Reuven has just heard the news that Billy's surgery was not successful. He sees the fly struggling to get free from a spider's web while sitting on the porch. He stands up to help get it free by blowing on the web.
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Since it is one of the bare details in this chapter, the spider and the housefly that Reuven watch could be taken as symbolic details. However, symbolic interpretations cannot be given too much weight; at best, the housefly can suggest how each of the characters is bound by invisible forces that limit their behavior.