Journal Entry On Novel THE GOOD EARTH, BY PEARL BUCK.
Surviving In the City.
Dear Journal,
After the long trip to this city in South, we could barely move. I heard Wang talking to the coarse-mouthed man in the fire dragon. As he said people in South don’t value rice very much and a bowl of rice doesn’t cost much. So we tried to find some kind of shop where we could get some rice for small price. As we were walking through the city, I’ve noticed that people here don’t know the word “hunger”. Even the poor people were fatter and oilier that my family and I were. At last we found some place, crowded with people, where for a few pences our family could eat as much rice as we wanted. I felt like I was in heaven, because I haven’t that much for months. After we filled our stomachs, Wang tried to take some rice to eat latter that day, but one guard said that we couldn’t took it out, because we might sell it or feed it to the animals.
After we ate, Wang went to buy some mats to build a hut. He found some cheap store where mats were sold. He bought a few mats for almost all the money we had. But now the problem was that the whole wall, which was the divider of some great house from the rest of the city, was occupied with huts. So it took us a long period of time to find the right spot. Wang tried to build the hut, but he couldn’t make it. Eventually I had to build it because I remembered how I used to do it when I was young and our family was starving. It was late so we all went to sleep in our new home.
The next day I realized that there was not a lot of money left so Wang’s old father, our children and I - went begging. Even the little poor fool did. And Wang went to the town to find a job. He said that it was better to rip his hands than to beg, because he though that a man is not a man if he begs. When he came back he said his job was to pull ricksha with people. Even though the rent of the ricksha was high he made good money, and I saw in his eyes that he was proud that he made as much money as our children and I together. My secret was that I was experienced in begging, and I knew how to do it right, and to make people give money. I was saying all words very kindly and people felt pity for our children and me. However the old man didn’t earn anything because he was sleeping all day long. After that we went to the public kitchen to have our dinner. We spent half what we’ve earned on food and another half Wang decided to keep for a special day to buy some fish.
Days were passing by. Everyday was pretty much the same, except that I’ve noticed that Wang had a nostalgia for his land. He was very anxious and restless, like some part of him was missing. He was ready to go back any day because he was tired of this life were the money we had were enough only for food. But we were waiting for the right day. He knew that it would come sooner or later. Also soldiers were in the city and all rich people were leaving the city. And during those days men couldn’t show up on streets because soldiers would take them to war, to carry soldiers’
equipment.
So that day came. I heard a loud noise and when I ran out I saw that gates to the great house were broken. And people were running into the house, so did I. I wasn’t surprised by the beauty of the house like other people were. It was so because I spent many years and most of my life as a slave in the Great House of Hwang, which was big and rich too. I immediately had noticed the fake brick in