From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
Scholars have suggested that this woman (from the movie, remember?) metaphorically represents the protagonist and Laura. As the woman is tied to the "white beam," so the protagonist and Laura are similarly tied to socioeconomic forces beyond their control. Remember, "Everything is fixed."