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By the fifth year, Wang Lung feels the shame of being illiterate. Although a prosperous landowner, he is ignorant. One day, he decides to put the eldest son in school so that he may be a scholar, accompanying Wang Lung to grain markets to read and write for him. When the second son also insists on going, both sons are sent to school. After all the preparations have been made, the boys are arranged to attend a small school near the city gate kept by a schoolmaster who once failed the government examination. Taking the boys to school on the first day, Wang Lung is filled with pride. At school, the schoolmaster gives the boys school names. The eldest son is named Nun En, and the second son is named Nung Wen. "Nung" means "one whose wealth is from the earth."
I'm not sure if I really answered your question. Wang Lung pretty much manages his land, workers and family. He no longer is a labourer. The implications being he has done the near impossible; he has risen above his station in life.
Thanks alot, Aslan