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Free Study Guide-The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck-Free Book Notes Summary
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CHAPTER 34

Summary

Wang's initial passion for Pear Blossom dies down, and now he treats her more like a dear daughter. Knowing that his death is near and worrying for his "poor fool", his retarded daughter, he asks Pear Blossom to add a poison to her food after his death. But Pear refuses and says that she will look after her.

As Wang grows older, he hardly goes out and hardly has visitors. He no longer understands the affairs of his family, and Cuckoo has to tell him that he has eleven grandsons and eight granddaughters. When his grandchildren come to see him, they laugh at him and his old beliefs. He is comforted only by Pear Blossom.


Wang still has an attachment to his good earth. He goes to the family graveyard and marks a place for himself. He reminds his son to buy a coffin in readiness for his imminent death. He then shifts his residence back to his old house with Pear Blossom and his "poor fool". One day he overhears his two sons discussing the sale of his land, and Wang cries out in distress. The brothers placate and reassure him, but they smile at one another, over their father's head.

Notes

In this final chapter, Wang returns to live in his old earthen home on his own good earth, the earth which has brought more happiness than his own children. In his last days, he tries to re-establish his ties with the land. When he hears his sons discuss the possibility of selling the property, he is distressed. He makes them promise to retain the land, but the reader has the sense that they say this only to placate the father. Since they have no love of the earth like their father, they will see no reason to keep if they can make a profit on its sale. They are the new generation. They do not understand that "if you hold your land you can live--no one can rob you of land." It is the good earth.

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