Sunday, April 15, 2007

March: The Good Earth

It seems that one of the greatest universal themes of classic literature is the proverbial account of the poor man who comes into great wealth and just how destructive that wealth is. Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth is another such classic. Somehow, this universal theme is not overdone to me. Although the theme may be the same, the characters and their circumstances are always unique.

The Good Earth follows Wang Lung, a Chinese farmer, through good and bad fortune. At the onset of the novel, Wang Lung is hardworking and modest, reverent and peaceful. At the height of his fortune, Wang Lung becomes a restless and unfulfilled man, losing his connectivity with the earth and thus, seemingly his soul.

It seems so natural as a reader to connect to these characters, however different the time or culture in which they exist. There is always that basic and universal element of humanity. The struggles, yearnings, values, and evolution of character (for better or worse)...always make more conspicuous my own journey in life.

4 comments:

buzzgirl said...

I want the opportunity to become a rich a***hole!

I haven't read this book in at least 20 years. Thanks for the reminder. As I recalled, I enjoyed it, but I'm sure if I reread it now, I'd appreciate the themes more.

Tumuli said...

Another work to add to the ever-growing list of books to read. Thanks for the tip!

Ancilla said...

yupes b...
there is always the basic and universal element of humanity...
therefore, i think it still okay to dream on one united world. hehehe...

b said...

buzzgirl...it is a great book. as far as the rich a**hole, it is really overrated, don't you think!? ;-)

tumuli...i hope you get an opportunity to read it. i know you will see the beauty in its simplicity and humanity.

ancilla...yes, humanity is a basic and universal theme. and as i said, it never seems "overplayed" for me as a reader. if anything, i believe i need the constant reminder of its lesson. as dejected as i feel about the possibility of a united world so often, i never lose sight of the binding quality of humanity in general.