Kiss of the Spider Woman: Chapter Notes - Chapter 4



·         Continuation of the Leni and  German officer story- which is the 2nd story within the story of the book (carries on for first 4 pages)

·         First dialogue between Valentin and Molina occurs (we learn more of Molina)

·         Valentin and Molina talk about escaping from reality and the film

·         Argument and mention of prison food occurs

·         Valentin is woken by Molina in agony from his stomach pains, Molina then carries on film as neither of them can sleep now.

·         Chapter then ends with the story within the story ending.

·         Series of footnotes about the actual story that Molina is telling, “Her Real Glory” (middle pages).



Themes & Motifs:


·         The story within story theme which has continued thus far, still gives the audience a sense of uncertainty because of the fact that we are still confused and uncertain to what the actual story is about, Puig may have done this so that we use the story within a story to foreshadow what the actual main body story is about.

·         Uncertainty is continually implied throughout as Manuel Puig has left gaps in order to allow the audience to ‘fill in the gaps’ with their own assumptions about the story.


Constructed Nature of stories and realities

·         As in the first story of the panther woman, Molina also includes a lot of detail about the second story within chp 3 & 4, this reinforces that he is maybe adding these details as he wants to see them. “It’s just that the film is divine” suggests that this is true.

·         The stories that are being told by the speaker may show a reflection of there character, and any accusations, opinions or assumptions that are made with in the films being told should maybe also thought being applied to the characters.


Doubles / Being two things

·         Leni begins to become double faced towards the German officer as she searches for the documents that will show where the ammunition is held so that she can release the information to the clubfoot (marquis)

·         She takes on a full revolution during the film as she decides to deceive the Marquis so that the German officer (also her lover) can follow her to the location so that they can arrest the Marquis.

·         The Majordomo pretends to be helping the German officer when actually he is head of the Marquis.


Feminine Females

·         The idea that looks, appearances and the way women portray themselves is important is reinforced during this chapter. The reason for this is the close attention to detail described by Molina. “She has a long black dress on, not sheer, but sleeveless, two spaghetti straps and that’s all, the skirt billowy.”

·         Molina also describes women’s body language as women in general are more expressive with body language than men. “She smiles a very sad smile,” “She always finishes with that lost look of hers.”

·         As in the first story women are dictated to by men as the clubfoot makes her reveal information about the ammunition.


Masculine Men

·         During this film men are portrayed as being domineering towards lower ranks and women. They are shown to lead through fear for example when the clubfoot blackmails the woman.



·         During the second film there are hints towards sex having happened, but not in any detail that we can be certain about it (links back to uncertainty). “Next thing he comes into the bedroom, and says, does she feel like breakfast now?”


Power & Control

·         The German officer, clubfoot and Majordomo exert their will/power on the woman to exploit her for their own means. The power over women in this film is very obvious as she’s constantly in fear of her safety. “But she’s got the courage for that kind of thing,” shows she is having to override that fear.





·         Throughout this chapter we obtain quite a lot of personal information about the two characters.

·         The reader finds out that he has an illness but there is uncertainty about what it is and how serious it is, however it is emphasized through all “aghhhh” through those pages.

·         Molina’s attention to detail is also reinforced in his telling of the film however he does not describe men in the detail that he describes women.



·         We learn that he has done courses in architecture and political sciences; his interest in politics was most likely fueled by his need to change the world.

·         Even though the audience was entirely sure about there friendships due to Molina’s sexuality, we discover that he cares for him as he offers him the bigger load of food and gets concerned over Molina’s sharp pains.



Imagery & Setting:

·         To keep the theme of uncertainty running no description of the cell or its surroundings is given to the reader. There is no description of the two men either this gives the reader the chance to fill in the gaps about almost everything.

·         Within the film elaborate images a created due to the attention of detail that Molina gives.



Narrative style/Structure:

·         Similar to chp 1, chp 4 begins immediately with the story within a story; however the reader is less disorientated this time around as they have already experienced it one time over.

·         There is no real change of the narrative style or structure with in the novel.



Relation Part to whole:

Chapter 4 continues the main theme of uncertainty as no real detail of the surroundings and characters are given, similarly to the first film there are lots of gaps in the second, which reinforces the theme. The story has yet to unfold and for information on characters and surroundings is yet to be seen.