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Free Study Guide-The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck-Free Book Notes Summary
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CHAPTER 30

Summary

Nun En keeps spending more and more money on the house. He ousts the poor people living outside and renovates the house in a stylish and expensive manner. He buys more things to decorate the inside. The younger brother, who has always been practical, complains to his father about the waste. As a result, the extravagant expenditures are stopped.

The third son comes to Wang and asks to be sent away for an education. The father is upset, for he has wanted his son to remain on the land; but in the end, Wang agrees that he needs more education. Wang, now an old man, gets peace only from playing with his grandchildren.

The uncle dies and is buried in the family graveyard, and Wang brings uncle's wife to the new house to await her death peacefully.

Notes

The youngest son's refusal to work on the land hurts Wang, for he has placed a great deal of faith and hope in this son. Though Wang has tried his best for his children, giving them all that they asked for, they are still not content. The eldest son badgers his father about acquiring more of the courts within the Great House. The middle son complains about the extravagance of the older son. Wang is not allowed to live in peace. Pearl S. Buck is trying to show that with wealth comes a lot of grief, unrest, jealousy, and corruption.


As the uncle is dying, he tells Wang that "you are a son to me more than that wandering one of my own". Wang wonders how he could have feared this man so. He also feels relieved to be out from under his burden. Now that both Wang's father and uncle are gone, Wang's generation is becoming the respected group of elders. With Wang now living the life of leisure in the old House of Hwang, the story has almost come full cycle.

CHAPTER 31

Summary

Talk of the war is heard but Wang does not comprehend it fully. One day, the uncle's son returns. A part of the revolution now, he stays in the house with his uncouth soldier friends, dirtying the house and filling every corner with their presence. All the women are packed off into the inner room for their safety. Cuckoo advises Wang to give him a slave to satiate his lust, but when the uncle's son eyes Lotus's small slave Pear Blossom, Pear pleads to be saved. Another slave is given to the son. The cousin and his friends stay for a month and a half and then leave, after the cousin impregnates the slave.

Notes

The thunder of war is alien to Wang Lung and he does not understand it, for he is only a simple, peace-loving farmer. Because of the war, he has to suffer the presence of his nephew and his friends in the house. The presence of war in the country is amplified, when later, Wang's youngest son too joins the revolution.

The introduction of Pear Blossom is important because it is she who tends to Wang in his last days. Pear Blossom is a young, tender and half-starved looking slave of Lotus, whose piteous tears and utter fear stop Wang from handing her over to the uncle's son; it is this act of kindness that makes Pear Blossom devoted to Wang during his last years.

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