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Kiss of the Spider Woman Essay

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Max Efremov Ms. Tashjian IB English III 31 October 2008 Maternal Love: A Study of Unconditional Love in Kiss of the Spider Woman The love a person can have for another varies in intensity and in its passion. In the novel, Kiss of the Spider Woman, written by Manuel Puig, two men, Valentin and Molina share a jail cell in a prison in Buenos Ares, Argentina. Molina, an effeminate, homosexual male, expresses his caring nature for Valentin, his romantic interest outside of prison, Gabriel, and his mother throughout the novel. He feels a need to nurture others, but he is often unable to experience these emotions without also expressing his sexual desires. In the novel, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Manuel Puig presents Molina's mother as the one channeling outlet for Molina's atypical feelings of strictly nurturing love, rather than his feelings of love that are continuously attached to sexual feelings to show that his mother gives him the ability to express his nurturing feelings without any romantic regards. ...read more.


Thus, Puig characterizes Molina as superficial to reveal that his deep care for his lover, Gabriel, is driven, in fact, by sexual desires. Manuel Puig uses Molina's caring gesture of assisting and helping Valentin clean himself to show that his caring nature is underscored by sexual urges. When Molina is helping Valentin clean himself after Valentin recovers from his violent illness, Puig writes, "Okay...that's it, and a little over here...turn slowly...that's right. Nothing went through to the mattress, so it's not so bad. And fortunately there's plenty of water. I can just wet a clean top of the sheet to wipe you off, that's easy enough" (Puig 141). Here, Puig presents Molina's gesture as that of a kind and willing one, but one that is filled with sexual suggestions. Puig reveals this by the action of "a little over here" and "turn slowly." Although Molina is helping Valentin because he is his friend, he also wants to engage in something physical with Valentin. Offering to help him clean himself is a way for Molina to express his nurturing personality, but to also liberate his sexual desires toward Valentin. ...read more.


Molina expresses his love for his mother with ease and confidence, revealing that the love they share is not complicated and is absolute. Their relationship is free of romance and this relationship allows Molina to express his nurturing tendencies without also expressing his sexual desires because she cannot represent any kind of romantic love. In the novel, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Puig presents Molina's mother as an outlet for his nurturing feelings that are also constantly associated with sexual desires to show that his mother gives him the ability to express his nurturing feelings without romantic attachment. This ultimately reveals that love lacking sexual desires is the most unconditional kind. Molina's feelings toward Gabriel and Valentin are both caring and sexual and are complicated; however his relationship with his mother is strictly nurturing, and is very concrete. Although sexual attraction suggests enhancement in a relationship, it creates superficiality. And while the loving feelings may be genuine, those loving feelings are unable to flourish- and instead get masked and overshadowed behind the dominating sexual desires. Word Count: 1,101 ?? ?? ?? ?? Efremov 4 ...read more.

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