The Good Earth
Pearl S. Buck
Contributed by Bobbie Heil
Chapter 15

The family has returned to the land. With the gold, Wang buys diverse stocks of seed from the south, an ox, and farm tools and equipment with which to begin working his land again. He also learns from the villagers that a band of robbers, affiliated with his uncle, took over his house and used it as their base of operations to terrorize the village. Wang learns that no one knows the current whereabouts of his uncle, but that his uncle sold his daughters to get by.

Ching, who confirms that Wang’s uncle was likely involved with the robbers, has fared worse than Wang and his family. Ching’s wife passes away in the famine, and he gives his daughter away to a passing soldier, in hopes that she can avoid starvation. Wang, remembering how Ching gave him the handful of beans before his family headed to the south, is quick to lend a hand, giving Ching a multitude of seeds and offering to plow his land with his ox. Ching weeps in gratitude.

While Wang carefully tends to the land, O-lan tends to household matters, purchasing furniture, repairing the walls with mud, and buying other necessities and accessories. When Wang remembers the earth gods, he sees that they have been neglected, but he is spiteful since he has suffered such an awful year. However, once the house is in order and all is well, Wang is afraid that his luck will turn again. Grateful that his fields are prosperous and that O-lan is pregnant, he decides to honor the gods again, since they have power over the earth.

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