In the book The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck, the fall of the House of Hwang and the rise of theWang family was shown.
The story completed a circle of life, with Wang being the center of thecircle. While Wang at first was intimidated, he also looked down on the House of Hwang, he soonfound that when his family became rich, his house fell onto some of the same curses. In bothhouses, a lack of love for the land was highly noticeable (except for Wang Lung), opium was used,slaves were bought and sold even though Wang first opposed slaves, and the future heirs wished tosell the land for money but at the same time lose their support for if the house should fall.When the House of Hwang was in power, Wang noticed how they had a complete lack of lovefor the earth.
They had to constantly sell pieces of land to pay their immediate debts, but by doingthis they gave away their support if a dark time should fall upon the house. Wang knew that thiswould be the downfall of the house, so he bought the land from the house. After the House ofHwang fell, the House of Wang came to power. Wang kept in mind his whole life that without thegood earth, he was nothing. Wang worried when he noticed that his sons lacked his love for theland. Wang was disturbed to think that when he passed away his sons would sell the land, and hisfamily would succumb to the same fate of the Hwang house; as shown on page 37 when Wang said,Sell their land!.
..Then indeed are they growing poor. Land is ones flesh and blood.
Opium usage was a major role in the downfall of the Hwang house. The Old Mistress washeavily addicted to the drug, and in her desire for the drug, she drove her house into the ground. On page 39, Wang was paying the Gate Keeper for the land he was purchasing and the Gate Keepersaid Here is enough for a few days of opium for the old lady, at any rate. For the House of Wang,opium became almost a relief for Wang when he devised his plan to rid his family of his Uncle and hiswife. He could not cast out his Uncle because he was providing protection from marauders.
Keepingthis in mind, Wang then gave his Uncle and the Uncles wife some opium hoping that they wouldbecome a slave to the drug and hopefully they would die, ridding the Wang family of such a sinisterinfluence.When Wang went to the House of Hwang, he was disgusted by how every man in the familyhad a his own slave. He did not approve of the thought of owning slaves. Wang was also uneasyand embarrassed that he had to buy a slave to become his wife, but he would soon regret beingembarrassed. When Wang came to his fortune, he had purchased a concubine (Lotus Flower) andhad slave girls purchased for all of his sons. This is contradictory to his original beliefs, but thisshows the influence that money and power can have on a mans thoughts.The main two main reasons behind the House of Hwangs downfall were the opium usage andthe lack of love for the land.
For Wang, all his life the earth was his source of money, food, shelter,and life. When Wang was drawing near his death, he was uneasy about his sons withdrawal fromthe land. He worried that when he passed away, his sons would not hesitate to sell the land to anyone who wants to buy it.
This shows the difference in life styles Wang had compared to his children. Wang had to earn everything he had (with the help of the earth) while his children had an easy lifefull of money and education.In conclusion, The Good Earth showed that even though the two powerful families weredifferent, they were also very alike. The opium usage, lack of love for the land, and the usage ofmultiple slaves all contributed to the downfall of The Hwang House. Even in its youth, the Wanghouse had its share of problems, so the downfall of the Wang house is eminent. They both had thesame problems and luxuries, and eventually they will have the same downfall.Words/ Pages : 732 / 24