Wang Lung is a Chinese man who is an only child born to a lower-middle class family. At the beginning of the story, Wang Lung lives with only his aging father, but is preparing to receive his wife. Throughout the story, Wang Lung manages to become wealthy, though he and his family also experience times of extreme difficulty. He has several children, takes concubines into his home, and fails to love his wife in the way that she truly deserves. Due to his farming background and common raising, Wang Lung maintains strong ties to the land; the strength of these ties dictates many of Wang Lung's actions. However, the conclusion of the story finds his own children possessing little or no interest in the land and considering its possession to be of little importance.