Third Essay

(A Spanish poster for Kiss of the Spider Woman.
Image courtesy of Ricardo Pablo on flickr.
License CC BY-NC-SA.)

  1. The Kiss of the Spider Woman is a novel that deals with power: political and sexual. Does Puig break conventional notions of power? To what degree? Support your argument with the text.
  2. The novel is, in part, a genre that teaches us how to live, how not to live, how to distinguish between good and evil; how to love; how to be a good friend, how people communicate and change through dialogue. Choose one or two specific dialogues from The Kiss of the Spider Woman and explain why the novel is didactic—or not. Be specific.
  3. “The personal is political” was a theme of the 1960s. Can this saying be applied to The Kiss of the Spider Woman? Why or why not? To what point are our fantasies an important part of our political lives? Create a nuanced argument in your response.
  4. To what point does The Kiss of the Spider Woman show how harmful conventional gender roles can be in terms of making autonomy impossible? How does the notion of being a “queen” limit Molina? How does his notion of what is “manly” limit Valentin? Does Molina’s sexual ideology change in the novel? Valentin’s? Create a nuanced argument based on the text.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2017