The Good Earth: Notes

The Good Earth: Notes

The Good Earth: Notes

The Good Earth: Notes

Synopsis

The original CliffsNotes study guides offer expert commentary on major themes, plots, characters, literary devices, and historical background.

Including

  • Life and Background of the Author
  • Introduction to the Novel
  • List of Characters
  • A Brief Synopsis
  • Critical Commentaries
  • Character Analyses
  • Critical Essays
  • Essay Topics and Review Questions
  • Selected Bibliography

    To better understand The Good Earth, a brief review of the history of China at that time would be helpful. After the overthrow of the Ching Dynasty of the Manchus in 1911 by Sun Yat-sen and other dedicated intellectuals who envisioned a united and democratic nation, developments did not go quite as well as the leaders had hoped.

    Since China is one of the largest nations on earth, it is natural that its people are not necessarily homogeneous. Even though they are basically of the same race and write the same language, there are at least a hundred spoken dialects, which means that a person from one province may not easily understand what a person from another province is saying; in many cases, verbal communication is totally impossible. However, an educated person could read Chinese, be it written by a person from the extreme South or a person from the extreme North, even though these two people would not understand each other’s speech. As Wang Lung notes in Chapter 12: “But Anhwei is not Kiangsu. In Anhwei, where Wang Lung was born, the language is slow and deep and it wells from the throat. But in the Kiangsu city where they now lived the people spoke in syllables which splintered from their lips and from the ends of their...

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