Pearl Buck’s Chinese Love

  ”For her rich and true, truly epic description of Chinese peasant life, and for her biographical masterpiece” (award-winning comment), Pearl S. Buck, an American who lived in China for many years, won the 1938 Nobel Prize in Literature .
  Known as the “Chinese Peasant Epic”, “The Earth”, the first of the “House on Earth” trilogy, earned Buck a long-standing reputation, and the bestseller earned Buck the Pulitzer Prize for Literature the following year. , which also directly contributed to her becoming a Nobel Prize winner for literature in the future.
  The protagonist Wang Long married Alan, the maid of a large family who was diligent and hardworking. Wang Long has a deep affection for the attachment and love of the land of the simple Chinese farmers, and he buys the land when he saves a little money. But by chance, the fertile fields turned into crumpled loess due to a severe drought. Unwilling to sell an inch of land, the couple had to live abroad as beggars. Wang Long wholeheartedly hoped to be able to return to the land that he had missed for a long time, but he suffered from no money. When the warlords were fighting, and the poor robbed the rich, he went with others to rob the money. Alan also stole a bunch of gems from the rich, and the two really made a fortune. Back at home, Wang Long purchased land, gradually developed, and became a local figure. He took a young and beautiful concubine Lotus, and lived a comfortable and decent life like a master. But his wife Alan, who stole a lot of treasure for him and shared his joys and sorrows with him, was treated indifferently. But she endured silently like millions of Chinese women who were oppressed and murdered by feudal ideology, passed the time submissively, kept the house as usual, and gave birth to three sons and two daughters to Wang Long until her death. The three sons have their own lives when they grow up. Wang Long was served by a daughter and a maid, Taohua, and lived alone in his homeland. Before dying, he repeatedly told his sons not to sell the land. However, the sons did not have the same obsession with the earth as Wang Long. The eldest son became a real landlord, the second son became an opportunistic profiteer, and the third son became an evildoer in troubled times. The disgusting warlord of the “king tiger”. However, the Wang family was not destroyed. Wang Yuan, a grandson of Wang Long, returned to the earth after receiving a Western education in the United States, and used his knowledge to manage and improve the earth. Other family members of the Wang family were at odds with each other and staged various tragedies.
  ”The Earth” shows the twists and turns of the ups and downs of Chinese farmers in the 1920s and 1930s. The protagonist Wang Long is attached to the earth, works hard, and does everything possible (including using disgraceful means) to make a fortune. To a certain extent, it is the embodiment of the individual struggle spirit in Western society. However, the author depicts more of the typical Chinese small peasant image that combines industriousness, simplicity and vulgarity, ignorance, backwardness, and old-fashionedness, as well as the background of the times when warlords fought and chaotic. From the point of view of a democrat, Pearl Buck reflects the hardships and rural life of the peasants in a deep and gentle way, and deeply expresses his sympathy for the peasants who were poisoned by feudal ideology.
  Pearl Buck has lived in China for many years. She once engaged in missionary activities in rural northern China with her husband, John Losing Barker. She has a deep understanding and experience of rural China and the life of farmers, and she deeply loves the simple character of ordinary farmers. With a sincere and fair attitude, he objectively describes the social situation in China, depicts the appearance of Chinese peasants with an impartial brushstroke, and penetrates into their souls with the delicateness and sensitivity unique to women.
  As the first American female writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, Pearl Buck’s writing mainly took the foreign country of China as the main background. Some people think that her works are part of the exchanges between China and the United States. In fact, many Americans come to know China through her works. Until now, some people’s understanding of China is still based on the description of Pearl Buck. However, some American writers feel resentful about this. After all, Pearl Buck’s works ran counter to the mainstream American literature at that time in terms of theme, creative technique and style. William Faulkner, who won the Nobel Prize after Pearl Buck, once said with contempt that he did not want to be in the company of “Mrs. Sai Chin Tong” and would rather not win the Nobel Prize. There is no lack of great-country chauvinism in his words. Of course, the chapter structure and line drawing narrative techniques of Chinese classical novels used in Pearl Buck’s works are even more disdainful and disdainful of this modernist art master.
  In China, Pearl Buck was not unanimously praised. Some people think that she lacks a real understanding of China, deliberately exaggerates China’s bad habits and old customs and traditions, and blindly promotes the ugly side of China to Westerners. “The Earth” has essentially become a satirical cartoon.
  Pearl Buck said in her Nobel Prize speech: “If I didn’t speak for the Chinese… I wouldn’t be the real me, because over the years I have taken the life of the Chinese people as my own. , it will always be a part of my life… The people of China are in a great struggle for their freedom. When I see the unprecedented unity of China now in the fight against the enemy who threatens her freedom When we were reunited, my admiration for her was stronger than ever.”
  In fact, Pearl Buck has completely regarded China, where she has lived for more than 40 years, as her second hometown, and her love for China is as much as for the love of the mother country. After returning to China in the mid-1930s, she has been obsessed with China, where she was raised. From the outbreak of the Anti-Japanese War until the end of World War II, she has always supported the Chinese people’s war of resistance against Japan and national salvation, published many articles in solidarity with the Chinese people, condemned the atrocities of Japanese imperialism, called on the United States to support China’s resistance to Japan, and made great contributions to China getting more international assistance. She and her later husband, Walsh, founded Asia magazine, which first serialized Snow’s visit to the Yan’an Revolutionary Base’s Journey to the West. In 1941, she established the “East-West Association” in the United States, and highly recommended Lao She’s masterpieces such as “Camel Xiangzi” and “Four Generations Together”, making the former a bestseller in the United States in the 1940s. The “Eastern-West Association” also staged dramas reflecting China’s Anti-Japanese War in factories, universities, and cities in the United States. Pearl Buck personally hosted and organized the singing of “The March of the Volunteers”, “The Song of the Guerrilla” and other anti-Japanese songs at the White House. President Roosevelt The high-ranking officials headed by the couple and the envoys of various countries in the United States have won a lot of international support for the Chinese people’s resistance to Japan.
  Pearl Buck had a keen insight into the passive anti-Japanese behavior of the Kuomintang, and was extremely disappointed with Chiang Kai-shek and his wife. She once told Mrs. Roosevelt: Soong Meiling and the Chinese people were separated by thousands of mountains and rivers. Her critical attitude towards Chiang Kai-shek once aroused the dissatisfaction of pro-Chiang factions and the suspicion of the FBI.
  There are also estrangements and misunderstandings between Pearl Buck and the Chinese Communist Party. Although she had highly praised the Communist Party’s pivotal role in the Anti-Japanese War, in 1943, she did not dare to accept Zhou Enlai’s invitation to visit Yan’an. After the founding of New China, the shadow of the Cold War shrouded the Western world, McCarthyism was rampant in the United States, China and the United States broke off diplomatic relations, and Pearl Buck could not understand the life of the new Chinese people. The distorted public opinion led her to often criticize and abuse the leaders of the CCP in her works. This aroused the unanimous anger of the Chinese critics, and for a while, everyone criticized and responded to her, and her image in the minds of Chinese readers gradually became blurred and distant, no longer cute and friendly.
  The common incomprehension, sympathy and hostility of the East and West did not change Pearl Buck’s China complex, and she still had a love for China. On March 6, 1973, she died suddenly, and the three Chinese characters “Pearl Buck” designed by her during her lifetime were engraved on her tombstone, expressing the China that she has always cherished and worked hard for her whole life. Perhaps, US President Nixon, who opened the door to the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United States, gave her the most fair evaluation, “a great artist, a sensitive and compassionate person”, and “a bridge between Eastern and Western civilizations”.