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After all that drama with the older son, Wang Lung doesn't want any more troubles. So he starts thinking about his second son and decides to apprentice him to the father of his daughter-in-law-to-be. While he's there, he even gets his 10-year-old daughter engaged.
Wang Lung finds out that O-lan's been saying that he didn't love her, because her feet were not bound, and he feels guilty. He starts thinking about O-lan for the first time in his life. He notices that she is sick—and that she has been sick for years.
All of a sudden he calls for the doctor, who basically says it's too late now. When he realizes that O-lan is going to die Wang Lung cries for the first time in the novel. Didn't realize how good he had it, did he?