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The Good Earth Quotes

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The Good Earth Quotes

Quote 1: "There is this woman of mine. The thing is to be done." Chapter 1, pg. 18

Quote 2: "There was only this perfect sympathy of movement, of turning this earth of theirs over and over to the sun, this earth which formed their home and fed their bodies and made their gods...Some time, in some age, bodies of men and women had been buried there, houses had stood there, had fallen, and gone back into the earth. So would also their house, some time, return into the earth, their bodies also. Each had his turn at this earth. They worked on, moving together-together-producing the fruit of this earth." Chapter 1, pg. 22

Quote 3: "Out of this body of his, out of his own loins, life!" Chapter 2, pg. 23

Quote 4: "Sell their land! Then indeed are they growing poor. Land is one's flesh and blood." Chapter 5, pg. 37

Quote 5: "Last year this time I was slave in that house." Chapter 5, pg. 38

Quote 6: "It is only a slave this time-not worth mentioning." Chapter 7, pg. 46

Quote 7: "Well and [the children] must all starve if the plants starve." Chapter 8, pg. 48

Quote 8: "They cannot take the land away from me. the labor of my body and the fruit of the fields I have put into that which cannot be taken away. If I had the silver, they would have taken it. if I had bought with the silver to store it, they would have taken it all. I have the land still, and it is mine." Chapter 8, pg. 53

Quote 9: "I shall never sell the land! Bit by bit, I will dig up the fields and feed the earth itself to the children and when they die I will bury them in the land, and I and my wife and my old father, even he, we will die on the land that has given us birth." Chapter 9, pg. 61

Quote 10: "When the rich are too rich there are ways, and when the poor are too poor there are ways...and that way will come soon." Chapter 13, pg. 84

Quote 11: "But Wang Lung thought of his land and pondered this way and that, with the sickened heart of deferred hope, how he could get back to it. he belonged, not to this scum which clung to the walls of a rich man's house; nor did he belong to the rich man's house. He belonged to the land and he could not live with any fullness until he felt the land under his feet and followed a plow in the springtime and bore a scythen in his hand at harvest." Chapter 14, pg. 87

Quote 12: "Yes, but there was the land. Money and food are eaten and gone, and if there is not sun and rain in proportion, there is again hunger." Chapter 14, pg. 90

Quote 13: "The hour has come-the gates of the rich man are open to us!" Chapter 14, pg. 97

Quote 14: "Hunger makes a thief of any man." Chapter 15, pg. 101

Quote 15: "I must stick a little incense before those two in the small temple. After all, they have power over earth." Chapter 15, pg. 103

Quote 16: "There was such a mass of jewels as one had never dreamed could be together, jewels red as the inner flesh of watermelons, golden as wheat, green as young leaves in spring, clear as water tricking out of the earth." Chapter 16, pg.104

Quote 17: "Then Wang Lung, without comprehending it, looked for an instant into the heart of this dull, and faithful creature, who had labored all her life at some task at which she won no reward." Chapter 16, pg. 106

Quote 18: "And it [seems] to Wang Lung that he [is looking] at O-lan for the first time in his life and he [sees] for the first time that she [is] a woman whom no man [can] call other than she was, a dull and common creature, who [plods] in silence without thought of how she [appears] to others." Chapter 18, pg. 121

Quote 19: "My mother did not bind them, since I was sold so young. But the girls' feet I will bind-the younger girl's feet I will bind." Chapter 18, pg. 122

Quote 20: "...he chose one most beautiful, a small, slender thing, a body light as a bamboo and a little face as pointed as a kitten's face, and one hand clasping the stem of a lotus flower in bud, and the hand as delicate as the tendril of a fern uncurled." Chapter 18, pg. 126

Quote 21: "Yet never could he grasp her wholly, and this it was which kept him fevered and thirsty, even if she gave him his will of her." Chapter 19, pg. 130

Quote 22: "Then slowly she thrust her wet wrinkled hand into her bosom and she drew forth the small package and she gave it to him and watched him as he unwrapped it; and the pearls lay in his hand and they caught softly and fully the light of the sun, and he laughed. But O-lan returned to the beating of his clothes and when tears dropped slowly and heavily from her eyes she did not put up her hand to wiped them away; only she beat the more steadily with her wooden stick upon the clothes spread over the stone." Chapter 19, pg. 134-5

Quote 23: "But she answered nothing except to say over and over, moaning, 'I have borne you sons--I have borne you sons.'" Chapter 20, pg. 140

Quote 24: "She swayed upon her little feet and to Wang Lung there was nothing so wonderful for beauty in the world as her pointed little feet and her curling helpless hands. And he ate and drank of his love and he feasted alone and he was satisfied." Chapter 20, pg. 144

Quote 25: "Now the anger that arose in Wang Lung's heart was an anger he had not known in al his life before, although as things had prospered with him and as men came to call him rich, he...had grown full of small sudden angers, and he was proud even in the town. But this anger now was the anger of one man against another man who steals away the loved woman, and when Wang Lung remembered that the other man was his own son, he was filled with a vomiting sickness." Chapter 24, pg. 175

Quote 26: "For I must die-sometime anyway. But the land is there after me." Chapter 26, pg. 185

Quote 27: "There in that land of mine is buried the first good half of my life and more. It is as though half of me were buried there, and now it is a different life in my house." Chapter 26, pg. 195

Quote 28: "When day came back he was back upon his land, walking through the gate in the wall about the town as soon as it was open after dawn came. And he smelled the fresh smell of the fields and when he came to his own land he rejoiced in it." Chapter 29, pg. 215

Quote 29: "The common people had to move, then, and they moved complaining and cursing because a rich man could do as he would and they packed their tattered possessions and went away swelling with anger and muttering that one day they would come back even as the poor do come back when the rich are too rich." Chapter 30, pg. 224

Quote 30: "It seemed to him that now his life was rounded off, and he had done all that he said he would in his life and more than he could ever have dreamed he could." Chapter 32, pg. 241

Quote 31: "But when Lotus accused him he took thought to look and he saw it was true that the girl was very pretty and pale as a pear blossom, and seeing this, something stirred in his old blood that had been quiet these ten years and more." Chapter 32, pg. 243

Quote 32: "He sat there and his blood ran full and hot like the blood of a young man." Chapter 33, pg. 247

Quote 33: "I like old men-I like old men-they are so kind." Chapter 33, pg. 248

Quote 34: "But still one thing remained to him and it was his love for his land. He had gone away from it and he had set up his house in a town and he was rich. But his roots were in his land and although he forgot it for many months together, when spring came each year he must go out on to the land." Chapter 34, pg. 257

Quote 35: "Now evil, idle son-sell the land! It is the end of a family-when they begin to sell the land. Out of the land we came and into it we must go-if you will hold your land you can live-no one can rob you of land-if you sell the land, it is the end." Chapter 34, pg. 260

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