The Good Earth

The Good Earth

Wang Lung Character Analysis

Wang Lung is the main character of The Good Earth. He’s a hardworking, honest man who hates conflict and aspires to better himself and his family. He starts out as a simple farmer, but through wise management of his land and a refusal to ever give up, he manages over the course of the novel to become quite wealthy and move into the great House of Hwang. Though he’s virtuous, he also has his faults—he angers easily and hurts his wife, O-lan, by ignoring her for his concubine Lotus once he becomes wealthy. While Wang Lung does in some ways fall prey to the degeneration that wealth causes, his dedication to his land prevents him from ever becoming as dissipated as the Old Lord. Wang Lung believes that his land is his most important possession and the foundation of his family, and he does all he can to protect it. Additionally, he cares deeply about what other people think of him, and he strives to act in whatever way is most fitting to his station.

Wang Lung Quotes in The Good Earth

The The Good Earth quotes below are all either spoken by Wang Lung or refer to Wang Lung. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Rich vs. Poor Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Washington Square Press edition of The Good Earth published in 2004.
Chapter 1 Quotes

“Raise him,” said the old lady gravely to the gateman, “these obeisances are not necessary. Has he come for the woman?”

“Yes, Ancient One,” replied the gateman.

“Why does he not speak for himself?” asked the old lady.

“Because he is a fool, Ancient One,” said the gateman...

This roused Wang Lung and he looked with indignation at the gateman.

“I am only a coarse person, Great and Ancient Lady,” he said. “I do not know what words to use in such a presence.”

Related Characters: Wang Lung (speaker), The Old Mistress (speaker), The gateman (speaker), O-lan
Related Symbols: The House of Hwang
Page Number: 16
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 2 Quotes

Moving together in a perfect rhythm, without a word, hour after hour, he fell into a union with her which took the pain from his labor. He had no articulate thought of anything; there was only this perfect sympathy of movement, of turning this earth of theirs over and over to the sun, this earth which formed their home and fed their bodies and made their gods. The earth lay rich and dark, and fell apart lightly under the points of their hoes.... Some time, in some age, bodies of men and women had been buried there, houses had stood there, had fallen, and gone back into the earth. So would also their house, some time, return into the earth, their bodies also. Each had his turn at this earth. They worked on, moving together—together—producing the fruit of this earth—speechless in their movement together.

Related Characters: Wang Lung, O-lan
Related Symbols: The Land
Page Number: 29-30
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 3 Quotes

Wang Lung sat smoking, thinking of the silver as it had lain upon the table. It had come out of the earth, this silver, out of his earth that he ploughed and turned and spent himself upon. He took his life from this earth; drop by drop by his sweat he wrung food from it and from the food, silver. Each time before this that he had taken the silver out to give to anyone, it had been like taking a piece of his life and giving it to someone carelessly. But now... he saw the silver transmuted into something worth even more than itself—clothes upon the body of his son. And this strange woman of his, who worked about, saying nothing, seeming to see nothing, she had first seen the child thus clothed!

Related Characters: Wang Lung, O-lan, The Old Mistress
Related Symbols: The Land
Page Number: 35
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 5 Quotes

I had but a moment for private talk with the cook under whom I worked before... but she said, ‘This house cannot stand forever with all the young lords, five of them, spending money like waste water in foreign parts and sending home woman after woman as they weary of them, and the Old Lord living at home adding a concubine or two each year, and the Old Mistress eating enough opium every day to fill two shoes with gold.’

Related Characters: O-lan (speaker), Wang Lung, The Old Mistress, The Old Lord
Related Symbols: The House of Hwang, Opium
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 7 Quotes

The voice of his wife answered from the bed more feebly than he had ever heard her speak,

“It is over once more. It is only a slave this time—not worth mentioning.”

Wang Lung stood still. A sense of evil struck him. A girl! A girl was causing all this trouble in his uncle’s house. Now a girl had been born into his house as well.

Related Characters: O-lan (speaker), Wang Lung, The daughter / the eldest daughter (the poor fool), Wang Lung’s uncle
Page Number: 65
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 8 Quotes

They cannot take the land from me. The labor of my body and the fruit of the fields I have put into that which cannot be taken away. If I had the silver, they would have taken it. If I had bought with the silver to store it, they would have taken it all. I have the land still, and it is mine.

Related Characters: Wang Lung (speaker), Wang Lung’s uncle
Related Symbols: The Land
Page Number: 75
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 12 Quotes

...[O]nce when Wang Lung heard a young man... [say] that China must have a revolution and must rise against the hated foreigners, Wang Lung was alarmed and slunk away, feeling that he was the foreigner against whom the young man spoke with such passion. And when on another day he heard another young man speaking... and he said... that the people of China must unite and must educate themselves in these times, it did not occur to Wang Lung that anyone was speaking to him.

Related Characters: Wang Lung
Page Number: 107
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 13 Quotes

Day by day beneath the opulence of this city Wang Lung lived in the foundations of poverty upon which it was laid. With the food spilling out of the markets, with the streets of the silk shops flying brilliant banners of black and red and orange silk to announce their wares, with rich men clothed in satin and in velvet, soft-fleshed rich men with their skin covered with garments of silk and their hands like flowers for softness and perfume and the beauty of idleness, with all of these for the regal beauty of the city, in that part where Wang Lung lived there was not food enough to feed savage hunger and not clothes enough to cover bones.

Related Characters: Wang Lung
Page Number: 113
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 14 Quotes

“The dead man is yourselves,” proclaimed the young teacher, “and the murderous one who stabs you when you are dead and do not know it are the rich and the capitalists, who would stab you even after you are dead. You are poor and downtrodden and it is because the rich seize everything.”

...[Wang Lung] listened in interest to hear further what the rich men had to do with this thing, that heaven would not rain in its season. And at last... Wang Lung grew bold and asked,

“Sir, is there any way whereby the rich who oppress us can make it rain so that I can work on the land?”

Related Characters: Wang Lung (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Land
Page Number: 125
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 16 Quotes

“If I could have two,” she went on humbly, “only two small ones—two small white pearls even...”

