The Good Earth

by: Pearl S. Buck

Chapters 7–9

The famine that reduces Wang Lung to grinding poverty provides a glimpse of the hard life facing poor farmers in old China. The drought is also a reminder that the earth is the only constant force in the world. For all of his hard work, Wang Lung is subject to the whims of nature. The novel’s large theme is that the fortunes of humanity are transitory compared to the earth’s permanence.