The Good Earth Essay

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Aubrey holds a Ph.D. in English and has published many articles on twentieth century literature. In this essay, he discusses the religious beliefs of the society depicted in the novel and how Wang Lung's attitude toward religion gradually changes.

In The Good Earth, Buck's saga of rural Chinese life over several generations, the three great religions of China—Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism—make almost no appearance. In Chinese history, there has generally been a distinction between the religious beliefs and practices of the educated classes and those of the peasantry. Over the centuries, the common people have known little of the intellectual or devotional practices of these great faiths. Instead, as Ninian Smart explains in The Religious Experience of Mankind, “religion, interwoven with magic, had an immediate practical significance in the struggle for worldly benefits and in the common round of agricultural and family festivals.” It is...

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This section contains 1,334 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Good Earth Study Guide
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