The Role and Images of Women in "The Good Earth"
In the novel, The Good Earth, one of the images of women here is an unattractive wife who is only but a servant to his husband. This can be seen in the character of O-Lan. She was his wife and she did nothing but to serve him and his grandfather faithfully. She prepared food for them everyday. She helped Wang Lung with the field. She bore him sons. After she bore his first son alone, she immediately returned to Wang Lung to help him in the field. All this she did in silence. Wang Lung was a little annoyed at this but he also thought that it was just right for her not to say anything. After all, she was just his wife and he need not be concerned about her. Since O-Lan was not a beautiful woman, Wang Lung did not pay much attention to her.
He was also not satisfied with her so he looked for another woman.
Another image of women here is that they were worthless as daughters. Daughters were raised only to be sold as slaves or to be married to a man and given to another family. In the birth of his third child, he had hoped that it was a son, but it was not. He saw this as a beginning of bad fortune for his family. Also, his wife said that the birth of their first daughter was not worth mentioning. Wang Lung's first daughter, during the famine, while they were in the south, he almost sold in order to return to his land, but seeing her smile, he did not. At this, he thought of himself as a good father since some families killed their child...