There is so much wealth can do to change another person whether it’s their traditional value to their own kinship. Money can strongly deceive anybody as much as beauty does. Based on a book called The Good Earth, written by Pearl S. Buck, riches give an unfortunate end among the main characters.
The story takes place in old China around the Boxer Rebellion. Wang Lung, the protagonist of the book, started off choosing a wife to bare children for him. Her name was O Lan and she wasn’t like any other maiden. She only speaks when Wang Lung tells her to speak or when she has a good idea about something which was a unique trait recognized by him. On his quest to wealth, O Lan always helps him out and tries to make his life better. She has good decision making and isn’t hasty on what she does. She always thinks before what she says and never disappoints Wang Lung. He develops a strong bond with her which many men never do back then and she bares him sons which brings luck to the family. She knows how to farm well and is never tired. The farm triumphs, Wang Lung is ‘making bank’, and his sons are healthy. Life wasn’t prosperous like how it is today. Majority of the people are poor which makes life a survival of the fittest. Back then, the Chinese didn’t have a government that gave retirement money or food stamps. The people had to farm for hours to obtain barely any food and stay warm during the winter. Wang Lung, the protagonist of the story faces tough times which forces him to sacrifice his valuables and beloved ones. Throughout the story he makes an incredible feat but something stands in his way and changes how he behaves forever.
The crows swarm, the sky is dark, and a bad omen is present. During Wang Lung’s harvest, his uncle approaches him. Wang Lung’s dad and uncle had a long history together of hatred and greed. His uncle was more of an untrustworthy person and only cared about himself. He was a failure in life because of his family and his farm. His farm, barely prosperous, and his wife bore daughters and lazy sons. He himself was lazy and never watered his crops and fed his farm animals. Most importantly, he was a gambler and never payed back the debts he owed which caused him to suffer a miserable life filled with regrets.
As Wang Lung’s uncle approached him, he did the most obvious thing a greedy man would do. He asked for Wang Lung’s money and promised to pay him back which he never did. Though distraught by his uncle’s favor, Wang Lung was decided to give his uncle the money because of the lecture that was given to Wang Lung. His uncle tricks him by black mail and says Wang Lung is betraying his own kin.
Wang’s uncle wasn’t the only who was changed by money. There are other important figures that are affected. Sadly enough, the main character cannot be saved by the side effects of great fortune. When Wang Lung was near wealth, the boxer rebellion began. During this time, bandits robbed houses which opened opportunities to steal diamonds and gems. The house of Hwang was robbed and O Lan got her hands on jewels and two pearls which she wanted to keep for the family. With the jewelry, Wang Lung was able to sell them and give him money to buy big farmlands. Alas, not all people come clean with wealth.
Eventually, everyone gets old and some are rejected by beauty. The time has come where Wang Lung feels like he doesn’t appreciate O Lan anymore. Despite of all the riches he’s gained, his mind is clouded by wealth and he is too stupid to see all the things he’s done with O Lan. She was the one who gave him advice and she was the one who practically made him who he was. Thinking that he was better than anyone else, he loves another woman and gives her the two pearls. O Lan feels depressed and succumbs to her infection. Wang Lung feels sorrow but doesn’t seem to care much.
After all, life is still troublesome for Wang Lung even though he has money. He gets into conflict with his oldest son and wants his kids to take over the farm for him. Lying on his deathbed he whispers his last breath to his them that they mustn’t sell the farm. Wang Lung finally dies and his two sons giggle which signifies that they are going to sell the farm to have money for themselves.