Now, there's a downside of being a down-to-earth farmer: naivety. He says that he would rather starve than eat something stolen. Wang Lung then faces the long journey south, contemplating how the family will survive walking, when he discovers that the "firewagon" the Chinese word for the newly built train takes people south for a fee.
When the Great House falls into decline he is among the band of robbers that raids the house. When we first meet him, preparing for his wedding day, he takes his bath water and returns it to the good earth. He desires grandchildren to comfort him in his old age and becomes exceedingly needy and senile as the novel progresses.
O-Lan's morale suffers, and she eventually dies but not before witnessing her first son's wedding. A woman of few words, she is uneducated but nonetheless is valuable to Wang Lung for her skills, good sense, and indomitable work ethic.
Wang Lung's second son Crafty, thrifty, and industrious, Wang Lung's second son becomes a grain merchant. This want of wealth and status is something that Wang lung passes down to his sons.
Her feet are large and thus considered unattractive. That's true. Wang Lung finally appreciates her place in his life as he mourns her passing. She is retarded and never learns to speak.