The Good Earth Chapter 22
At night, he visits Lotus who protests that she is not the wife of a farmer, but he feels free. The earth has rid him of the sickness of love, and now he does not care that Lotus is disdainful of his garlic smells and earth stains.
Many men in the village, who admire his ability to keep two women in the house, envy Wang Lung. One is for his pleasure, and the other is the working mother of his children who feeds him. Wang Lung increasingly garners respect and admiration from the men in the village.
The rains come, and there is harvest. In the winter, Wang Lung goes to the grain market to sell his produce, and he has his eldest son accompany him. He is extremely proud that his son is able to read and write. Walking back home with his son, Wang Lung thinks to himself that he should look for a wife for the grown boy. He discusses the matter with Ching, who remembering his own daughter, tells Wang Lung that if he had his daughter with him, he would marry her off to Wang Lung's family for nothing. Wang Lung thanks Ching, but secretly thinks that the wife of a common farmer would have been insufficient for his first born.
The New Year comes, and villagers come to see Wang Lung to wish him happiness. Wang Lung greets these men with dignity. With food everywhere on the table, people know that Wang Lung has had another good year.
Spring comes soon, and the eldest son suddenly turns moody and peevish, unwilling to eat or go to school. Wang Lung does not know what to do, and one day, the second son tells him that his older brother was not in school that day. Wang Lung is angry, and beats his son with a bamboo until O-lan stops him. O-lan tells Wang Lung that their son is acting like one of the young lords in the great House of Hwang. Wang Lung cannot understand because he never had such times during adolescence, but he is secretly proud that he has a son who acts like a young lord of a once great family.