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O'lan was sold into the house of the rich people she worked for, therefore this isn't a suprise; she makes the offer for the sake of her husband, and the fact that he talks of nothing but going home to his land. This is a sacrificial offer, not a selfish one.
"Wang Lung recoils at the thought because he is fond of his daughter. Still, he is tempted by the idea. He moans aloud, torn between his love for his daughter and his love for the land."
Wang Lung recoils and carries on, but in the end he chooses the land.