Kiss of the Spider Woman: Chapter Notes - Chapter 7
· Molina is singing a bolero that he likes, and Valentin laughs and calls it a “load of romantic nonsense”
· Valentin then tells Molina about a letter he received which made him “really down”
· In the letter, a girl from Valentin’s political movement is writing to him, in code so as not to give any information away. “Uncle Pedro” has been killed, who is really a 25 year old man and a comrade of Valentin’s. The girl tells, also in code, of how she is now in charge of the group because of Pedro’s death. The girl also says that she has started a relationship with someone, who is also part of the group. Valentin tells Molina that he avoids “intense relationships” with comrades, so their judgment is not impaired when the time comes to act.
· Valentin is still ill after eating the rice, and has an “accident”. Molina helps him by cleaning him.
· Valentin cries, because he may not be able to see the girl again, and because of the death of his comrade.
· The end of the chapter is Valentin’s dream, which is similar to, and following on from his dream in chapter 6.
Themes and Motifs:
Trust and caring between the characters
· Valentin receives a letter, and Molina can tell he is feeling depressed about it. This shows how well they know each other, than they can tell the others’ feelings without actually asking.
· The letter has phrases that are actually in code, and Valentin explains the exact meanings to Molina, which shows that he trusts him, as he tells him things that concern his revolutionary movement.
· Valentin has an “accident” because of the bad food, and Molina cleans him up. This shows a lot of caring from Molina.
· Molina comforts Valentin when he cries. Not only does is Valentin showing trust by crying in front of Molina, which is not “manly”, but Molina is showing that he cares by comforting him.
Confusion and uncertainty of the reader and the characters themselves
· Valentin’s dream at the end of the chapter is confusing, as it constantly refers to the main ‘character’ as “a fellow”. This makes it unclear who the dream is focusing on, and therefore what the actual context of the dream is.
· Furthermore, the dream is similar to the film that Molina told Valentin about earlier, but it is not exactly the same as it. It could be parallel in ways to Valentin’s life, but the reader is uncertain so far.
Power and Superiority
· At first, it can be said that Valentin is the one who appears to be superior. He is reading his letter to Molina, and as there are excerpts of it in code, he must explain them to Molina. This puts him in the more powerful position, as Molina is relying on him to understand the context of the letter.
· When Valentin has his accident, the position of power could be interpreted both ways. Molina could be seen as the one in power, as he has to clean up for Valentin because he is too weak and therefore unable to clean himself. However, it could also be said that Valentin is the one in power, as Molina is forced to do such a menial task for him.
· Valentin shows weakness when he cries, and this could be seen as putting Molina in the position of power, as Valentin is no longer manly and in control.
· The girl who wrote to Valentin is the main female figure in the chapter. They had a relationship before but could not take it very far because of their political group, and now she has started a relationship with someone else.
· “A girl” from Valentin’s dream at the end of the chapter is the same one as in his dream from the previous chapter. Now she is pregnant with his child, but he feels ashamed because she is part Indian.
· Valentin, who is usually the masculine figure, cries in the chapter, which would make him less masculine, especially in his own eyes.
Constructed Nature of Stories and Realities
· The only section in the chapter that is away from the prisoners’ present reality is Valentin’s dream at the end of the chapter. This is an unconscious display of his memories or experiences, though it is hard to discern which it is that the reader is actually being shown.
· Molina sings a bolero about love, which he finds “divine”. It shows his love of the arts, and is also reinforcing his homosexuality.
· He is interested in Valentin’s letter, and the girl with whom it concerns. Shows his interest in Valentin’s affairs.
· Cleans Valentin after his accident, which shows how much he cares for Valentin.
· The reader is shown more about Valentin through his letter from the girl in his revolutionary movement: the precautions he must take (using code); his life before/outside of prison (the girl with whom he had a relationship with).
· Valentin crying shows that he as not as masculine as the reader has been led to believe, and maybe as Valentin himself believed.
· The physical setting that Molina and Valentin are in is still the same: their prison cell.
· Apart from that the only change in scene is during Valentin’s dream, which appears to take place around his home among other places, but the reader is not entirely sure of the situation.
· The majority of the chapter is dialogue between Valentin and Molina, which the author uses to show the relationship between the two characters, and to explore their feelings and emotions.
· There are some sections in which Valentin is reading his letter to Molina. The purpose of this is merely to allow the reader to know what the letter is about, and also to show why Valentin feels how he does at the beginning of the chapter.
· At the end of the chapter is Valentin’s dream, which is punctuated by commas followed by “a fellow” and then something related to the context of the dream. It is written in this way to make it ambiguous, as the reader cannot put a face to the fellow.