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Ruku sees "a garland of mango leaves, symbol of happiness and good fortune, dry now and rattling in the breeze" (Chapter 1).
The decorations, mango leaves, might stand for Ruku and Nathan's dependence on the land and the harvest for their livelihood. The poor condition of the garland would symbolize and foreshadow drought, the destruction of their crops, and the family's subsequent demise.
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