“Pearls!” he repeated, agape... Then Wang Lung... looked for an instant into the heart of this dull and faithful creature, who had labored all her life at some task at which she won no reward and who in the great house had seen others wearing jewels which she never even felt in her hand once.

Related Characters: Wang Lung (speaker), O-lan (speaker)
Related Symbols: The House of Hwang, The Pearls
Page Number: 146
Explanation and Analysis:

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But all this was not a sudden thing. All during the lifetime of the Old Lord and of his father the fall of this house has been coming. In the last generation the lords ceased to see the land and took the moneys the agents gave them and spent it carelessly as water. And in these generations the strength of the land has gone from them and bit by bit the land has begun to go also.

Related Characters: Cuckoo (speaker), Wang Lung, The Old Lord
Related Symbols: The House of Hwang, The Land
Page Number: 151-52
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 18 Quotes

...[N]ow, instead of [his money] passing from him like life blood draining from a wound, it lay in his girdle burning his fingers when he felt of it, and eager to be spent on this or that, and he began to be careless of it and to think what he could do to enjoy the days of his manhood.

Everything seemed not so good to him as it was before. The tea shop which he used to enter timidly, feeling himself but a common country fellow, now seemed dingy and mean to him.

Related Characters: Wang Lung
Page Number: 170
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 19 Quotes

His good brown body that he washed but rarely, deeming the clean sweat of his labor washing enough for ordinary times, his body he now began to examine as if it were another man’s, and he washed himself every day...

He bought sweet-smelling soap in the shop, a piece of red scented stuff from foreign parts, and he rubbed it on his flesh, and not for any price would he have eaten a stalk of garlic, although it was a thing he had loved before, lest he stink before [Lotus].

Related Characters: Wang Lung, Lotus
Page Number: 183
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 20 Quotes

And Wang Lung... felt his mouth suddenly dry and parched and his voice came from him in a whisper,

“Silver, then! Silver and gold! Anything to the very price of my land!”

Related Characters: Wang Lung (speaker), Wang Lung’s uncle, Lotus, Cuckoo
Related Symbols: The Land
Page Number: 192
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 22 Quotes

As he had been healed of his sickness of heart when he came from the southern city and comforted by the bitterness he had endured there, so now again Wang Lung was healed of his sickness of love by the good dark earth of his fields and he felt the moist soil on his feet and he smelled the earthy fragrance rising up out of the furrows he turned for the wheat.

Related Characters: Wang Lung, Lotus
Related Symbols: The Land
Page Number: 212
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 24 Quotes

But [O-lan] rose at dawn and she did her work and Wang Lung saw her only as he saw the table or his chair or a tree in the court, never even so keenly as he might see one of the oxen drooping its head or a pig that would not eat.... And she said nothing but she worked at her cooking and at the washing at the pool even in the winter when the water was stiff with ice to be broken. But Wang Lung never thought to say,

“Well, and why do you not with the silver I have to spare, hire a servant or buy a slave?”

Related Characters: Wang Lung, O-lan
Page Number: 239
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Chapter 25 Quotes

...[M]y mother said I was not to weep aloud because you are too kind and weak for pain and you might say to leave me as I am, and then my husband would not love me even as you do not love her.

Related Characters: The second daughter (speaker), Wang Lung, O-lan
Page Number: 249
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Chapter 28 Quotes

Then Wang Lung’s uncle took it greedily, for it was sweet to smell and a thing that only rich men used, and he took it and bought a pipe and he smoked the opium, lying all day upon his bed to do it. Then Wang Lung saw to it that there were pipes bought and left here and there... and the silver for this Wang Lung did not begrudge because it bought him peace.

Related Characters: Wang Lung, Wang Lung’s uncle
Related Symbols: Opium
Page Number: 281-82
Explanation and Analysis:

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Now Wang Lung in the old days when the great family were there would have felt himself one of these common people and against the great and half hating, half fearful of them. But now that he had land and that he had silver and gold hidden safely away, he despised these people who swarmed everywhere, and he said to himself that they were filthy and he picked his way among them with his nose up and breathing lightly because of the stink they made. And he despised them and was against them as though he himself belonged to the great house.

Related Characters: Wang Lung
Related Symbols: The House of Hwang
Page Number: 291-92
Explanation and Analysis:

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There before him was the great carven dais where the old lady had sat, her fragile, tended body wrapped in silvery satin.

And moved by some strange impulse he went forward and he sat down where she had sat and he put his hand on the table and from the eminence it gave him he looked down on the bleary face of the old hag who blinked at him... Then some satisfaction he had longed for all his days without knowing it swelled up in his heart and he smote the table with his hand and he said suddenly,

“This house I will have!”

Related Characters: Wang Lung (speaker), The Old Mistress, The gateman’s wife
Related Symbols: The House of Hwang
Page Number: 293
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laboru

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 30 Quotes

...[T]hese common people found that the rent for the rooms and the courts where they lived had been greatly raised... and they had to move away. Then they knew it was Wang Lung’s eldest son who had done this...

The common people had to move, then, and they moved complaining and cursing because a rich man could do as he would and they... went away swelling with anger and muttering that one day they would come back even as the poor do come back when the rich are too rich.

Related Characters: Wang Lung, The eldest son (Nung En)
Related Symbols: The House of Hwang
Page Number: 308
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 33 Quotes

...[H]e had been of half a mind to walk out on his land and feel the good earth under his feet and take off his shoes and stockings and feel it on his skin.

This he would have done but he was ashamed lest men see him, who was no longer held a farmer within the gates of the town, but a landowner and a rich man.

Related Characters: Wang Lung
Related Symbols: The Land
Page Number: 339
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 34 Quotes

Every man I hate except you—I have hated every man, even my father who sold me. I have heard only evil of them and I hate them all.... I am filled with loathing and I hate them all. I hate all young men.

