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In this chapter, Wang Lung is seen working in the fields with gusto. His closeness to the land begins to work wonders on him. When he was away from the earth, he was out of contact with the good things in life. Now that he has returned to his land, Wang is "healed of his sickness of love by the good dark earth." He is no longer obsessed with his appearance or with Lotus. When she delicately closes her nose at his garlic breath, Wang just laughs and takes her.
Wang now takes pride again in his work on the land. He also is proud that he has status in the community and that others seek him for advice. In addition, he takes a renewed interest in his children, especially his eldest son. The father, however, starts noticing moments of melancholy and irritation in his eldest son and mentions it to his wife. O-Lan suggests that it is time to look for a girl for him. As a result, Wang starts searching in earnest for a suitable wife for his son.
The joy that Wang gets from working the earth again is immense; it is almost as if the earth has healed him of his past sickness of heart. He once again has things in proper perspective. Lotus is now merely his concubine from whom he can take pleasure, while O- Lan is his wife, the mother of his sons, and his helpmate.
When Wang expresses his surprise over his son's melancholy to his wife, O-Lan correctly blames it on the fact that the son has a rich father and too much idle time. She compares her own son to the Hwang sons who have always been troublesome. Ironically, Wang's sons, like the Hwangs, are growing away from the earth, which seems to always cause problems. O-Lan's solution to her son's problems is to find him a good woman. As a result, Wang earnestly begins to search for him a suitable wife. Though Ching is his most trusted friend, Wang is inwardly thankful that Ching's daughter is not around, since she would be too common for his educated son. Wang, though basically a farmer himself, wants a better life for his sons than he has had for himself.