking that daughters are only burdens to families who must rear them for other families.


Topic Tracking: Women 5

He is sad to think that it will be another year before he gets enough silver to buy land. When a flock of crows flies across the sky over his head, Wang Lung thinks that it is an evil omen.

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