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"When the poor become to poor and the rich are to rich." What is the ambivalence of...

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biebercrazy | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 21, 2010 at 9:09 AM via web

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"When the poor become to poor and the rich are to rich." What is the ambivalence of this statement-a mixture of both hope and despair?

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cetaylorplfd | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted August 21, 2010 at 8:40 PM (Answer #1)

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The tension in the statement is seen in Wang Lung's journey through life.  While he and his family are in the city in the south, Wang Lung meets many rich people and he witnesses the open market where luxurious items are bought and traded by these people.  Wang Lung dreams of becoming rich also.  However, Wang Lung never loses his belief that his land is the most valuable of his possessions.  When Wang Lung returns to his land, he is quite happy to continue farming and carrying on his traditional way of life.  But he does go to the Hwangs to buy more land from them.  From this, he eventually becomes rich and is persuaded to move into the Hwang's former mansion.  Soon Wang Lung learns that there is both hope and despair in his "rich" life just as there was in his "poor" life. 

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