The Good Earth

The Good Earth Gender in Buck's work

Buck is credited with presenting the world with the first Chinese woman characters, the most famous of whom is O-lan. Certainly it would be a disservice to her literary production to not consider the role of gender in novels such as The Good Earth. Scholars have noted that many of Buck's personal ideas regarding gender incline toward feminism, though she herself never identified as feminist. Indeed, Buck even wrote essays concerning the role of women, using classifications such as "medieval and gunpowder women." How would you classify her portrayal of women in light of modern feminist concerns? What aspects do you find compelling? What aspects do you think are problematic? Integrate the female characters of The Good Earth into your argument.