Interpretation of Kiss of the Spiderwoman and The Joke Essay

Submitted By jamihunter83
Words: 648
Pages: 3

The narrative style of a book can have a great impact on how the piece is received by the reader. How the reader connects with the characters, how much he or she gets to know about the characters’ background and feelings, the point of view and how the characters interact with one another is all affected by how the story is written. The Joke, written by Milan Kundera and Kiss of the Spider Woman, by Manuel Puig were both written in rather unconventional styles that contributed to what they wanted the reader to take away after reading it. Neither author wrote in the first person narrative, which is common of many novels. They each had their own unique way of telling their stories. Kundera chose to write from the perspective of four of the main characters in his book while Puig used a combination of dialogue, reports from the warden, and footnotes. The question is, why did they choose the narration styles they did and what did writing that way add to or take away from their stories? In The Joke, Kundera separates the book into multiple sections. Each section is from the point of view of one of his four main characters, Ludvik, Helena, Jaroslav and Kostka, as well as a combined section at the end in which all characters except Kostka are included. The plot of the book revolves around Ludvik’s struggle for revenge after he is expelled from the “Party.” The other characters are all involved in his life in one way or another, and all play a part in his act of revenge or helping him figure out the kind of person he wants to be. By telling the story from all four characters’ points of view, Kundera is able to give some depth to each person. The reader gets a sense of who each character is and is provided with some background information about all of them. Hearing from four of the major players in the plot also gives the reader insight into the relationships between them all. For example, the reader is aware that Ludvik is using Helena to get revenge on her husband, but from the section told by Helena it is clear that she has real feelings for Ludvik and will be hurt when she learns the truth about his intentions. The way Kundera writes for each character varies, which is another way he shapes how the reader thinks about each of the characters and adds another aspect to their relationship. Helena and Kostka are both good examples of this. Helena’s sections are made up