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The "simple life" depicted early in the novel is totally appealing. Think about farmers today; they love their life, they love what they do, and like Wang Lung most of them inherited their land and expanded its size after years of hard work.
I don't envy O'lan her life, but I do love that one of the most important parts of Chinese culture depicted in the novel is the care of family. Wang Lung always takes care of his dad, and O'lan treats him as her respected father...... then you have the "leach" of an Uncle....... but Wang Lung doesn't begradge sharing his good fortune with him or even caring for his friends; he just does it.
On the dark side; I do not approve of the cultural "genocide" of female babies when things get tough...... not in any culture, anywwhere do I believe in that.
The Good Earth