Junior uses this phrase to describe Rowdy. Rowdy is large and combative. He does not let anyone take advantage of him, and he is prone to using violent force if he feels threatened. Junior's description of Rowdy emphasizes Rowdy's tendency to eschew rational thought and react according to his natural animal instincts.
"like some mythical creature" (simile)
Junior describes hope to be "like some mythical creature." This indicates that he has heard that hope exists, but, like a rare mythical beast, he has never actually experienced it in person.
"like I was Bigfood or a UFO" (simile)
Junior often describes himself as an alien in order to demonstrate that he feels out of place. This simile shows how Junior feels when he first arrives at Reardan; all of the other students are staring at him as though he is some kind of unfamiliar, unbelievable sight.
"They call me an apple"
The other Indians on the reservation call Junior an apple because he looks "red" on the outside but is truly white on the inside.They consider him a traitor for attending a white school away from the reservation. "Red" is a racist and derogatory term for Indians; Junior's tribespeople use this metaphor as an insult.
"Like a Lion" (simile)
This chapter heading shows that Junior starts to feel powerful as his basketball skills improve. In Reardan's second game against Wellpinit, Junior is tenacious and unwavering. He remains focused like a lion stalking its prey. However, after Wellpinit's crushing defeat, Junior realizes that being a lion also means accepting that he is a predator and he has the power to subjugate his weaker prey.
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