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The Good Earth | Characters

Character Description
Wang Lung Wang Lung is a poor farmer. Through both hard work and luck, he becomes a wealthy man and founds a great house. Read More
O-lan O-lan is Wang Lung's wife. She was formerly a slave in the House of Hwang. Read More
Nung En Nung En is Wang Lung's oldest son. Although born in poverty, he is accustomed to life as a rich young lord and scholar. Read More
Nung Wen Nung Wen is Wang Lung's second son. He becomes a merchant. Read More
Lotus Also called Lotus Flower, Lotus is a beautiful prostitute who works at the tea house. Wang Lung falls in love with her and takes her as a concubine. Read More
Pear Blossom Pear Blossom comes to Wang Lung's house as a slave girl. She later becomes Wang Lung's second concubine. Read More
Wang Lung's uncle Wang Lung's uncle is a lazy, evil man. He is a marauder and takes advantage of Wang Lung's duty to take care of his family. Read More
Barber The barber gives Wang Lung a haircut and a shave before his wedding to O-lan.
Blubbering laborer The blubbering laborer causes Ching's death and is married off to Lotus's slave girl.
Ching Ching is Wang Lung's neighbor. He also becomes his foreman and his best friend.
Cuckoo Cuckoo was once a slave with O-lan at the House of Hwang. She later works at the tea house and comes with Lotus when she moves in with Wang Lung.
Doctor for O-lan The doctor comes to see O-lan when she is sick and informs Wang Lung she will soon die from a tumor "in [her] vitals."
Gateman at House of Hwang The gateman speaks to Wang Lung disrespectfully on his wedding day but grovels when Wang Lung returns after his good fortune.
Gateman's pock-marked wife The gateman's pock-marked wife remains at the House of Hwang to rent the rooms, even after her husband is long gone.
Liu Liu is a grain merchant in town. His eldest daughter, Pomegranate Flower, marries Nung En, and his son marries Wang Lung's third daughter.
Lotus's slave girl Lotus's slave girl volunteers to take the place of Pear Blossom in Wang Lung's uncle's son's bed. She bears him a daughter and later marries the blubbering laborer.
Noodle house beggar The noodle house beggar is the first to address Wang Lung respectfully and awakens his pride.
Nung En's second wife After Wang Lung takes Pear Blossom as a second concubine, Nung En takes a second wife.
Nung Wen's wife Nung Wen's wife is a buxom village girl. She is also called "red radish" and "red meat."
Old Lord Hwang Old Lord Hwang squanders his great house with his idleness and expenditures on his many concubines. At his end he is alone in his house and allows Cuckoo to control all his affairs.
Old Lord Hwang's agent Old Lord Hwang's agent sells Wang Lung his first two pieces of Hwang land.
Old Mistress Hwang Old Mistress Hwang is an opium addict and a symbol of decadence and the corrupting power of wealth.
Pomegranate Flower Pomegranate Flower is Liu's daughter and Nung En's first wife. She is described as beautiful but a "cold fish."
"Poor Fool" Wang Lung's oldest daughter, known as "poor fool" and "little slave," was born in a famine year. She likely suffered brain damage from malnutrition. Wang Lung worries about her care.
Purple-robed rich man Wang Lung encounters the purple-robed rich man during the looting in the south. The man offers him gold in exchange for not killing him.
Wagon-pulling man The wagon-pulling man is a fellow refugee in the south, who tells Wang Lung things will soon change because "the rich are too rich."
Wang Lung's father Wang Lung's father is cranky and demands to be taken care of. He was a farmer who built the house Wang Lung lives in.
Wang Lung's first grandson Nung En's first son is Wang Lung's first grandson. He is a fat, healthy boy.
Wang Lung's second daughter O-lan gives birth to this daughter during the famine and kills her rather than see her starve.
Wang Lung's third daughter One of a pair of twins, Wang Lung's third daughter is a pretty girl who Wang Lung weds early to Liu's son.
Wang Lung's third son One of a pair of twins, Wang Lung's third son is a quiet, sullen boy. He becomes a soldier and abandons the Wang family.
Wang Lung's uncle's oldest daughter Wang Lung's oldest daughter roves around town bringing shame to Wang Lung. Wang Lung gives his uncle money to betroth her, though his uncle might have gambled the money away instead.
Wang Lung's uncle's other daughters Wang Lung's uncle has six daughters and one son. Three of his daughters are gone before Wang Lung goes south, and Wang Lung suspects his uncle of eating them. The other three are later sold (the oldest is possibly betrothed).
Wang Lung's uncle's son Wang Lung's uncle's son is nothing but trouble. He tries to corrupt Nung En with prostitutes and later brings soldiers into Wang Lung's house.
Wang Lung's uncle's wife Wang Lung's uncle's wife is lazy and likes to gossip and complain. She enjoys luxury and later becomes an opium addict.
Yang Yang is a prostitute who lives in the former House of Hwang. She is visited by both Nung En and Wang Lung's uncle's son.
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