This pertains to chapter 2.
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In Chapter Two, Lee Sing's remark to Lou Ann at the market underscores a theme of the novel, the devaluing of women throughout society. Lee Sing views a female child as merely a possession that will serve only as the property of another family when she becomes married. The analogy is certainly a harsh one, placing the status of a woman as equal to the status of a farm animal prepared for the slaughter. Among the female characters of the novel, it is Lou Ann who is most ready to accept this pessimistic viewpoint, and is thus most ready for a drastic development and maturation.