Character analysis of O-Lan

The Good Earth is one of the most interesting novels of all time. Pearl S. Buck has put into this story, the life of a Chinese farmer and all those around him. If you are asked to do a character analysis on The Good Earth, on the character of O-Lan, the central female character, you are in for a challenging job as she is the most complex of all the characters in the story.

O-Lan comes into the story towards the beginning itself. Wang Lung the farmer brings her out of the great house where she served as a maid till that day, as his wife. O-Lan is portrayed as a woman of absolutely no beauty at all. She does not resent it though, because she has seen how pretty slaves gets used by all the lords in the house and when the lords have had enough, how the male servants used them all till their good looks were taken away by age. O-Lan had such a lack of beauty that kept her safe from even servants.

O-Lan comes across as a very hardworking woman. She works alongside her husband in the fields, after perfectly fulfilling all her duties as the woman of the house. She takes very good care of her husband, his father and the house. Even when she is pregnant, she never hesitates to put herself through the tough work in the field. She manages her own labour and never complains about anything. She gets back to work in the field soon after her labour, even though she is tired due to the strain.

She is mentioned to be of a rather dumb nature, many times in the story. But towards the end, we are left wondering whether she was so dumb, after all, as she made herself out to be.

Even though O-Lan is too quiet a woman for her own good, we feel the emotions she silently carries in her heart, every time she decides to utter those few words. We understand that she hated her slavery in the great house and we can also make out that she was ill-treated by her superiors and fellow slaves due to her lack of beauty and wisdom.

O-Lan keeps quiet when her husband falls madly in love with another woman and buys her with the money he and O-Lan together stole from a big house during a riot. But we understand that it pained her tremendously to see her husband with another woman during some of her rare conversations with Wang Lung and from the words she utter while on her death bed.

We are forced to believe that she was as much of a normal human being as anyone else, with as much feelings as any other woman. But she never let her emotions take her over and lived a life of silence, but doing all her duties in the best possible way, proving to be the best woman any man can have for a wife.

There is a lot more to the character of O-Lan than what shows in the first sight and it involves a great deal of research to do justice to her character. It will fill many pages to discuss her character in more detail. If you need any more help with your character analysis on The Good Earth, we can help you. Our writers also do custom research papers and custom term papers for those who opt for it.