The Good Earth

In chapter 21, what is the conflict between Wang Lung and himself?

kindly help

Asked by
Last updated by jill d #170087
Answers 2
Add Yours

One day Wang Lung's twins and his older daughter -- his "poor fool" whose starvation during infancy has left her mentally impaired -- wander into the inner courts to see Lotus despite their father's order to stay away. The sight of Wang Lung's eldest daughter horrifies Lotus, who says, "I will not stay in this house if that one comes near me, and I was not told that I should have accursed idiots to endure and if I had known it I would have never come - filthy children of yours!" (209) Wang Lung snaps back that he will not have his children insulted, especially his eldest daughter. He buys his daughter sweets to make her smile and stays away from Lotus for two days. When he finally returns she fawns over him; however, Wang Lung's love for Lotus is seriously compromised.


You know, I think that comes too late in the chapter. I think we need to head back to the conflicting feelings he has, and the way he handles his urges. He thinks of himself as a rich man, and as a rich man he feels he's entitled to everything those riches can give him. On the other hand, he has deep feelings of guilt for the shameful way he treats the mother of his children....... and also his father.

"Wang Lung struggles between indulging in his patriarchal privileges and fighting off the sting of his conscience. The fact that his father does not respect Lotus -- or Wang Lung's right to a second woman -- brings the struggle to a head, for Wang Lung still feels honor-bound to his elders."