Kiss of the Spider Woman: Chapter Notes - Chapter 13




·         They discuss about what is happening in the outside world; this has never happened before.

·         They’re food supply is running low and Valentin asks Molina when it was “since you got the last package?”

·         They are both happy and feel “out of danger.”

·         Valentin is much more open, and is more understanding of homosexuals than in previous chapters.

·         The story about the reporter and the woman continues. Molina refrains from continuing as it really gets him “down.”

·         Molina is worried about not being with his mother, but also worried that no one will be looking after Valentin.




Gaps and silences

·         Awkwardness/reluctance: “I still…can feel…how you touch me.” “…” (235) This shows Molina’s reluctance to talk about the subject, perhaps to prevent Valentin from feeling uncomfortable. This shows a sense of care and makes the reader forgive Molina of some of his treachery. It seems like Molina was forced into aiding the warden, in order to take care of his mother. This sense of reluctance is also seen in, “I want to tell you something…but don’t laugh” and is present throughout the chapter although the reluctance swaps from Molina to Valentin “you don’t have to be…I don’t know…a martyr.”

·         During the story, “…”(237) represent, at times, lyrics and therefore are meant to show how the note is held on.

·         Mmm…” (243) the response given by Molina is not concrete, it is quite uncertain. This is perhaps to show that Molina does not agree with Valentin that he is in fact he is “as much a man as I am.”

·         pg. 239 “dot, dot, dot”, isn’t a gap in the text, but is gap in the narration; Molina uses this instead of saying that she sleeps with him. This emphasises his ideolised woman; she is the heroine and therefore she cannot be promiscuous. He doesn’t want to taint his image of her with doing something awful.


Betrayal /Lies

·         Reference back to the “package” of food reminds us of the fact that Molina is a traitor.

·         “…” “No.” (235) When Molina asks Valentin if it “bothers” him to say “things like that” he says no, although the ellipsis that is shown previously seems to imply otherwise. Seems as if Valentin is lying to protect Molina’s feelings. It could be interpreted as a better relationship between the two or as Valentin being afraid to show his true emotions, that they may be seen as having homosexual tendencies.


Real men & Feminine Females

·         The reporter in the story: He feels that he must leave the woman, as he sees that he is a “burden” on her. Masculine trait to leave when situations aren’t ideal.

·         In Molina’s opinion, a man must “give orders” to show that he is “man of the house.” Valentin disagrees, saying that the “man” and “woman” should be equal.



·         Pg 236. Molina’s worries about his ailing mother is the driving force behind his treachery. He worries that his mother will be “all alone” and that he needs to leave jail for “the sake of my mother’s health.” This makes readers empathise with Molina. This explains his interactions with the warden; it is sometimes unclear who really has the power-Molina doesn’t need to leave, he states himself that if he were alone, he would rather never “wake up again.” This shows the power his mother holds over him.

·         Molina is still acting maternal; and is still the motherly figure between him and Valentin. It is shown that Molina is still very worried for his well being when he says, that no one will be around to “take care of you.” Their relationship is more equal in this chapter than most; Molina is not so bossy and overprotective.

·         Molina is still acting motherly as he is still the person constantly worrying whether they have enough food, etc. E.g. Pg. 234 “Boy, not much left…”



·         Entrapment of the prison is juxtaposed with the conversation about the outside world. It reminds the readers that there is a real world beyond the cell, not just movies and books, which are just varying forms of escapism. It is something true and real, which hasn’t really been seen before, as previous chapters have only talked about books and movies (only the chapters with the warden also show readers about an outside world.)




Power and control

·         We see how much power Molina’s mother has over him; she is possibly the sole reason for his betrayal of Valentin, as he says if it were just him, “I wish I wouldn’t wake up ever again.” (236) This shows that his mother is without question, the most powerful person in his life, as it is uncertain who has the power between Molina and the warden.

·         Within the movie: the magnate has power and control over the girl, so much so that he is able to buy the “whole nightclub” and “close it down, immediately.” (238)

·         Warden and Molina-warden has the ability to put Molina “in another cell” or give him freedom, depending on whether Molina reveals any information. This shows the power of the warden over Molina. However, it could also be interpreted as Molina having power over the warden-it is Molina’s choice to reveal what he already knows about Valentin and therefore it is Molina who is forcing the warden’s hand to either free him or transfer him to another cell.

·         Valentin is once again dependent upon Molina’s story telling abilities to continue the story about the reporter and his lover. “I’m listening, go ahead” (238) “Don’t stop” (240) show how dependant upon the stories Valentin is and that this form of escapism is just as important to him as his revolutionary books are.

·         Also, on page 235, Valentin has power over Molina as he has the final say, “we’ll discuss that tomorrow.”

·         Valentin feels more comfortable around Molina. He is able to talk about homosexuals, even though there are times when there are still awkward moments (symbolised by the ellipses.)


Interweaving of different text types

·         The story about the reporter progresses; we learn that the woman has left the magnate and has now become a prostitute to pay for the rent on the apartment.


Constructed nature of roles within society

·         In the movie, the power roles are swapped: the woman is the one providing for the man and the man is the one who is quite helpless. It is the woman who goes to the hospital to ‘rescue’ him.

·         However, when the woman allows the owner of the boardinghouse into her apartment, it shows how women are dependent upon men as the singer needed his money in able to go to the meet the reporter.

·         The reporter is defined by his profession as is the magnate and all the other characters in the movie. Their names have no importance (in Molina’s point of view anyway); their jobs force them into specific roles within society. 




The imagery of the outside weather and its description could be foreshadowing upcoming events, as Molina may be granted his pardon and released into the real world. Words like “cloudy” are suitable, as it can show a sense of uncertainty with what is to come. Readers get the sense that the imagery is unsettling as Molina mentions that humidity usually makes him “nervous.”




Molina and Valentin have become even closer; Valentin is able to talk about homosexuality more freely, even though there are still some awkward moments. Their relationship has progressed further and they seem to both have equal share of power, even though it is still obvious that Valentin is very reliant upon Molina and his stories. Also, they have become more comfortable with each other, as they are once again able to make jokes with each other. This is apparent on page 236, when Molina states the only thing he wants is “to die.” Valentin replies by saying, “first you have to finish the film for me.” This shows that their relationship has strengthened.


Molina still possess maternal instincts over Valentin, worrying about his food and whether he will be safe if he were left alone, with no one to “take care” of him. Molina’s own mother is still shown to have power over her son, and controlling the decisions and his actions inadvertently.


Similarities between the story that Molina is telling to Valentin and their own story seem to be apparent.




Both Molina and Valentin are still confined within the jail cell but they use the movie as a form of escapism. Also, the conversation at the beginning of the chapter about the weather allows there to be more volume within the setting, as although the prisoners are still confined, there is a mention of the outside world, something which hasn’t occurred before.



Narrative Style:

Once again, there is no narrator, and the movie is described through Molina’s eyes. In this sense, it makes it unreliable and the fact that the movie is one that Molina himself likes, makes it even more likely that he will over romanticise scenes, and omit ones he doesn’t agree with. For instance, when he says “dot, dot, dot” which is to represent the woman trading her body for some money in order to meet the reporter who is in the hospital. He possibly does this as Molina does not want his heroine (the person he idolises) to be promiscuous and not be a feminine female. In a sense, his heroine has flaws; to an extent, this is the same as Molina himself, as he possesses feminine traits but it marred by the fact that he is betraying Valentin.