There are various reasons due to which the audiences preferred the spider woman to the old man. First, she was a woman, and people feel more sympathy for women as compared to old men. Moreover, the spider woman was part of the traveling carnival. The admission fee to see the spider woman was less than the fee that was charged by Elisenda to see the angel. The townspeople were also allowed to ask her various questions regarding her present state, and they were also given permission to examine her. She communicated openly with the townspeople and talked about her sad and terrible experience. This garnered her sympathy from the people. Her story was simple to grasp and taught the moral lesson to the townspeople. In comparison, the old man did not explain himself or tell any kind of story. He did not reassure the people.
Crabs symbolize the poverty of the Pelayo and Elisenda. Their house was infested with crabs during rains. However, Pelayo killed them all and threw them in the water. They emphasized poverty and that; Pelayo could not afford to buy a better house. In the story, the angel symbolized the unknown or the unfamiliar. People had perceived notions regarding the angels, but the angel in the story did not fit any. The angel was different from not only the townspeople but also their ideas regarding the angels. The people treated him like an animal and were cruel to him. Using the angel as the symbol, the author wanted to show society’s reaction towards unknown beings. Spider-woman symbolized familiarity. She might have looked different, but she fascinated the townsmen because of her open communication. Townspeople could relate to her.
There are different tones used throughout the story. Initially, the author used a pitying tone by showing the poverty of the Pelayo and Elisenda and how they were worried because of their child. Then the author used a sympathetic tone to depict a gloomy and dull environment. He wanted to feel readers’ compassion towards the characters by describing rain settings with the grayish environment and rotten smells. Moreover, after the main characters discovered the angel, their first thought was to kill him but decided not to do so. They spared his life instead. After, the tone of the author became somber when he discussed the cruel attitude of the townspeople towards the angel. The author showed people’s cruelty and their animalistic behavior towards the angel. The tone of the author then became judgmental when he described the features and appearance of the angel as compared to the stereotypic image of angels in people’s minds.