Kiss of the Spider Woman

by Manuel Puig

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What is the relevance of "Kiss of The Spider Woman" to present society?

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This is an interesting question. One of the themes of “Kiss Of The Spider Woman” is escapism versus reality.  Today the newscaster was talking about the effect of the weak economy and unemployment. He reported that ticket sales to movies are up 13% over last year.The psychologist they interviewed said this was due to people wanting to “escape” the unpleasantness of their lives for a few hours.  Juan Manuel Puig is the Argentinean author whose wrote this novel in 1976. His stories were filled with sexuality and his love of Hollywood movies. He used this these as an escape from a boyhood in rural Argentina where he was scorned and even assaulted for his homosexuality. Molina’s stories  in prison also blurred boundaries of reality and fiction. Another theme was the persecution of homosexuals.  This is still relevant today as there are many areas of our world that practice conditioned discrimination toward homosexuals. The political idealism in this drama is also relevant today.  “The character of Valentin, imprisoned for his revolutionary activities, begins the novel with a strong dedication to his political ideals, which he prioritizes over personal relationships and the satisfaction of physical desires.”  Political ideals are being fought over in today's society all over the planet.  From Iraq to Darfur to South America people are being imprisoned for their political beliefs.

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