The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck
Reading Guide, Chapters 5-9
1) Why doesn’t Wang Lung invite his uncle over to see the fancy cakes?
2) What does O-lan mean when she says “’I believe that if one should ask me, that they are feeling a pinch
this year in that house’” (50).
3) What epiphany does Wang Lung have on page 53?
4) From page 54, what commutation does the term “dragging” provide in the following line: “’He has been
dragging a crop out of it in this way and that for twenty years and not a bit has he put back of manure or
5) Quote an example of hyperbole from page 57.
6) What does the land that he purchases symbolize?
7) What is foreshadowed at the end of this chapter?
8) How did Wang Lung violate the “Sacred Edicts”?
9) How is Wang Lung blackmailed in this chapter?
10) Do you sympathize with him, or do you feel that he deserved this treatment?
11) From page 70, quote two words or phrases that exemplify the use of imagery.
12) From what addictions do the Lord and Lady of the House of Hwang suffer?
13) Quoting some detail and referencing it, identify the mood created at the bottom of page 73.
14) Quote a line from pg. 74 that foreshadows future hardships.
15) Who seems to be the pillar of strength in Wang Lung’s family? Why?
16) How does his ownership of land comfort Wang Lung at the end of this chapter?
17) How do we know that Wang Lung has lost faith in the Earth Deities?
18) Is something wrong with Wang Lung’s daughter? How do we know?
19) How is it rumored that Wang Lung’s uncle and his wife are surviving the famine?
20) In what way does Ching redeem himself after having previously stolen from Wang Lung’s family?
21) What terrible deed does O-lan commit for the good of the family?
22) For what reason does his uncle bring the strange men to see Wang Lung?
23) Do you agree or disagree with the decision made by O-lan and Wang Lung at the end of this chapter?