The Good Earth
Important Quotations Explained
was only this perfect sympathy of movement, of turning this earth
of theirs over and over to the sun, this earth which formed their
home and fed their bodies and made their gods . . . Some time, in
some age, bodies of men and women had been buried there, houses
had stood there, had fallen, and gone back into the earth. So would
also their house, some time, return into the earth, their bodies
also. Each had his turn at this earth. They worked on, moving together—together—producing
the fruit of this earth.
Wang Lung thought of his land and pondered this way and that, with
the sickened heart of deferred hope, how he could get back to it.
He belonged, not to this scum which clung to the walls of a rich
man’s house; nor did he belong to the rich man’s house. He belonged
to the land and he could not live with any fullness until he felt
the land under his feet and followed a plow in the springtime and
bore a scythe in his hand at harvest.
makes thief of any man.
slowly she thrust her wet wrinkled hand into her bosom and she drew
forth the small package and she gave it to him and watched him as
he unwrapped it; and the pearls lay in his hand and they caught
softly and fully the light of the sun, and he laughed. But O-lan
returned to the beating of his clothes and when tears dropped slowly
and heavily from her eyes she did not put up her hand to wipe them
away; only she beat the more steadily with her wooden stick upon the
clothes spread over the stone.
evil, idle sons—sell the land! . . . It is the end of a family—when
they begin to sell the land . . . Out of the land we came and into
it we must go—and if you will hold your land you can live—no one
can rob you of land. . . . If you sell the land, it is the end.
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