Taoist influence in The Good Earth

This essay Taoist influence in The Good Earth has a total of 572 words and 6 pages.

Taoist influence in The Good Earth

Taoist Influences in The Good Earth

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck is a story that takes place in the early
twentieth

century in China. It is a novel about a man, Wang Lung, and some of the
events he

endures in his lifetime. This story has many references to Eastern religions
and

philosophies. One of the most prominent influences in this story is the
Chinese philosophy

of Taoism. The Good Earth relates to Taoism in a number of ways. Three ways
that The

Good Earth shows the influence of Taoist philosophy are the appreciation of
nature, the

Taoist practice of turning to nature during times of social activism , and
the Taoist belief

in simplicity and that money and hierarchical government are not important.

The Taoist appreciation of nature plays a huge role in The Good Earth. The

Taoists believe that "the order and harmony of nature is far more stable
and enduring than

either the power of the state or the civilized institutions constructed by
human learning"

(Waley 56). An early Taoist belief is the practice of Wu-wei, which is best
described as

"action modeled by nature" (Waley 56). Wang Lung owes everything he
has to the earth

and has no trouble admitting it. Wang Lung and his family even go so far as
to create

shrines to the earth, as shown in this passage from the story, "Together
this man and this

woman stood before the gods of their fields" (Buck 16). Wang Lung may
not be an

admitted Taoist, but he certainly follows some aspects of the Taoist way of
life.

Another way that Wang Lung displays elements of Taoism in his behavior is
when

he decides to work only in the night during the revolution. Removing oneself
from social-

political conflict is a typical Taoist behavior. This passage from The Way
and i

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