Related Characters: Pear Blossom (speaker), Wang Lung
Page Number: 350
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laboru

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“Now, evil, idle sons—sell the land!” He choked and would have fallen, and they caught him and held him up, and he began to weep.... “It is the end of a family—when they begin to sell the land,” he said brokenly. “Out of the land we came and into it we must go—and if you will hold your land you can live—no one can rob you of land—”

...And he stooped and took up a handful of the soil and he held it and he muttered,

“If you sell the land, it is the end.”

...And they soothed him and they said over and over, the elder son and the second son,

“Rest assured, our father, rest assured. The land is not to be sold.”

But over the old man’s head they looked at each other and smiled.

Related Characters: Wang Lung (speaker), The eldest son (Nung En), The second son (Nung Wen)
Related Symbols: The Land
Page Number: 357
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Get the entire The Good Earth LitChart as a printable PDF.
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Wang Lung Character Timeline in The Good Earth

The timeline below shows where the character Wang Lung appears in The Good Earth. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Family Theme Icon
Connection to the Earth Theme Icon
Wang Lung awakens on his wedding day. He usually waits to hear his father coughing and opening... (full context)
Rich vs. Poor Theme Icon
Connection to the Earth Theme Icon
Wang Lung goes into the kitchen in a shed connected to the house, where there is an... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women Theme Icon
Wang Lung sets a fire in the stove as he has done ever since his mother died.... (full context)
Rich vs. Poor Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women Theme Icon
Social Status Theme Icon
Wang Lung ’s father comes to the door of the kitchen, coughing and asking for his water.... (full context)
Rich vs. Poor Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women Theme Icon
Connection to the Earth Theme Icon
Wang Lung washes himself with a towel and puts on clean clothing instead of his dirty, torn... (full context)
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Wang Lung returns to his room and considers whether he should get a shave before he goes... (full context)
Rich vs. Poor Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women Theme Icon
Connection to the Earth Theme Icon
Wang Lung leaves the house and stops to look at the buds of his crops. They need... (full context)
Rich vs. Poor Theme Icon
Social Status Theme Icon
Wang Lung enters the city gate, passing a man selling peaches. He decides he’ll buy his wife... (full context)
Rich vs. Poor Theme Icon
Social Status Theme Icon
Wang Lung buys food and incense and then goes to the House of Hwang. But once he... (full context)
Rich vs. Poor Theme Icon
Social Status Theme Icon
Wang Lung returns to the House of Hwang, and now the gates are open. The gateman challenges... (full context)
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Social Status Theme Icon
The gateman leads Wang Lung into a huge room, and Wang Lung almost trips as he gapes up at the... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women Theme Icon
Social Status Theme Icon
Wang Lung can hardly look at O-lan, he’s so nervous. He’s satisfied with her voice, but disappointed... (full context)
The Oppression of Women Theme Icon
Connection to the Earth Theme Icon
At the city gate, Wang Lung buys peaches and gives them to O-lan to eat. She walks behind him, and he... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women Theme Icon
Connection to the Earth Theme Icon
Wang Lung lights incense in front of the figures, and he and O-lan stand before them. O-lan... (full context)
Rich vs. Poor Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women Theme Icon
Connection to the Earth Theme Icon
Wang Lung ’s father stands in the doorway, but it’s beneath him to acknowledge O-lan. Instead, he... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women Theme Icon
...sit in the middle room. O-lan doesn’t want the men to see her, which makes Wang Lung proud that he gets to see her. He brings the food she’s prepared into the... (full context)
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The Oppression of Women Theme Icon
When the guests finally leave, Wang Lung finds O-lan asleep by the ox in the kitchen. When he wakes her, she instinctively... (full context)
Chapter 2
Rich vs. Poor Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women Theme Icon
Social Status Theme Icon
The next morning, Wang Lung feels luxurious as he watches O-lan get dressed. He’s surprised that her face looks the... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women Theme Icon
Lying in bed, Wang Lung finds himself wondering whether O-lan likes him and enjoyed their night. He’s very happy with... (full context)
Rich vs. Poor Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women Theme Icon
Connection to the Earth Theme Icon
Over the next few months, Wang Lung works hard in his fields, but he always watches O-lan, and he takes great pleasure... (full context)
Rich vs. Poor Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women Theme Icon
Connection to the Earth Theme Icon
...busy house, O-lan quickly runs out of tasks, so one day she comes out to Wang Lung in the fields and begins hoeing alongside him. As hours pass and it becomes hot,... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
They go home, where Wang Lung ’s father is impatient for his dinner. Wang Lung tells him that O-lan is pregnant,... (full context)
Chapter 3
Family Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women Theme Icon
As the pregnancy progresses, Wang Lung suggests one night after dinner that they should find a woman to help with the... (full context)
Rich vs. Poor Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women Theme Icon
Connection to the Earth Theme Icon
Social Status Theme Icon
...Both will be clad in new clothes, and she’ll present herself to the Old Mistress. Wang Lung realizes that O-lan has been planning this for a long time, even though it seemed... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women Theme Icon
...she gives birth. Her time comes one evening when she’s working in the field with Wang Lung , harvesting the rice. Wang Lung has been getting impatient with her slow work, but... (full context)
Rich vs. Poor Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Wang Lung ’s father tells him not to worry yet and recalls his many children who died.... (full context)
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The Oppression of Women Theme Icon
Wang Lung goes back to the room, and O-lan allows him to enter. It smells like blood,... (full context)
Chapter 4
Family Theme Icon
...O-lan makes food as usual but doesn’t go to work in the fields. That afternoon, Wang Lung goes to town to buy fifty eggs and red paper to dye them red. He... (full context)
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Connection to the Earth Theme Icon
Before long, O-lan begins working in the fields with Wang Lung again. They thresh and winnow the harvested wheat, and then plant another crop for winter.... (full context)
Rich vs. Poor Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...have been bountiful, and the house is full of onions, garlic, wheat, and rice. Because Wang Lung is careful with his money, he can afford to wait until food is scarce to... (full context)
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...their wealth while the winter becomes bitterly cold. When the baby turns one month old, Wang Lung invites guests over and gives them the eggs that he’s dyed red. Everyone admires his... (full context)
Rich vs. Poor Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women Theme Icon
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...they have time to visit each other and socialize while their wives work at home. Wang Lung , however, worries that others will want to borrow from his plentiful stores of food... (full context)
Chapter 5
Connection to the Earth Theme Icon
As the New Year approaches, Wang Lung makes preparations, gluing red paper with symbols for happiness and riches onto his farm tools... (full context)
Rich vs. Poor Theme Icon
Social Status Theme Icon
O-lan bakes fancy moon cakes like those eaten in the House of Hwang. When Wang Lung sees how beautiful they are, he’s very proud. His father wants Wang Lung’s uncle to... (full context)
Rich vs. Poor Theme Icon
Social Status Theme Icon
...visit each other. O-lan dresses the baby in his fancy new clothes, and she and Wang Lung also dress well. They go to the House of Hwang. Wang Lung is gratified by... (full context)
Rich vs. Poor Theme Icon
