Monday, April 14, 2008

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

The image of an old man standing in a concubine's doorway and suddenly shouting "Harlot!" made me laugh.

"Now calm your heart, my father. It is not a harlot but a second woman in the house."
But the old man would not be silent and whether he heard what was said or not no one knew only that he shouted over and over, "There is a harlot here!" And he said suddenly, seeing Wang Lung near him, "And I had one woman and my father had one woman and we farmed the land." And again he cried out after a time, "I say it is a harlot!"
And so the old man woke from his aged and fitful sleeping with a sort of cunning hatred against Lotus. He would go to the doorway of her court and shout suddenly into the air, "Harlot!" -- page 150

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