Themes In Manuel Puig's Heartbreak Tango

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Does a story have to follow the stereotypically normal idea of only one or two main characters? Manuel Puig did not think so when he was writing Heartbreak Tango. Heartbreak Tango follows the lives of a group of friends where three main themes come up. These three themes affect every decision the main characters make throughout the story.
Both men and women have the same short term goal, sex, however women do tend to focus on getting married. The first instance of this is when Nene “finally surrenders to her true love” and “At 11:20 Nélida let him put his hand under her blouse” (50,51). This shows how the women in this town, besides wanted to get married, do tend to succumb to the pull of sexual activities. Then it is revealed that Nene’s
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. with whom she had danced with so much . . . about her past dubious relationship with Dr. Nastini” (117). This shows that even though at one point she succumbed to the short term joy of having sex with Mr.Nastini, but not Juan Carlos later realized that it could compromise her chance of having the long term joy that comes with marriage. Most people look down on women going around and having sex with a lot of men because “they all say that Celina is easy, but nobody’s knocked her up. When they knock her up people aren’t going to say hello to her the same” (133). This shows how much the citizens of Vallejos value a women who saves themselves for marriage. The judgment that comes with having sex before marriage affects Celina again when is talking with the widow and the widow thinks “She caught herself a husband, not like you” and “But she’s married, married, not a dried-up spinster like you know who” about Nene in comparison to Celina (165). This really shows how much people care about this because, as far as most people know, Nene did not have sex until she was married and Celina had sex with a lot of people. Those quotes give a lot of insight on the female side of the sex drive, but the quote “when you’re with a chick in a place where nobody can see you, don’t waste time

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