When the gateman brings O-lan back, Wang Lung examines her face and can tell that all has gone well. As they leave the... (full context)
Rich vs. Poor Theme Icon
Wang Lung exults at this news, but fears that evil spirits will want to spoil his happiness.... (full context)
Rich vs. Poor Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women Theme Icon
Connection to the Earth Theme Icon
Social Status Theme Icon
...the family is looking to sell land just outside the city wall. This entirely convinces Wang Lung of the family’s fallen fortunes, since land is the most important thing. Suddenly he decides... (full context)
Chapter 6
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The new piece of land changes Wang Lung ’s life. When he first buys it, he almost regrets his purchase, wishing he could... (full context)
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One day Wang Lung goes to look at his new land. He paces out how large it is and... (full context)
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The Oppression of Women Theme Icon
Wang Lung works hard throughout the spring. His father takes care of the baby so that O-lan... (full context)
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After dinner, Wang Lung goes to look at his new son and is pleased. He imagines that he’ll have... (full context)
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Wang Lung has good harvests again and hides more money in the wall. The land he’s bought... (full context)
Chapter 7
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Wang Lung has often thought his uncle might cause trouble, and now he begins to do so.... (full context)
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The uncle’s wife tells Wang Lung that they can’t pay for their daughters to marry since they don’t have the sort... (full context)
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The Oppression of Women Theme Icon
The next day, Wang Lung ’s uncle comes to the field where he’s working. O-lan isn’t working with him, because... (full context)
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The Oppression of Women Theme Icon
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Wang Lung ’s uncle agrees that his daughter should be married, and he’s worried that she’ll get... (full context)
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Wang Lung replies that he isn’t rich, and has many mouths to feed. His uncle says that... (full context)
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Finally, Wang Lung asks what his uncle wants of him. His uncle calms down and asks for money... (full context)
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The Oppression of Women Theme Icon
In the room, Wang Lung finds that O-lan has birthed a girl, which she calls a “slave.” Wang Lung feels... (full context)
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The Oppression of Women Theme Icon
By evening, Wang Lung ’s anger wanes and he remembers that he now has another mouth to feed. He... (full context)
Chapter 8
Connection to the Earth Theme Icon
Now that the gods have turned against Wang Lung , nothing goes well. The sky is always clear, and no rain comes. Despite Wang... (full context)
Rich vs. Poor Theme Icon
Connection to the Earth Theme Icon
The land Wang Lung bought from the House of Hwang is the only field that bears crops, because it’s... (full context)
Rich vs. Poor Theme Icon
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Social Status Theme Icon
...House of Hwang haven’t borne harvests either, so the agent is desperately in need of Wang Lung ’s silver. They make the deal quickly. Wang Lung feels satisfied to have this fertile... (full context)
Connection to the Earth Theme Icon
...discussing whether the clouds might hold rain, but the wind always blows the clouds away. Wang Lung harvests small amounts of beans and corn, making sure nothing is wasted. O-lan tells him... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
Connection to the Earth Theme Icon
...fall, no one asks anyone else how they find food, but only thinks of themselves. Wang Lung has taken care of his ox as long as possible, letting it graze with the... (full context)
The Oppression of Women Theme Icon
Connection to the Earth Theme Icon
Wang Lung lies in bed with a quilt around his head so he can’t hear O-lan kill... (full context)
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Family Theme Icon
The villagers think that Wang Lung is hiding money and food. His uncle comes asking for help, and Wang Lung has... (full context)
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The Oppression of Women Theme Icon
The men throw Wang Lung ’s family out of the house and tear everything up to find his food. They’re... (full context)
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Wang Lung stands outside and feels frightened that he has nothing with which to feed his family.... (full context)
Chapter 9
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Wang Lung feels that he has to do something to prevent his family from dying. He’s angry... (full context)
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The Oppression of Women Theme Icon
...and she never cries, but only stares out of a hollow face. In normal circumstances, Wang Lung would have ignored her, but now he dotes on her, calling her a “poor fool.”... (full context)
Family Theme Icon
One day, Wang Lung ’s neighbor Ching comes to the house and wonders what’s left to eat now that... (full context)
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Wang Lung begs Ching to give him any food he has left, and he’ll forgive Ching for... (full context)
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That night, Wang Lung sits in the main room while O-lan gives birth alone, as she wishes. He doesn’t... (full context)
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Wang Lung brings the child out and wraps it in a mat. Its head flops around and... (full context)
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The next morning, Wang Lung realizes that his family is far too weak to travel. Besides, they might not find... (full context)
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As Wang Lung thinks of death, he sees men, including his uncle, coming towards the house. His uncle... (full context)
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Wang Lung doesn’t acknowledge the men, but sees that they’re men from town who look well fed.... (full context)
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Finally Wang Lung asks how much the men will give him, thinking he must feed his children. A... (full context)
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...men take everything from the house. When they go to take the bed from under Wang Lung ’s father, the uncle stands outside to avoid seeing his brother. When they leave, O-lan... (full context)
Chapter 10
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...family closes the door behind them, the boys carrying bowls and chopsticks, and they leave. Wang Lung carries the girl until he has to give her to O-lan so that he can... (full context)
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...the gate to the House of Hwang. It’s locked, and a few people lie outside. Wang Lung hears one say that the rich are eating while they starve, and another says he... (full context)
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...the town as it gets dark, and they find a crowd of people moving south. Wang Lung asks where everyone is going, and someone tells him they’re going to ride the “firewagon”... (full context)
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Wang Lung realizes that they can’t survive another day of walking, so he says they’ll take the... (full context)
Chapter 11
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Wang Lung pays the family’s fare and buys some bread and rice. They’ve eaten so little lately... (full context)
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Wang Lung saves the rest of the money. He listens to the wisdom of other people in... (full context)
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When they get off the firewagon, Wang Lung has a plan. He leaves the family with O-lan and goes to buy mats. He... (full context)
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Wang Lung sees that there are huts built against the wall behind them, but no one knows... (full context)
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...forward towards the good smell of the steam, jostling dangerously though there’s plenty for all. Wang Lung can only cling to his family, and he manages to get the rice before the... (full context)
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They go outside and eat their rice, and Wang Lung thinks he’ll save some for later, but a guard tells him he can’t take any... (full context)
