Reinvigorating Exploration Nature: An of Ecopoetics in Pearl S. Buck’s The Good Earth
Keywords:Ecocriticism, Green Studies, Despotism, Dominion, Symbiosis, Anthropocentrism, Ecocentrism
The Good Earth (1931) by the American author, Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973) is recognised for its predominant theme of the nourishing power of the land. Buck’s novel situates this universal theme within the context of traditional Chinese culture. Wang Lung, a farmer, has an intimate relationship with the earth because he produces his harvest through his own labour. Buck suggests that Wang Lung’s reverence for nature is responsible for his inner goodness, as well as for his increasing material success, and that the decadent, wasteful ways of the wealthy are due to their estrangement from the land. Buck also suggests throughout the book that while human success is transitory, the earth endures forever. These ideas about the earth give the novel its title.
The novel is recognised for its glorification of land and soil as the foundation of life. Throughout the novel, a connection to the land is associated with moral piety, good sense, respect for nature, and a strong work ethic, while alienation from the land is associated with decadence and corruption. This paper is an attempt to offer viable alternatives to reconstitute ecocritical ideas in The Good Earth and to evaluate them in terms of their coherence and usefulness as responses to the worsening environmental crisis.
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Rueckert, William. “Literature and Ecology: An Experiment in Ecocriticism.” Essays in Ecocriticism. Norton Publishers. 1978.
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