Review

Dragon Seed

by Pearl S. Buck

One of
the more political novels from the pen of Pearl Buck, DRAGON SEED
brings to light the tragedy of the Japanese invasion and occupation
of mainland China during WWII. Centering her story around the
fictional family of Ling Tan, Buck recreates the heart wrenching
devastation that war inflicted on these gentle innocent
people.

Ling Tan and his family were simple farmers living in peaceful
isolation. Western technology, and likewise the machinery of war,
were unknown in these outlying regions of China. And even though
literacy was on the rise among the younger generations, the
alarming reports of foreign aggression went largely ignored. For
the peasants, the transition from one political ruler to another
was virtually inconsequential; life revolved around their farms and
their villages. Patriotism was not the concept of loving and
defending a country; their land was their country. But as the
invasion moves inland and the roads are jammed with survivors
fleeing west, Ling Tan and his neighbors are forced to face the
harsh realities of war.

"Days passed and with the rulers gone the people held themselves
the more steadfast knowing that they and they alone were left to
stand against the enemy and upon each man himself now depended what
would happen. So it had happened again and again in other times,
for rulers anywhere are always the first to fly, and the people
must stay behind to be steadfast."

Buck intensifies this dramatic narration with searing rhetoric on
the evils of despotism and the catastrophic effects upon the common
man. Graphically illustrating that compassion and mercy are not
components of war, she delivers her message with blunt force. As
always, her depictions of rural life and family interaction contain
moments of warmth and humor, but there is no denying that this
novel was intended to have a scorching impact on the international
community.

Reviewed by Ann Bruns on January 21, 2011

Dragon Seed
by Pearl S. Buck

  • Publication Date: January 1, 2006
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Moyer Bell and its subsidiaries
  • ISBN-10: 1559210338
  • ISBN-13: 9781559210331