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Chapter 34

Wang soon finds himself feeling no passion for Pear Blossom anymore, and he grows to love her now only as a father loves a daughter. He is glad to see that she tends to his poor fool daughter, although only for his sake, and he reveals his plans to poison her when his own death is imminent, since he knows that no other will care for her after he is gone. Pear Blossom says that she cannot bring herself to participate in the poor fool's death, and instead offers to care for her after his death. Wang's heart lifts to hear this, but he still insists that she take the poison packet just in case.
Wang grows more withdrawn with each passing day. Pear Blossom reveals that she has hated all men but Wang gives up on convincing her otherwise, since he only wishes for peace. Every now and then, Wang visits Lotus who greets him well, though she is also quite old. Wang also visits the courts of his sons to see his grandchildren. He asks them what they are studying, even though he does not understand their current studies of the Revolution. Wang also learns from Cuckoo that his eldest son frequents the tea house, and that his younger son is likely a military official in the Revolution.
As Wang ages, his strong love for the land remains. Sometimes he returns to the old home to sleep where the first half of his life originated. One spring day, Wang walks to the cemetery and recalls his entire family vividly. He concludes that he must get a coffin for himself to prepare for his own death. He tells his eldest son of his wishes, with some assistance from Pear Blossom, and he is comforted when he sees the strong coffin his son purchases for him.
The months pass by quickly and the old Wang can think of nothing more than his food and the land. His sons come to visit him almost daily at the old house, and Pear Blossom updates him on their lives. The eldest son is an officer in the town and has taken a new wife; the second son is starting his own grain market. On one of his sons' visits, he walks with them around the land, even though he does not comprehend all they are saying. However, he does hear the second son say to the elder that they will sell the land.
Wang is horrified and so choked up by the very thought that he cannot speak and only can weep. Wang just repeats again and again that it will be the end of their family if the land is sold. His sons soothe him by telling him they will not sell the land, but secretly they smile at each other knowingly. Once Wang is dead, the land will be sold.

Browse all book notes

Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Chapter 1
Chapter 2 and 3
Chapter 4 and 5
Chapter 6 and 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10 and 11
Chapter 12 and 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28
Chapter 29
Chapter 30
Chapter 31
Chapter 32
Chapter 33
Chapter 34


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