Kiss of the Spider Woman

by Manuel Puig

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Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 341

  • Puig is a prominent twentieth-century Latin American writer. Learn more about another Latin American writer, such as Jorge Louis Borges, Pablo Neruda, or Gabriel Garcia Marquez. What Latin American country is this writer from? What are some of his or her principal works? What are some of the central themes and stylistic characteristics of this writer's works?
  • Learn more about the history of Argentina, Puig's nation of origin, including the pre-colonial era, the period of colonization by Spain, or the era of national independence. What were the major political conflicts, changes, and events of Argentina during this period? Or, learn more about contemporary political and social struggles and conditions in Argentina today.
  • Based on his own childhood fascination with Hollywood cinema, Puig's fiction is characterized by his many references to the influence of popular culture, particularly American movies, on his characters. Can you write a short story, essay, or autobiographical memoir about the influence of a particular movie on yourself, someone you know, or a fictional character? In what ways can you incorporate references to a movie into a written medium? What kind of impact can movies, or one movie in particular, have in a person's life?
  • Puig's novel Kiss of the Spider Woman is written almost entirely in dialogue, much like a stage play or screenplay. Can you write a short sketch entirely in dialogue? How can important action and characterization be conveyed strictly through dialogue?
  • The screen adaptation of Kiss of the Spider Woman, released as a movie in 1985, is at least as well known, and as critically acclaimed, as the novel. How do the movie and the novel compare? In what ways did the filmmaker employ cinematic techniques in order to convey action and characterization that was originally conveyed in written form? In what ways does the film version enhance your appreciation of the novel? What elements of the novel are "lost" or left out in the film version? What changes have been made in the characters of Valentin and Molina in the adaptation from novel to screen?

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