Ever since you got that Ivy League scholarship, you’ve been hooked on their teat. You think you’re one of them because you go on their ski vacations and their yachts. The Man snaps his fingers, you jump up and bite for him.

The speaker is angry that his best friend gave the speaker the back. Both hispanic and 'them' means white people.

And I can't understand that 'The Man snaps his fingers, you jump up and bite for him'. In this dialogue, 'The man' means 'the owner of a dog' and 'you' means 'a dog'? I guess it means 'You are like a dog to them'.

But I'm not sure. Help me understand this dialogue perfectly!

(My native language is not English. Please be kind to me. :-))

  • 1
    This is just a character's speech. Yes, he is saying the guy is a dog because he jumps up (from a lying down position, which is the position of a relaxed dog) and bites the person indicated to him. The Man with a capital m means some authority or other, like the cops, for example. The person speaking is describing the behavior of the person he is speaking to. So, some authority snaps his fingers and the guy does everything the authority tells him to do.
    – Lambie
    Oct 10, 2019 at 15:18
  • Thank you for commenting. It helped a lot! Oct 10, 2019 at 20:27
  • I think the more common expression is "when he says jump, you ask 'how high?'".
    – jimm101
    Sep 16, 2022 at 13:02

1 Answer 1


You misunderstand the parsing of the sentence.

you jump up and bite for him

'You' is the subject, 'jump up and bite' is the compound verb, 'for' is the preposition and 'him' is the (indirect) object. In other words:

What do you do? You "jump up and bite". Who do you do it for? You do it for him (the Man), meaning because he wants you to.

"The Man" does not usually refer to the owner of a dog, but to "the boss" or "the ruling class". However the use of "jump up and bite" is clearly indicating your similarity to the behaviour of a dog that does whatever its owner wants.

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