Kiss of the Spider Woman

by Manuel Puig

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Why is the title "Kiss of the Spider Woman"?

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I would argue that the one of the primary reasons for the title is that it refers to the web in which the main character, Valentin, is drawn. Valetin shares a cell with the homosexual/transvestite Molina. Though he tries to resist his/her "poison," eventually Valentin succumbs to her/her charms.

Though he "mocks and insults" Molina for "his sexual orientation, and even physically abuses him for his resistance to traditional masculine behavior, Valentin, however, eventually grows to love Molina, as a friend and then as a lover. Valentin's softening from an aggressively masculine man to the point of loving another man forces him to question and then reevaluate his attitude toward homosexuality."

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