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...returns to their hut and sleeps soundly. The next morning, they need more money, but Wang Lung no longer despairs, because there’s so much food in the city. O-lan says she, the... (full context)
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Wang Lung rents a ricksha (rickshaw). He struggles to pull it, so he goes up and down... (full context)
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Wang Lung doesn’t even know how much the coin is worth, so he has it changed into... (full context)
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Wang Lung has three more passengers that day, but he only has a penny left after he’s... (full context)
Chapter 12
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As Wang Lung begins to feel secure in his family’s survival, he starts getting to know the city... (full context)
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Even though Wang Lung ’s family looks like the city people, they are like foreigners there. Life is slower... (full context)
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Finally, Wang Lung learns that he is not a true foreigner. One day when he’s looking for passengers,... (full context)
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...grains, meats, vegetables, and sweets. It doesn’t seem possible that anyone could starve here, but Wang Lung and his family still join the large group of people who buy cheap rice from... (full context)
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The second son begins to get good at stealing. Though this doesn’t bother O-lan, Wang Lung hates seeing his sons steal. One night when there’s pork in the stew they’re cooking,... (full context)
Chapter 13
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Though the city is filled with luxury, Wang Lung ’s family has barely enough to survive. The working people of the city have no... (full context)
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...of cloth or food. They’re endlessly having children, who are only more mouths to feed. Wang Lung and his family become part of this class of people that permeates the city and... (full context)
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The first hints of spring are arriving, and Wang Lung can’t sleep, so he stands on the edge of the street where his father squats.... (full context)
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Wang Lung returns to the hut and tells O-lan that if he had anything to sell, they... (full context)
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Wang Lung cries out in despair that he can never earn enough to save any money. A... (full context)
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That night, Wang Lung can’t sleep because he’s thinking so much about the difference between his life on this... (full context)
Chapter 14
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...to the countryside to forage for food, and O-lan and the boys go with them. Wang Lung continues to work. The warm weather makes everyone less satisfied with their meager lot in... (full context)
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Wang Lung feels separate from the other men because he owns land and plans to return to... (full context)
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Wang Lung can think only of his land, and so he hardly pays attention to the goings-on... (full context)
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Later a Chinese man gives another paper to Wang Lung . This one has a picture of a poor Chinese man being stabbed to death... (full context)
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...the wall that separates them from the wealthy house. They feel discontented and unfairly treated. Wang Lung still only wants his land back. (full context)
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One day, while pulling his ricksha down the street, Wang Lung sees a number of common men captured by a band of soldiers. He realizes that... (full context)
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Wang Lung tells O-lan what has happened and feels terrified that he’ll be forced to die on... (full context)
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Wang Lung only goes out at night now, and he pulls huge wagonloads of goods for very... (full context)
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From the hut, Wang Lung hears soldiers marching constantly to battle. Everyone in the city is afraid, and no one... (full context)
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Wang Lung holds his daughter and asks her if she’d like to go to a great house,... (full context)
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...tell them that the gates of the wealthy house have opened. O-lan leaves immediately, and Wang Lung follows in a daze. (full context)
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Wang Lung finds a mob forcing its way into the house. He gets caught up in the... (full context)
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Wang Lung comes upon a fat man who hasn’t escaped. He’s terrified of Wang Lung and begs... (full context)
Chapter 15
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Now back at home from the city, Wang Lung feels like he never left. He uses the gold to buy seeds and an ox.... (full context)
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The door, roof thatch, and farm tools have been stolen from their house. Wang Lung buys new tools and mats to cover the roof, and in the evening he looks... (full context)
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Finally Wang Lung ’s neighbor, Ching, tells him that robbers lived in his empty house and attacked the... (full context)
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Wang Lung is glad to discover that no one knows where his uncle has gone, though he’s... (full context)
Chapter 16
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One night in bed, Wang Lung feels a bundle hanging around O-lan’s neck. At first she doesn’t want to show it... (full context)
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Wang Lung says that they must trade the jewels for land, which can’t be stolen. As he’s... (full context)
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Wang Lung decides to use the other jewels to buy more land from the House of Hwang.... (full context)
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When Wang Lung says he’s come to buy from the house, a woman (Cuckoo) suddenly opens the gates... (full context)
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Cuckoo harshly tries to initiate business discussions, but Wang Lung protests that he can’t do business with a woman. Cuckoo shouts that no one else... (full context)
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...to leave the house, but she convinced him to stay so she wouldn’t be alone. Wang Lung realizes that she’s taking advantage of the Old Lord. Wang Lung says he can’t do... (full context)
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Wang Lung needs to think about what he’s learned, so he goes to a tea shop. It... (full context)
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Wang Lung buys tea for the shopkeeper in exchange for the news that he’s missed. The man... (full context)
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Wang Lung returns to the great house and speaks to Cuckoo at the gate. Once she assures... (full context)
Chapter 17
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After the purchase, Wang Lung has more land and harvest than he can handle, so he adds a room to... (full context)
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Wang Lung makes his sons work in the fields with him to get them used to the... (full context)
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Wang Lung has no troubles at this time besides the fact that his eldest daughter never speaks,... (full context)
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...usually famines every five or ten years in this region due to flooding or drought. Wang Lung decides to become wealthy enough that he’ll be able to weather these hard years and... (full context)
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Wang Lung eventually comes to work on the business end of the farm, rather than in the... (full context)
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Wang Lung and O-lan outfit the boys with clothes and writing supplies. They are to attend a... (full context)
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On his way home, Wang Lung is filled with pride in his sons. When he passes a neighbor, he tells him... (full context)
Chapter 18
