Kiss of the Spider Woman: Chapter Notes - Chapter 14
· Warden talking on the phone about Molina and how he thinks that Molina is withholding information from him due to various reasons, such as being afraid of Valentin’s fellow comrades outside of the prison.
· Another possibility is that Molina is only thinking of himself and what he wants. In this case it would be getting out of prison without revealing any information to get himself in trouble with revolutionaries outside of the prison.
· We see another exchange between Molina and the Warden and Molina still refuses to reveal any information.
· The Warden says that Molina is to be released on parole the next day.
· Valentin is less happy about the news of Molina’s release and wants him to deliver a message to the revolutionaries outside the prison for him, but Molina refuses.
· Molina finishes the story.
· Valentin gets slightly sentimental after Molina finishes the story.
· Molina asks for a kiss.
· We finally see why the text is called “Kiss of the Spider Woman” as Valentin refers to Molina as a spider woman that traps men in her web.
· They have sex again.
· Molina agrees to pass the message on after they have sex.
Themes and Motifs:
Lies and Betrayal
· We see an obvious lie in the beginning of Chapter 14 as we Molina not telling the Warden anything about Valentin. We know for a fact that Valentin has been trying to tell Molina about the revolution and Molina knows about Valentin’s girlfriend, therefore his claim that Valentin is a “tomb” (pg 247) is false.
· There is also the lie of Molina being visited by his lawyer and Molina wanting to cover up the lie with another package.
· This chapter contains a lot of ellipses, which symbolise the periods of silence between the characters and the emotions of the characters without them having to say anything.
· Right after Molina comes back from talking to the Warden, we see ellipses in Molina and Valentin’s exchange. (Pg 250-251)
· The ellipses here show disappointment as Valentin finds out that Molina is to be released the next day. They also show Valentin’s true feelings about Molina leaving as he says, “That’s wonderful…” but the ellipses show us that he means the exact opposite.
· (Pg 253) Ellipses are used here to show tension and how Molina is upset to leave Valentin in prison.
· Ellipses are also used to convey embarrassment, tension and discomfort between the characters. (Pg 256) Molina says that he wants to stay with Valentin, even if it means staying in prison. (Pg 257) Valentin says, “Okay… enough of this nonsense!”
· (Pg 261-262) Although this is the second time they have sex, there is still a lot of uncertainty and awkwardness between them and the ellipses convey that to the readers.
· (Pg 260) Molina asks Valentin for a kiss but Valentin seems reluctant (ellipses).
· (Pg 261-262) They have sex. This time, Valentin initiates it. This shows that he is more comfortable with Molina’s sexuality and although he may be reluctant to hear Molina opening up to him emotionally, he has gotten over his homophobic fear of sexual, physical contact with Molina.
· The Warden and Molina are placed in contrasting roles again, with the Warden as the “real” man and Molina in the role of a woman.
· Molina wants to stay in the same cell as Valentin (pg 248) and is to the brink of begging the Warden. The Warden shows no sympathy and is very curt when he says, “Control yourself, Molina.” We can almost imagine him saying, “Control yourself, woman.”
· (Pg 253) The exchange between Molina and Valentin is very similar to what we are likely to see between a couple. Molina’s role = girlfriend. Valentin’s role = boyfriend.
· Valentin becomes dismissive of Molina again as he says, “We’ll discuss this again later.” Molina also becomes more emotional and feminine as he goes into a stereotypical female mood swing (burying his head in the pillow…)
· (Pg 258) Molina seemingly comes to an end in the story and Valentin says, “How sad…” He also talks about the ending and about romantic relationships. This is unlike the masculine, “real man”- Valentin we have seen in past chapters. He had been reluctant to show any sign of emotion, as it would be seen as a feminine trait and a weakness.
· (Pg 263) After they have sex, Molina is willing to pass on the message for Valentin. This shows how “women” are more willing and are happier to do things for men after sex and makes women appear easily pliable and easy to manipulate. However, it goes against the stereotypical idea of how it is the man that is more willing to do things for the woman after sex. (Men want sex before love, women want love before sex.)
· “You don’t know how happy that makes me.” (Pg 261) It makes us wonder if Valentin only had sex with Molina because he knew that Molina would “melt” afterwards and be more willing to pass the message on for him. Maybe Valentin was only using Molina and this shows us who has the power in the relationship.
Setting / Imagery:
· (Pg 247) “Arregui is like a tomb” – Valentin is sealed up, not telling Molina anything (we know that’s not true).
· In the story, there are images of being in a hospital with “critically ill patients” and by the sea with fishermen and boats.
· Perhaps the hospital refers to Molina’s mother in hospital?
· Being by the sea and sailing away on a boat symbolises freedom and is what any prisoner wants.
· (Pg 250) Molina asks for another package for Valentin. This shows he cares for Valentin and makes the reader think that perhaps his concern for Valentin is genuine.
· (Pg 251) Valentin asks Molina to pass a message on for him and Molina refuses saying “he’s no good for that”. His consistent refusal to have anything to do with the revolution could either mean that he does not want to get Valentin in trouble if he is interrogated and he lets slip some information, or it could mean that Molina simply does not want to endanger himself by burdening himself with the information.
· (Pg 253) Molina talks the way a girlfriend would talk: “… Will you miss me?” It shows that the relationship between the characters has grown and that they are not only stuck in a platonic relationship, but that there might be romantic feelings involved too.
· We see that on pg 261 when Molina says that he loves his mother and Valentin the “most in the world”.
· (Pg 250) Valentin can’t hide the fact that he is upset and disappointed that Molina is leaving. This shows that he has become attached to Molina, whether be it in a platonic or romantic way.
· (Pg 253) Valentin says “Yes, I’ll miss you.” We don’t expect Valentin to say this direct sentence as it conveys emotion and as we know from previous chapters, any sign of emotion was considered weakness.
· (Pg 255) Valentin gets mad at Molina for being so reluctant to pass his message on and reverts back to the silent masculine type of male.
· (Pg 260-261) Valentin refers to Molina as a spider woman who traps men in her web. He also says that he has good memories of Molina. These sentences are very romanticised and are exactly the kind of things that Molina likes to hear, being a romantic himself. As we see Molina agreeing to pass the message on later, perhaps Valentin said that to help persuade Molina to do what he wants. This shows his control over Molina.