The Good Earth” was published on this day in 1931

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A character in Pearl Buck's “The Good Earth”

Common clues: Pearl Buck heroine; “The Good Earth” heroine; Wang Lung's wife; Buck character

Crossword puzzle frequency: 2 times a year

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A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. – Pearl S Buck

O-Lan is a character in Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth. She was a slave of a the House of Hwang and then married to Wang Lung. They start a family in their small country town, and endure grueling times, including droughts, floods, and war. Wang Lung and O-Lan work as hard as horses to ensure their family's survival. The family's persistence finally prevails, and the land eventually produces great riches.

O-Lan is a skilled cook because she worked in the kitchens as slave. When O-Lan first arrives at Wang Lung's house, she prepares a deliciously cooked meal. In response to Wang Lung's questions of her dexterity, she blandly replies, "I have been kitchen slave since I went into the House of Hwang. There were meats at every meal." Wang Lung received many compliments from his family and friends for O-Lan's dinner. She is familiar with the preparation many different kinds of food, such as corn cobs, meats, and other varied foods.

O-Lan is also an experienced beggar. This skill is used in a critical time. The family is forced to face many adversities during the drought. Wang-Lung and O-Lan reluctantly decide to move to a southern city to escape starvation. O-Lan uses her childhood begging talents to assist the family in surviving the dilemmas of the city. She knows who to plead to, where to beg, and most importantly, teaches the children to beg.

Wang Lung eventually casts O-Lan aside after, deciding she is too unappealing to be desirable, and becomes enamored with a prostitute named Lotus. He takes her as a second wife, which devastates O-Lan; O-Lan becomes especially unhappy when the second wife brings Cuckoo, a former slave of the House of Hwang, as her personal servant. O-Lan resents Cuckoo for being haughty and cold when they were both slaves, and reminds her that while Cuckoo is still a slave, O-Lan is the lady of a prosperous household, a first wife, and the mother of sons.

After giving birth to twins, a boy and a girl, O-lan becomes barren, saying "There is a fire in my vitals". She repeats this throughout the years and starts working in the fields less and less, until one day around the time Wang Lung began to feel guilt for casting her aside, she can no longer leave her room and Wang Lung summons the town's doctor who says among other things, that she has worms in her heart. The doctor says then that it will cost 500 pieces of silver to help her, but, O-lan refuses saying good land could be bought with that money. Wang Lung ignores her and exclaims that he has the money. Upon hearing this, the doctor says that the color of her eyes are different and treatment will cost 5,000 pieces of silver. Wang Lung realizes that her case is terminal, does not answer, and the doctor simply says, "She will die". Over the next years, O-lan becomes weaker and begins to fall into fits. She constantly shows how much Wang Lung has hurt her when she constantly murmurs at the end "I am ugly and cannot be loved". When O-lan finally died, after having her second son married, she was buried with her father-in-law on Wang Lung's land.

O-Lan's intelligence, talents, and hard work are crucial to Wang Lung's success. After her death, there is no one in the household to manage their finances carefully; their oldest son spends money constantly, while their second son insists on hoarding their money. Without O-Lan, Wang Lung has difficulty controlling the household, and eventually retreats from the family altogether.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Olan".  

OLAN (134) 28 We- >1 09 Pearl Buck heroine

22 We >1 06 "The Good Earth" heroine

15 We >1 08 Buck heroine

7 Tu- >1 03 "The Good Earth" wife

6 We- >1 08 "The Good Earth" mother

6 Fr- >1 05 Wang Lung's wife

4 >1 08 Heroine of "The Good Earth"

4 We CSy 09 Wife in "The Good Earth"

86 Good Earth heroine

3 Tu >1 57 Pearl Buck character

3 Th Rea 06 The Good Earth wife

2 Sa LAT 07 "The Good Earth" role

2 Tu >1 96 "The Good Earth" woman

2 Th NYT 91 Buck character

2 Tu- >1 01 Character in "The Good Earth"

2 Th- >1 05 Pearl S. Buck heroine

2 We CSy 07 Wang Lung's wife in "The Good Earth"

1 Fr LAT 96 "Good Earth" character

1 Th LAT 96 "The Good Earth"

00 "The Good Earth" character

1 Th NYT 92 "good Earth"-ling

1 Fr NYT 07 1937 Oscar role for Luise Rainer

1 Th LAT 96 Buck Heroine

83 Good Earth wife

1 We CSy 05 Heroine in "The Good Earth"