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Did You Know

Pearl Buck was a daughter of missionaries and was raised in Christian missionary communities for most of her childhood, yet there is little (and even negative) mention of Christianity in The Good Earth. In fact, there is only one scene with Christianity in the book (when the missionary gives Wang the picture of Jesus and the Crucifixion, which Wang misinterprets). For the most part, the Chinese believe in their traditional gods, demonstrating that Buck chose to remain faithful to the perspectives of Chinese people at that time, despite her personal beliefs.

After its publication in 1931, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer paid the then-record price of $50,000 for the movie rights to The Good Earth. When the movie premiered in 1937, none of the main characters were played by Asian actors, but nonetheless, Luise Rainer won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of O-lan.

Pearl Buck was the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938.

Browse all book notes

Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Chapter 1
Chapter 2 and 3
Chapter 4 and 5
Chapter 6 and 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10 and 11
Chapter 12 and 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28
Chapter 29
Chapter 30
Chapter 31
Chapter 32
Chapter 33
Chapter 34


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