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After seven years of good harvests, the river floods almost half of Wang Lung ’s land. Many houses in the region are destroyed, but Wang Lung’s house is on... (full context)
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Wang Lung gets impatient with his father, who still thinks tea is too luxurious and doesn’t realize... (full context)
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Wang Lung looks at O-lan but never sees anything new. He suddenly sees that she’s ugly and... (full context)
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Wang Lung gets grumpier as he remembers that he owes his land to O-lan’s theft of the... (full context)
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Wang Lung doesn’t enjoy anything as much as he used to. The tea shop he’s always gone... (full context)
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Wang Lung goes to a fancier tea shop that he’s always considered a bad place where people... (full context)
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Wang Lung goes back to the tea shop every day and stares at the paintings. He might... (full context)
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Wang Lung feels he must prove he’s not just a country farmer. Cuckoo already knows he’s wealthy,... (full context)
Chapter 19
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If Wang Lung had to plant his fields or if some crisis had occurred in the family, he... (full context)
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When Cuckoo recognizes Wang Lung , she dismisses him as just a farmer, which angers him. He wants to show... (full context)
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If anyone had told Wang Lung that such small, dainty hands and feet existed, he wouldn’t have believed them. He sits... (full context)
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Though Wang Lung has suffered much in his life, he suffers more than ever due to Lotus. He... (full context)
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Wang Lung begins to sleep outside rather than in his own bed. He snaps at anyone who... (full context)
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Wang Lung ’s family doesn’t understand the change in him. He no longer lets O-lan make his... (full context)
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Wang Lung spends vast amounts of money not only to be with Lotus, but to buy her... (full context)
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One day, Wang Lung finds O-lan washing his clothes and asks her what she’s done with the pearls she... (full context)
Chapter 20
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Wang Lung might have spent all his money if his uncle didn’t suddenly turn up at his... (full context)
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Wang Lung realizes that his uncle will never leave, since he now knows that Wang Lung can... (full context)
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Wang Lung feels that since he can have no comfort in his own house, he has to... (full context)
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Wang Lung suddenly realizes he must satisfy his desire for Lotus by buying her and bringing her... (full context)
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Wang Lung is afraid to go to the tea house until Lotus is his. He thinks he’ll... (full context)
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Wang Lung waits impatiently for Lotus, so he has a man build a goldfish pool for the... (full context)
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Eventually Lotus arrives, carried in a sedan chair across the fields and followed by Cuckoo. Wang Lung is suddenly afraid and hides in his room until his uncle’s wife calls to him.... (full context)
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When Wang Lung ’s uncle’s wife emerges, she tells him that Lotus isn’t as young as she appears,... (full context)
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O-lan finally returns at night with the children and goes through her normal routine without Wang Lung . He now spends all of his time with Lotus. Lotus has commanded that Cuckoo... (full context)
Chapter 21
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Wang Lung refuses to believe that bringing Lotus and Cuckoo into his house will cause conflict, even... (full context)
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...of Hwang. She points out how their positions have reversed from that time. O-lan asks Wang Lung what Cuckoo is doing there. He feels a mixture of shame and anger and can’t... (full context)
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...the cauldron to boil her own. When Cuckoo complains, O-lan ignores her. Cuckoo goes to Wang Lung , who scolds O-lan. O-lan says she won’t be a slave to slaves. When he... (full context)
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...begins going to town every day to buy expensive foods to cook in the kitchen. Wang Lung doesn’t like her spending so much money, but doesn’t want to tell her this or... (full context)
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Wang Lung becomes afraid to tell Lotus what to do, so she’s constantly talking to his uncle’s... (full context)
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One day Wang Lung ’s father, who’s usually oblivious to the world around him, discovers the doorway through which... (full context)
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One day Wang Lung hears Lotus scream and finds that the twins have brought his eldest daughter into her... (full context)
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Wang Lung loves his children, and he gets angry. He says that if Lotus doesn’t love them,... (full context)
Chapter 22
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Wang Lung ’s land heals the damage his love has done to him. He directs his men... (full context)
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Wang Lung realizes he has much to do, and he works hard in the fields, his body... (full context)
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Wang Lung is proud of other men’s jealousy of Lotus, because this shows his wealth. His uncle... (full context)
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Wang Lung has a good harvest that year, and he takes it to market with his eldest... (full context)
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When they’re walking home, Wang Lung decides that he must find his eldest son a wife so he doesn’t have to... (full context)
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At New Year’s, men come to visit Wang Lung and say he can have no greater fortune than what he already has. Wang Lung... (full context)
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One evening after Wang Lung beats his eldest son, O-lan tells him that the beatings will do no good. She’s... (full context)
Chapter 23
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Lotus pouts at the fact that Wang Lung pays attention to anything other than her. He laughs and tells her that he’s thinking... (full context)
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...man’s profession was, and Cuckoo identifies him as Liu, a grain dealer. When she tells Wang Lung where Liu’s market is, he realizes he sells his own grain there, and he thinks... (full context)
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One morning, the eldest son comes home drunk and sick. Wang Lung discovers him, and O-lan washes him and puts him to bed. Wang Lung questions the... (full context)
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Wang Lung finds his uncle’s son in his uncle’s rooms, also drunk. He questions the young man,... (full context)
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...are never closed now, and families of common people rent the rooms. It’s all dirty. Wang Lung asks the way to the whore named Yang, but when he knocks on her door... (full context)
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The very same day, Wang Lung tells Cuckoo to go to Liu and arrange his son’s marriage. He watches over his... (full context)
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Wang Lung finds himself in a more uncomfortable situation than ever. His uncle acts just as he... (full context)
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Wang Lung tries to be particularly courteous to his uncle’s family, even giving them extra money. He... (full context)
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Liu agrees to the marriage of his daughter to Wang Lung ’s eldest son, but wants to wait another three years, which worries Wang Lung. He... (full context)
