Sometimes Lipsyte chooses metaphor , a figure of speech in which the author speaks of something as if it actually were something else. At the opening of Chapter 12, for example, Alfred is passed out on his kitchen floor, somehow having returned home from the wild party at the clubroom. Lipsyte writes that Alfred hears a rattlesnake buzzing. But in fact, the noise Alfred hears is the ringing telephone. Alfred's subconscious transfer of telephone to rattlesnake reveals his aversion to the constant harping of the trainers. He feels pressured by time. He thinks Henry is screaming at him and Jelly Belly is sitting on his head. The rattlesnake is a deadly threat, and Alfred thinks that life is attacking him. At other times, Lipsyte writes of punches that are tons of concrete or iron pipes, rather than saying that the punches felt like them. Under attack, Alfred sees the punches that way. The
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