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Free Study Guide-The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck-Free Book Notes Summary
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CHAPTER 6

Summary

Wang Lung finds it is not easy to purchase the land from the House of Hwang. He must go through the lord's agent, whom he has to bribe in order to make the purchase. After the land is bought, Wang finds that he misses the silver he has hoarded and worries if he has made the correct decision. Once he starts working the land, he realizes its worth and is glad he has purchased more of the good earth.

When spring comes, O-Lan and Wang must work very hard to farm the new land. The old father looks after the child while husband and wife are in the fields. Soon O-Lan is pregnant again. Wang, at first, is irritated, thinking his wife will not be able to work during the harvest. O-Lan proves her husband wrong.

In the same manner as before, O-Lan quietly gives birth to her second child. She goes in to the bedroom, closes the door, and delivers her child all alone. The baby is a boy, and Wang Lung is pleased. O-Lan does not even take a day's rest after the delivery. She immediately goes to the field and continues to work. The grandfather is pleased that the first grandson will now sleep with him, to make room for the baby, and warm his doddering bones.

The harvest is again good this year. Wang Lung has earned enough money to again hide some in his wall. He is pleased to have the security of hoarded silver and plans on buying more land, which in turn can make him more money. Already the people in the village have changed their attitude about Wang. Now that he owns more land, people talk about his prosperity and act as if he is the headman of the village.


Notes

Wang Lung's reaction to his wife's second pregnancy is very different than his reaction to her first one. Instead of being overjoyed as before, he is worried that O-Lan will not be able to help him in the field during the harvest. He seems to have forgotten that when his wife delivered their son, she was immediately back at work in the fields. When the second child is born, Wang Lung is pleased, especially since it is another boy; but he feels it would be wasteful to celebrate again.

For O-Lan, the delivery of the second child is easier than the first. In fact, she joins her husband in the field the same day of the delivery, "her body flattened, spent, but her face silent and undaunted;" it is almost as if she wants to show her husband how he was wrong to assume she will not be able to help with the harvest. With her help and the extra land, the harvest is better than ever. Wang Lung appreciates his hard-working wife and is certain that O-Lan has brought him a great deal of fortune. As a result, Wang Lung is able to save more silver, which will be used to buy more of the good earth.

The people in the village now respect Wang Lung as a successful landowner. They begin to consider him as head of the village.

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