Wang Lung continues to stray from what is truest, and moves Lotus and her servant into a new wing of his house. Still, O-lan remains the hero of the story, for me. She sets her limits. She continues making meals for Wang Lung's father and taking care of the family but refuses to serve Cuckoo, who was cruel to her when they were both slaves in the House of Hwang. When Wang Lung tries to force O-lan to serve Lotus and Cuckoo, she has a defining moment. She stands up for herself and says to Wang Lung, "I am not a slave of slaves in this house at least." (p. 203) Her truth is simple and unshakeable.
Finally, the flood that has taken Wang Lung away from farming recedes...and the land calls him back. He throws off his new clothes and velvet shoes, grabs a hoe and runs out to the fields. Working heals his lovesickness and Lotus loses her hold over him. He starts eating simple meals at O-lan's table. It seems that balance has been restored. But I know that Wang Lung's karmic debt must be due soon....
What do you think?