Wang Lung thought of his land and pondered this way and that, with
the sickened heart of deferred hope, how he could get back to it.
He belonged, not to this scum which clung to the walls of a rich
man’s house; nor did he belong to the rich man’s house. He belonged
to the land and he could not live with any fullness until he felt
the land under his feet and followed a plow in the springtime and
bore a scythe in his hand at harvest.
This quotation from Chapter 14 depicts
when Wang Lung, now in the city, looks back on his land with longing.
His connection to the simple life of the earth has been affirmed
by his time in the poverty-stricken urban chaos of the city. This
quotation is important because it shows Wang Lung thinking in terms
of economic comparisons. He has always had a tendency to think of
money, but this tendency has been strengthened by his experience
of acute poverty in the city. His longing for the tangible connection
to his land provided by the plow and scythe—the symbols of planting
and harvest, and of effort and reward—also indicates the acute loneliness