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Word Count: 618
Taoists often use anecdotes to describe and present lessons of life For example The Missing Axe teaches that people see only what they want to see Another important Taoist story The Lost Horse proves the falseness of first impressions Similarly Pearl Buck expresses this idea of false impressions in The Good Earth When Wang Lung makes judgments about other characters throughout the novel Buck shows how ones first impressions of others can be wrong One of Wang Lungs first impressions of O-lan is that she is worthless but after their marriage O-lan proves his judgment to be incorrect When he first meets her in the House of Hwang he immediately receives a negative impression when he saw with an instants disappointment that her feet were not bound 13 This negative impact increases when he does not find beauty of any kind in her face 14 Judging only on her physical appearance Wang Lung incorrectly decides that she will play an unimportant role in his life Despite Wang Lungs negative impressions of her O-lan turns out to be one of the most helpful people in his life Without her Wang Lung would not survive through the hardships of the drought nor the move to the South He would not have had sons carry on his name after his death In spite of the fact that women were considered inferior to men Wang Lung later realizes the important role she played in his life causing him to weep at her funeral By the way Wang Lung changes the way he sees her O-lan displays how first impressions one receives from another can be contrary to their true self Where the Poor Fool is born she is called an evil omen 47 but in the later years of Wang Lungs life he values her Since the Confucian philosophy of men being superior to women dominates his society Wang Lung considers the Poor Fools birth a disgrace
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