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Wang Lung's comments about O'lan's feet foreshadow his eventual affair or taking Lotus Flower as a concubine (bound feet are smaller and more beautiful). Now that he's wealthy, Wang Lung is more interested in status and things. Lotus Flower doesn't need to bear his children or work beside him in the fields, all she needs to do is look beautiful and give him pleasure. This relationship is important for that same reason, as his relationship with Lotus compliments his status, whereas O'Lan is simply a reminder of poverty, hard work, and more difficult times.
The Good Earth