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...that it’s made of locusts. Eventually the wind blows a dead locust to the ground. Wang Lung forgets about his family troubles and urges the villagers to fight the locusts. Some say... (full context)
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Wang Lung summons his workers and some of the other villagers, and they burn some of the... (full context)
Chapter 24
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One day Wang Lung ’s eldest son tells him that his teacher has no more to teach him, and... (full context)
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That night, when Wang Lung visits Lotus, she says that his eldest son wants to leave and go south. He... (full context)
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Wang Lung soon forgets about his son’s problems as he gains back through work the money he... (full context)
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Wang Lung is almost entirely content, but one night O-lan comes to him. She’s become thinner and... (full context)
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O-lan tells Wang Lung that their eldest son goes into Lotus’s court when he’s not there. Wang Lung hardly... (full context)
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When dawn comes, Wang Lung eats and then goes into the fields. After a while he shouts that he’s going... (full context)
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Wang Lung grows more angry and jealous than he’s ever been in his life. He strips a... (full context)
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Once Wang Lung ’s anger cools, he goes into Lotus’s room, where she lies crying. He accuses her... (full context)
Chapter 25
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Wang Lung is relieved when his eldest son has gone. He feels that he can now take... (full context)
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Wang Lung goes that very day to visit Liu. He has to ask a passerby to identify... (full context)
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...examine each other and like what they see. They drink and make small talk, until Wang Lung finally proposes that his second son might go to work for Liu. Liu says he’d... (full context)
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When Wang Lung returns home, he sees that his second daughter is pretty and has nicely bound feet.... (full context)
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That night, Wang Lung can’t sleep for thinking about O-lan’s faithfulness and how she has accurately read his character.... (full context)
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It seems like this is the first occasion Wang Lung has had time to think about O-lan, and now he can’t stop thinking about her.... (full context)
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Wang Lung watches O-lan as she goes about her work, and one day he sees that she’s... (full context)
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Wang Lung is terrified and shouts at the doctor to give her medicine. O-lan awakens. The doctor... (full context)
Chapter 26
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O-lan lies dying all through the winter, and Wang Lung ’s family finally realizes how much she had done for them. Nobody else seems to... (full context)
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Wang Lung pays no attention to the land while O-lan is dying. Ching takes care of everything,... (full context)
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Wang Lung refuses to talk about O-lan’s death, but one day he goes to buy a coffin... (full context)
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Wang Lung sits by O-lan in silence, though sometimes she talks as though remembering her childhood, speaking... (full context)
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...has been married and had sons, while Cuckoo remains a slave. Cuckoo is angry, but Wang Lung leads her away. O-lan forbids Cuckoo or Lotus from touching her possessions after she dies. (full context)
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Just before the New Year, O-lan seems better. She has Wang Lung send for the girl who is engaged to their eldest son so that she can... (full context)
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...few days, O-lan says she wants to see her eldest son marry before she dies. Wang Lung doesn’t like to hear her talk about dying, but she sounds stronger in speaking her... (full context)
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...the wedding, the eldest son comes home, looking like a man and wearing fine clothes. Wang Lung is proud of him and brings him to see O-lan. The son is sad at... (full context)
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When the bride comes before the guests, Wang Lung is glad to see her modesty. His sons enter, and he’s very proud of them.... (full context)
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...has the doors left open so that she can hear and smell the feast, and Wang Lung repeatedly assures her that everything has been done properly. When the guests leave, she becomes... (full context)
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...she is, she did have a son. She worries that Lotus won’t take care of Wang Lung . Wang Lung sends everyone else out and sits by O-lan, despising himself for noticing... (full context)
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Wang Lung doesn’t want to be near O-lan’s dead body, so he has his relatives prepare the... (full context)
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Before long, Wang Lung ’s father dies in his sleep. The second daughter finds him in the morning and... (full context)
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...priests come from the Taoist and Buddhist temples and chant all night. If they stop, Wang Lung pays them more. Ching has arranged the burial plot with plenty of room for future... (full context)
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At the graves, Wang Lung does not cry, because he feels that nothing could have been done to prevent the... (full context)
Chapter 27
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Wang Lung has hardly thought about his crops, but after the burial Ching tells him that a... (full context)
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Wang Lung watches the water, which stays below his house on a hill and doesn’t quite reach... (full context)
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Wang Lung has secretly hidden stashes of money and grain, so he knows his family won’t starve.... (full context)
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The next day, Wang Lung ’s uncle asks for money, and Wang Lung has to give it to him, though... (full context)
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Wang Lung ’s eldest son keeps his wife shut up in their room away from his cousin,... (full context)
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Before long, Wang Lung ’s uncle’s son begins to look at Wang Lung’s second daughter, who is very pretty.... (full context)
Chapter 28
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After Wang Lung sends his second daughter away, he offers his uncle the opium, pretending he’d bought it... (full context)
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One day the eldest son announces that his wife is pregnant. Wang Lung is joyful and has Ching buy good food for the pregnant woman to eat. The... (full context)
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As summer approaches, people return from the south and come to borrow money from Wang Lung to reestablish their farms. He also buys land from them. Others sell their daughters instead,... (full context)
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Wang Lung goes across his land with Ching, discussing the soil, and brings his youngest son to... (full context)
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When Wang Lung returns from the fields, his eldest son says he can’t bear to have his cousin... (full context)
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...suggests that they might move to town and leave the uncle’s family in the country. Wang Lung refuses to consider the suggestion, saying that the land has given them all they have.... (full context)
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Wang Lung makes no decision yet, but he does notice the despicable actions of his uncle’s son.... (full context)
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One day Wang Lung visits his second son at the grain market and asks what he thinks of the... (full context)
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...marry a woman from town like his brother’s wife, who will make him spend money. Wang Lung is surprised at this characterization of his eldest son’s wife, but he’s happy to find... (full context)
