Characterization One Pager(O-Lan)


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Why O-lan is a strong and memorable character

O-Lan is a prime example of the typical hardship Chinese women had to go through in the time period to gain feminine respectability. "The pearls were an important symbol of Wang Lung’s respect and consideration for his wife; now, however, he is in love with the young prostitute Lotus, and he wants to give the pearls to her as a gift. Completely disregarding O-lan’s feelings, Wang is oblivious to the agony he causes her with this demand. Wang laughs at the beauty of the pearls while the reticent O-lan, too conscientious to complain about this bad treatment..." O-lan stayed quiet as her husband treated her poorly in order to please her husband, as it is proper for a Chinese women to do in this time period. "O-lan continues to do her domestic chores as she weeps emphasizes the unending work she does without complaint, only to be repaid with Wang Lung’s indifference and condescension." O-lan shows mental strength by continuing her job in the house hold, while she is fully aware of the complete disrespect. "This earth which formed their home and fed their bodies and made their gods . . . Some time, in some age, bodies of men and women had been buried there, houses had stood there, had fallen, and gone back into the earth." This quote show the connection between O-lan and the earth. It states that when the bodies are buried, they are part of the earth, meaning the bodies will be part of the earth forever.