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Consider the following simile and its importance as we are told about how Lena receives her mother's prediction as a child that the man she marries will have one pockmark on his face for each grain of rice that she leaves unfinished in her bowl during dinner:
So I picked up that cold bowl of rice and scraped the last few grains into my mouth, then smiled at my mother, confident my future husband would not be Arnold but someone whose face was as smooth as the porcelain in my now clean bowl.
Arnold was a neighbouhood boy who had a marked face and who also bullied Lena. She therefore finished up her bowl of cold rice to ensure that she would not have to marry him. The simile in this quote compares the face of Lena's future husband, as prophesied by her mother, to the smoothness of the porceilain of Lena's bowl. This is a story that Lena recalls as she nervously awaits the arrival of her mother to meet her husband as an adult.
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