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Wang Lung goes to the House of Hwang. There are common people everywhere in the courts, and... (full context)
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Wang Lung asks the gateman’s wife to let him into the gate she’s guarding. She says she... (full context)
Chapter 29
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Wang Lung tells his eldest son to arrange to rent the house, and the family prepares to... (full context)
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The uncle’s family moves into what were Lotus’s courts, but Wang Lung can tell that his uncle will die soon, and then he can throw out his... (full context)
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Wang Lung decides that he should decrease the work necessary to run his lands by renting some... (full context)
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Wang Lung ’s uncle’s son grows restless, and when he hears about a war in the north,... (full context)
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As his grandson’s birth approaches, Wang Lung spends more time at the house in town, amazed to think that he’s living where... (full context)
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One morning Wang Lung hears his eldest son’s wife in labor. He’s frightened of her screams, so he brings... (full context)
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Finally, Lotus comes to tell him that he has a grandson. Wang Lung is joyful and laughs at his anxiety. He sits remembering O-lan giving birth to all... (full context)
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Wang Lung ’s eldest son throws a great feast to celebrate the birth of his son. Afterwards,... (full context)
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Wang Lung demands to know what happened to Ching, and the laborers tell him that Ching, now... (full context)
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Wang Lung stops going to his land so often, and he rents it all out but refuses... (full context)
Chapter 30
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Wang Lung thinks he has everything he could want and can live in peace. But his eldest... (full context)
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Wang Lung knows nothing of what goes on, as he stays in the inner courts, sleeping and... (full context)
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One day Wang Lung ’s second son comes to him and says that they’re spending too much money on... (full context)
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Wang Lung tells his eldest son they’ve made enough improvements to the house, but his son insists... (full context)
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The eldest son persists, saying that Wang Lung ’s youngest son should be sent to school. Wang Lung had planned for him to... (full context)
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Wang Lung sends for his youngest son. He sees that the boy is beautiful, but frowns frequently.... (full context)
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Wang Lung appoints his second son as steward over the land, which pleases him, as it will... (full context)
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None of the family seems quite at peace in the house. Sometimes Wang Lung wishes he were back in his plain house on his fields. The eldest son and... (full context)
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After five years, Wang Lung ’s uncle dies during a very cold winter. Wang Lung’s uncle and the uncle’s wife... (full context)
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When Wang Lung ’s uncle dies, he buries him in the family burial plot and the family wears... (full context)
Chapter 31
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Wang Lung has often heard of war, but the closest he came to it was in the... (full context)
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...ranks of men in uniforms march through the streets holding weapons. Their fierce expressions frighten Wang Lung , but just as he’s about to lock the gate his uncle’s son marches by... (full context)
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Dismayed, Wang Lung and his eldest son bar the door of the inner court. The second son rushes... (full context)
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...wife. Then he goes to Lotus and calls her “Old Mistress,” saying he can tell Wang Lung is rich by how fat she is. Lotus is flattered and gives him a flirtatious... (full context)
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Finally Wang Lung shows the uncle’s son to his mother’s room. He wakes the uncle’s wife by banging... (full context)
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...at the slaves. Cuckoo says they need to give him a slave for himself, and Wang Lung approves. He sends Cuckoo to the cousin, who tells her he wants a slave named... (full context)
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Pear Blossom can tell that Wang Lung pities her, so she weeps at his feet. He tells Cuckoo he doesn’t want to... (full context)
Chapter 32
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Wang Lung and his sons hire carpenters and masons to repair the courts where the soldiers were... (full context)
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Before long, the uncle’s wife dies. Wang Lung sends for the farm laborer who accidentally caused Ching’s death. Wang Lung sits on the... (full context)
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...waste of money. The elder son doesn’t like it that his brother controls the money. Wang Lung has no peace. (full context)
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Ever since Wang Lung protected Pear Blossom from his uncle’s son, Lotus has disliked her and accuses Wang Lung... (full context)
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Wang Lung ’s youngest son has long been absorbed with his books, but when the soldiers were... (full context)
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Wang Lung thinks that he has given his youngest son everything he could desire, but he decides... (full context)
Chapter 33
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Wang Lung begins to think only of Pear Blossom. One day he feels particularly lustful, and he... (full context)
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Pear Blossom passes the gate to Wang Lung ’s court, and he calls her in. He holds on to her coat, thinking that... (full context)
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Eventually Cuckoo realizes that Pear Blossom has become Wang Lung ’s concubine, and she’s reminded of the Old Lord. Wang Lung tells her he’s not... (full context)
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Wang Lung is ashamed to tell his sons about Pear Blossom. The second son comes to talk... (full context)
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Later that day, the eldest son comes to Wang Lung ’s court. Wang Lung is afraid for him to find out about Pear Blossom, but... (full context)
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The youngest son comes that evening when Pear Blossom is sitting with Wang Lung in the court. The youngest son appears suddenly, like a panther, looking fierce. He says... (full context)
Chapter 34
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Before long, Wang Lung ’s passion for Pear Blossom passes, but he’s still fond of her and glad to... (full context)
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Wang Lung is usually alone except for Pear Blossom and his eldest daughter. He worries about Pear... (full context)
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As the years pass, Wang Lung sits in the sun like his father did. Sometimes he visits Lotus, who sits talking... (full context)
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Wang Lung asks Cuckoo about his sons’ wives, and she tells him that his eldest son seems... (full context)
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As Wang Lung grows old, he keeps his love of the land, and he goes out to it... (full context)
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Wang Lung returns to town and sends for his eldest son, but when he arrives Wang Lung... (full context)
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Wang Lung lives peacefully, thinking often about his land, but not worrying about planting or harvests. He... (full context)
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One day Wang Lung follows his sons out onto the land. He comes up to them silently and hears... (full context)