Kiss of the Spider Woman: Chapter Notes - Chapter 12




·         The chapter begins with the two of them waking up in there cell, and discussing their sleep and how they feel.

·         Molina then thinks that Valentin regrets their sexual intercourse the night before but Valentin assures him he’s not.

·         Molina then confesses that he feels so happy and has not felt this happy since his childhood.

·         Valentin then asks Molina what his favourite toy was and finds out it was a ‘Dolly’, and bursts out laughing as he was comparing himself to the toy.

·         Molina then tell him another film about a Women who’s trapped in a relationship she’s not happy in and falls in love with a reporter, who looses his job over her, and ends up with nothing, as she doesn’t leave her husband for him as she is too scared.

·         The chapter ends with Valentin getting aggravated as he doesn’t want Molina to “brood about things”


Themes and Motifs:

Power and Control

·         Though from previous chapters we have found out that Molina is actually the one in control (as he is working for the warden to extract information from Valentin), In this chapter it feels as if Valentin is back in control. An example of this is when they just wake up and Molina actually wants to drink tea but as Valentin wants coffee Molina goes with having coffee also. Also as Molina is the homosexual there, Molina is worried that Valentin regrets having sex with him therefore again showing a power shift towards Molina.

·         Also Valentin begin’s to give orders to Molina e.g. “You know what? Think up a good…and when I’m all finished studying you can start telling it to me while the meal is cooking.”

·         In the film Molina recites, the man is again in control over the women in their marriage, and she is too afraid to stand up to him even though he’s “reduced her to a virtual prisoner in her own house”.

·         However with the women and her relationship with the reporter, the women is in control as she has the choice weather to go off with the reporter or not.


Gender Roles

·         The Gender roles of Molina playing the feminine figure comes into play again as he is making the morning coffee for the two of them: “What’ll you have with breakfast? Tea or coffee?”

·         Valentin continues to have the masculine role as he is ready to begin getting back into the routine of studying that morning, Just as the male does in a marriage, works hard in order to support the family.

·         Even though Valentin who is a heterosexual, has homosexual sex, you can still tell he is a heterosexual as he is interested in women: “What about the neckline. Don’t skip around.” He is also interested in the women’s cleavage, “Well how much is there then? A lot or a little?”



·         Due to the sexual intercourse that occurred between Molina and Valentin the night before, you now feel as if they have a much closer relationship.

·         Also Valentin seems much more caring towards Molina now as at the end of the chapter he gets very emotional towards Molina saying things like “The only thing I want is to keep my promise to you”, “And I’m going to keep my word, damn it....”


Filling in Gaps

·         This theme runs throughout the book. In this chapter there are many pauses and silences between the conversations shown through ellipses, in which the author wants you to fill in what the characters may be thinking at the time.





Molina is extremely happy in this chapter as he hasn’t ‘felt so happy since when [he] was a kid and he doesn’t “want anything to spoil this sensation”. This makes you wonder weather Molina is this happy because him and Valentin are much closer now because they had sex as Molina has feelings towards Valentin. Or he could be this happy because now him and Valentin are closer, he will be able to extract more information out of Valentin.

You learn that Molina may have known about his sexuality since he was younger as his favourite toy was “A Dolly”.

In this chapter there is no sign of Molina’s secret with the warden as he does not interrogate Valentin at all, either because he has forgotten about it, or he is just too happy to betray Valentin at this moment in time, and does not feel the need to get out of prison faster. Molina also begins to see that Valentin actually cares about him as he has to question Valentin by saying “Honestly?” just to make sure he’s not lying.



In this chapter Valentin is a lot more caring towards Molina, as he is actually bothered about how Molina is, “Molina… How did you wake up, okay?”, and asks a lot more questions to Molina just about how he is feeling and how to help make him feel better. Also as Molina recites his film this chapter, Molina rarely interrupts compared to his ways in Molina’s previous films. He only interrupts twice, and the third time he speaks during the film is where Molina questioned him.

At the end of this chapter you see a different side to Valentin as in his last speech you see a tremendously caring side of Valentin towards Molina that you have not seen before. This could mean that he has either developed feelings towards Molina, or he is just a lot more caring towards his cell mate and friend now.



Imagery and Setting:

·         We do not get much info about the imagery and setting in the cell although the atmosphere in the cell seems livelier and less tense as Molina is not secretly interrogating Valentin at all in this chapter, and Molina is extremely happy and Valentin was also having fits of laughter which show his happiness.

·         The Setting and imagery in the story told also seems very lively as its in a tropical area and the “famous Mardi Gras of Veracruz” is “drawing to a close”. This matches the atmosphere in the cell.

·         The “recessed lighting fixtures” in the women in the stories house is described as being “a kind of diffused light so you can’t tell where it’s coming from”. This foreshadows Molina’s character as you are unsure about the reason why he is being so nice to Molina, therefore you cant tell where he’s coming from.



Narrative Style/ Structure:

The Narrative style and structure in this chapter is very easy to follow on with as it begins simply with a conversation between Valentin and Molina, and from there Molina takes over re-telling a film he likes. There are no footnotes or character thoughts throughout this chapter.

Most of the dialogue between the two protagonists is each asking questions to one another, which help us gain an insight into each of the characters thoughts as Puig’s narrative style is not to simply let us into the characters minds, but to let us figure their thoughts out ourselves.

The structure is also that the film Molina recites relates to Moline and Valentin’s personal life.

·         The story that Molina tells Valentin has a parallel link to Valentin’s love life. This could be as Valentin is sort of tied between the two girls he loves, and so he takes the position of the singer, trying to choose between them.

·         Another tie could be that Molina is the singer, and has to choose between helping the warden, which would be like staying with her mafia boss husband or being loyal to his friend Valentin, which would include risks, or vice versa, depending how you perceive it.

·         The most comparable tie to the film would be where Valentin is the reporter and the Warden is the mafia boss, who has the power over Molina (the singer) and locks him up, and is about to prevent the two of them from being together.



Relation of part to the Whole:

This chapter as a relation to the whole story fits in very well, as the film recited by Molina has close links with what’s going on in the characters personal lives back in the cell. The film is again about a doomed relationship, like nearly all of the other films that Molina has re-tolled. We learn more about the characters and their relationship in this chapter which also seems to be an on going pattern in the story. We will now be awaiting Molina’s decision on weather he is going to betray Valentin and help the warden or not.