Wang Lung's change in behavior, a reflection of his change in values, does not reflect well upon him; it shows that he has become corrupted by wealth. Once he acquires the money (through O-lan's cleverness and courage) that allows him to found what will become his own great house, Wang Lung loses touch with his land and with himself. His work ethic is replaced by laziness; his respect and consideration for others is consumed by his own selfishness and self-indulgence. This is seen most clearly in his shameful treatment of O-lan, the loyal wife without whom he never would have achieved such riches. Once he becomes a wealthy lord, Wang Lung subjects O-lan to great cruelty and humiliation. Wang Lung gains a great fortune, but he loses his integrity as he builds his "great house" that eventually will fall, just as other corrupt families have fallen before his, largely for the same reasons.