Colin L. Westerbeck, Jr.
So many things seem to me wrong about [the killing of the hapless spider at the end of This Sporting Life], it is hard to know where to begin to criticize—or better still, exorcise—such an image. On the simplest and most literal level, unless one is trying to document lapses of sanitation under the National Health, one doesn't find spiders in hospital rooms. The spider is out of place there. It doesn't belong. It's an intrusion, an imposition, an importation.
Perhaps a more serious breach of art, however, is the fact that this spider isn't even an accurate image for the dilemma in which Anderson's rugby player finds himself. Where is the capricious hand of fate that crushes him? It doesn't...
(The entire section is 470 words.)