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Mass Market Paperback House Divided Book

ISBN: 0671787977

ISBN13: 9780671787974

House Divided

(Book #3 in the House of Earth Series)

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Format: Mass Market Paperback

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

A House Divided, the third volume of the trilogy that began with The Good Earth and Sons, is a powerful portrayal of China in the midst of revolution. Wang Yuan is caught between the opposing ideas of... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Sad to see it end

The first two books in the Trilogy were so good that I was skeptical the final book could keep up the momentum but this was fantastic. It leads the Wangs into modernity with relevant historical facts hidden in the deep heart of the Tiger's only son who struggles to find his place in the world.

The Chinese equivalent of Tolstoyism.

The best of the trilogy. Pearl S Buck creates a Tolstoyesque picture of Chinese agrarian life: harsh, simple, man vs nature. Important today in understanding Chinese roots and how far that huge nation has come in the past few decades.

Caught Between Two Worlds

A HOUSE DIVIDED is the final book of Pearl S. Buck's trilogy about the family of Wang Lung, the protagonist of THE GOOD EARTH. This book finds his grandson, Wang Yuan, son of the warlord Wang the Tiger, graduating from the war college at the beginning of the first Chinese Cultural Revolution. Yuan, a serious, thoughtful, but willful boy does not want to follow in his father's footsteps, but instead feels an affinity with the earth and growing things as his grandfather Wang Lung did. Yuan defies his father and runs away to live in his grandfather's old mud farmhouse. This begins a chain of events which take Yuan across the world. He ends up in the coastal city where his half-sister and her mother live, as well as his uncle, Wang the Landlord, along with his spoiled family. Yuan gets exposed to, but never really embraces, the westernized party lifestyle of his half-sister and the revolutionary activities of his cousins Sheng and Meng. After Yuan is arrested as a revolutionary, his family ransoms him and sends him to study in America, where he spends six years attaining an advanced degree in horticulture. Being a foreigner in a strange land causes Yuan to examine all his feelings, beliefs and prejudices. He is doubly introspective when he returns to China and sees his country anew through foreign eyes. Yuan is caught in a trap by his education, neither belonging wholly to either the old China or the new, his heart as divided as his family - half live in the modern coastal city and half live back in the country. I thought this was the best of the trilogy because Yuan's introspection makes him the most well-developed and conflicted character in this multi-generational tale. However, Buck's plodding, biblical style is not for everyone and I will admit that every page seemed like as two or three (or more!) It took me several weeks to complete this novel.

An insightful adventure...

I would say that this book could certainly stand alone simply because there was so much happening in this turbulent setting of the revolution. In many ways "A House Divided" was my favorite of the "House of Earth" trilogy, (still, The Good Earth was beautiful!) because it was an adventure that spanned the globe. Yet there was no lack in telling how the main character evolved emotionally and intellectually from the first page to the last.Many times throughout the book, Pearl Buck successfully showed how Yuan's world was filled with black and white; no grey. For example, a person was expected to be 100% revolutionary, or a 100% traditionalist. Or one had to be 100% Chinese, or 100% foreign. Yuan was a very conflicted man from the start and struggled with these issues pretty much until the end. To me that was the most intriguing part.I was fascinated with Yuan's six-year stay in America. He experienced racism first-hand, the confusion of living in another country, trying to assimilate, seeing and appreciating the beauty of the country and the friendliness and openness of some of its people, the freedom to pursue one's happiness and potential, but clearly his own traditions and culture prevented him from fully accepting the foreigners into his heart.I think the author gave some real insight into the minds of people living during the revolution. Many people, like Yuan's cousin, Meng, were fevently passionate about it. It was clear that it took a certain kind of person, with a linear, unwavering focus in order to hasten a violent change. In this case, that meant one had to be filled with anger and hatred. Also through Yuan, we were exposed to the hypocrisy of the revolution as well. While the ideology spoke for the common people, the revolutionists were frustrated and repulsed by the common people's ways of life, such as they were for centuries. Eventually, many gave up on the older generation, and focused on the youth of the poor, because they were more easily influenced. Of course, it touched on the fact that no one was permitted to question this new state. Those who followed the cause were expected to accept it blindly.In keeping with his torn mental state, Yuan's hesitation to decide where he stood in terms of the cause was understandable. His experience gave him first-hand knowledge of how frustrating it was to live under the old filial rules, yet he'd also witnessed the softer moments with his father, and others who represented the old world. He at least was mature enough to realize that people were deeply complicated, which made it impossible for him to truly believe that "rich people are evil, poor people are good." At the same time, as much as he loved the land, and found peace of mind working among the common people, he was at times, disgusted by their surroundings, their "odor" permeating his space no matter where he went.Pearl Buck eloquently described the same black and white issues of the heart in Yuan. Time and time again, he wished to b

Pearl Buck shines once again in this beautiful story

A follow-up to the Good Earth and Sons, this amazing novel illustrates the life of a passionate young man caught in between the old and new ways of China during the beginning of the revolution. If you want to get inside the mind of today's people of China, you have to look at yesterday's people. Pearl gives us a wonderful opportunity to do that. You will read and read until your eyes are red.
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