The Good Earth
Pearl S. Buck
Contributed by Bobbie Heil
Chapter 7

Wang sees his uncombed girl cousin one day and is shocked that her family has not molded her to become a worthy bride. He goes to his uncle’s house to express his concerns, only to be berated by his uncle’s wife for not understanding that they are cursed with an evil destiny. She screams that a successful man can never know the plight of an unsuccessful one.

The next day, Wang Lung’s greedy and lazy uncle visits Wang in the fields and asks for financial assistance to arrange a marriage for his daughter. (O-lan is not in the fields with him because she is again pregnant, and her health is not as well.) Wang Lung lashes out at him, saying that if he wanted money he should have worked for it. Wang says that he has to work extra hard to supply his family with food, especially with his new children. Wang’s uncle slaps him for this disrespect, and sullenly, Wang retreats to the house to retrieve some silver to give him. He is bitter that he will now have to work even more to recover the silver he spent buying the land.

There, he sees that O-lan has given birth to a girl. He is displeased, since he realizes that a girl (his uncle’s daughter) is the reason for all the current trouble. Angrily, he takes out silver to give to his uncle, which he knows will likely be misused at a gambling table.

It takes all evening for Wang to overcome his anger. He is seized by sadness when he realizes that his new daughter is only an additional mouth to feed. He fears that the birth of a girl and the visit from his uncle are omens of worse to come. To confirm his fears, a flock of crows loom above, "mocking him with their cries."

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