The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
Name: Divya Wadhawan (17 years)
School: Father Agnel School, Noida
Set in the 18th century China; the story deals predominantly with the theme of transience of human success in contrast to the endurance of the earth. Buck associates connection to the land with moral piety and work ethic- hence the title.
The protagonist Wang Lung is sketched as reverent to the earth -which is responsible for his inner goodness and material success. The illustration of the fall of the Hwang family communicates to readers that wealth and alienation from the earth lead to decadence and corruption. The oppression of the women in the Chinese culture is adumbrated in an objective manner and attention is repeatedly drawn to the circumstances that would impel a woman to commit certain actions without morally endorsing them.
An uncanny use of ‘symbols’ and ‘motifs’ brings alive various emotions leaving the reader bewitched. The portrayal of various characters is simple yet poignant. The story unfolds spontaneously; the subtle thematic concerns are succinctly highlighted without indulging into hyperbole and thus keeping the reader thoroughly absorbed. A must read for everybody who appreciates a blend of romance, drama and tragedy- interwoven beautifully at one place. A truly deserving winner of the Nobel and the Pulitzer Prize!!