Manuel Puig’s Kiss of the Spider Woman

A brief discussion about Manuel Puig’s `Kiss of the Spider Woman.`

A discussion of Manuel Puig’s Kiss of the Spider Woman about the relationship which develops between two men sharing a cell. The analysis and commentary consists of a short summary of the plot of the book, commentary on issues of style, themes, historical or political context, language and structure, and questions for further discussion.
In Kiss of the Spider Woman, Manuel Puig weaves a story of two men sharing a prison cell in an Argentine jail and the unlikely devotion and friendship that develops as they are forced to pass their days together. Molina, a middle-aged homosexual is serving time for corrupting a minor. Valentin, a macho revolutionary, is there due to his socialist politics. They pass the days and nights listening to Molina recite and act out scenes from his favorite movies. Their friendship eventually becomes sexual, and in the end they evolve into an ironic role reversal, with Molina dying from his involvement in politics and Valentin retreating into a dream world to escape the pain of torture (Puig 1991).