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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 12 is one of the most important in the novel. In it, Alfred reaches his lowest point but experiences a kind of epiphany, a moment of clarity or self-awareness. Alfred eventually transcends the crisis that begins with the party and ends, appropriately, in a conversation with Mr. Donatelli after Alfred has, once more, climbed those symbolic stairs to the gym. Lipsyte is a master of imagery, and the imagery is especially powerful as he describes Alfred's further descent and eventual resurrection. In the first sentence of the chapter, Lipsyte does not say that the telephone is ringing; instead, he writes, "the rattlesnake was buzzing." Some annoying, probably dangerous force brings Alfred to consciousness. Instead of simply stating that Alfred feels sick, Lipsyte applies metaphors from the gym where Alfred has spent so many hours training in...
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- Fall '09