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Unformatted text preview: The brief Chapter 9 centers on Reuven's calling Billy Merrit, the boy with whom he shared a hospital room, and learning from Billy's father that the surgery performed on Billy's eyes was unsuccessful. Billy probably will be blind for the rest of his life. Despondent over the news about Billy, Reuven wanders aimlessly about the apartment. Note the many references to Reuven's heightened senses. For example, his hands feel very cold, he sees sunlight hitting the leaves of an ailanthus tree nicknamed the tree of heaven outside a window and smells its "musty odor," and he hears a fly buzzing. The incident in which he frees the fly from the spider web perhaps suggests Reuven's emotional reaction upon learning Billy's fate. Billy cannot do anything to change his sightless condition. Reuven, emotionally upset about the lack of control do anything to change his sightless condition....
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- Fall '11