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Coach is a character who becomes hugely significant in Arnold's struggle with his identity as he seems to fight to know who he is and how to integrate both his Indian and white existence. This of course becomes something that he is not able to ignore when he plays basketball against the school on his Reservation, on the white team. Arnold is of course incredibly nervous and emotional about the match, but note the advice that his Coach gives him:
If you care about something enough, it's going to make you cry. But you have to use it. Use your tears. Use your pain. Use your fear. Get mad, Arnold, get mad.
This advice enables Arnold to use constructively his emotions and his feelings of confusion and also of anger. He is able to respond to his situation positively and with great impact, as the victory of his basketball team shows.
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