When Powder tells Valentino that they are brothers, he does not mean this literally. He is making the inference that both men are black. For Powder, it means that they share a common bound which is that they have do deal with constant racism and subjugation.
"an animal desperate only to survive" (p. 74)
In an instant, Valentino went from being a carefree child at his mother's side to be animal-like, a creature trying to survive each and every day. He had to be constantly thinking about where his next meal would come from and how to best evade being captured or killed.
"our limbs leaden" (p. 145)
Valentino uses this metaphor to describe how heavy his arms were while they walked from Sudan to Ethiopia. Lead is one of the heaviest and most dense materials on earth, and he is describing that his arms felt as heavy and dense as this element.
"like an insect in the silk of a spider" (p. 200)
When Valentino describes what it felt like to be caught by the barbed wire in the desert, he describes it in a prey versus predator way. Because he was caught by the barbed wire, there was nothing he could do except wait to be found.
"it seemed that she floated" (p. 430)
When Valentino describes Tabitha, he constantly speaks with ethereal, grandiose words to describe her beauty and grace. Valentino believed that she floated and glided rather than walked, which gives her a more angelic feel. It makes Tabitha seem as though she is more special than other girls.
What is the What Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for What is the What is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.