The Good Earth: Chapters 29-34

Contributor: Melissa Kowalski. Lesson ID: 12743

Have you ever heard the expression "Every hero has feet of clay"? What do you think that means? How about an Achilles' heel? We all have weaknesses that can bring us down like the people in this book!


Literary Studies

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Do you think often about the dirt under your feet? What is the value of land?

At the end of the previous Related Lesson (right-hand sidebar), Wang's eldest son is attempting to convince him to relocate the family into the village and rent the vacated home of the House of Hwang.

  • Why is Wang considering his son's request?

In this lesson, you will read about the final years of Wang and his successive generations.

One literary trait that many protagonists, or main characters, have is a tragic flaw. This is sometimes referred to as "hamartia," a Greek term that describes a personality trait that leads to a character's downfall. In literature, a tragic flaw is a trait that leads to the demise of a character. To learn more about the term "tragic flaw," read the following literary description. As you read, answer the following questions in your notebook or journal that you have been keeping for the novel and take the short quiz at the end of the article:

  • What are three types of tragic flaws in literature?
  • Which ancient Greek writer described the concept of tragic flaw in Poetics?

Read Tragic Flaw, from Literary Devices.

  • After you've answered the questions, can you think of any other person or literary character who has a tragic flaw?

Reflect on this idea as you move on to the final chapters of The Good Earth.

When you've finished reading the description of tragic flaw and answering the questions, read Chapters 29–34 in The Good Earth. Use the copy of the novel that you've read for the previous lessons. As you read, write down how Wang is changing as he ages. Also, take notes on the development of the three sons' characters as they mature into adulthood and middle age.

When you've finished reading and taking your notes, move on to the Got It? section to test your knowledge of these final chapters and reflect on the novel's plot, character, and themes.

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