Malamud's love of metaphor and romantic, nearly flowery language is especially apparent in several paragraphs of this chapter. Take the scene in which Roy contemplates himself in his room, for instance: "Gasping for air, he stood at the open window and looked down at the dreary city till his legs and armed were drugged with heaviness. He shut the hall door and flopped into bed. In the dark he was lost in an overwhelming weakness I am finished, he muttered. The pages of the record book fell apart and fluttered away in the wind. He slept and woke, finished. All night long he waited for the bloody silver bullet." Malamud moves freely from narrating actual events—Roy flopping into bed, Roy speaking—to the details of a dream, in which the pages of a record book flutter away and a bloody silver bullet works its way toward Roy. Both are symbols: the record book represents Roy's misguided hopes of fame, which will lead to his failure; the silver bullet is that failure itself, the result of the limits of Roy's vision and ambition. As long as Roy fails to understand his role in terms of the Fisher King and the Waste Land, he is always vulnerable to the silver bullet of Harriet Bird.