“Woman Hollering Creek” Analysis.
“Woman Hollering Creek” by Sandra Cisneros is one of the stories in Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories. This text is a collection of short stories written by Cisneros and published on the 3rd of April, 1991.
"Woman Hollering Creek" is a story that tells of the traditional background and marriage life of a Mexican woman, Cleófilas. Because Cisneros is a half Mexican-half American herself, she uses all the stories in her collection to shed more light on how, despite America’s heavy influence on Mexico, her country still sustains most of the binding of its culture, especially the stereotypical and chauvinistic nature of the Mexican society.
Like the other stories in the collection, Woman Hollering Creek was written to tell of the experiences of female Mexican immigrants in America. Cisneros also wrote this story to appeal to the soft and emotional side of the readers. The emotional mix in Sandra Cisneros Woman Hollering Creek is intended to ignite a fire of attention in readers. Cisneros wants to present to all the misguided perceptions we have of the women as an object rather than what they are; an important part of our general society.
“It tells of women escape from an oppressive social situation” (Cortland P. A., 1992). It talks about the tale of spousal conflict, abuse, tolerance, forbearance and, finally, escape.
The story opens up with us getting to know of Cleófilas eagerness and excitements to be married off to a Mexican based man, Juan Pedro Martínez Sánchez, who she imagines a perfect and telenovela-like marriage with. Cleófilas’ father, Don Serafín, gives Juan Pedro the permission to marry his daughter, even without an elaborate ceremony, and also take her along with him to America where he lives (Lannaman, 2018).
After this, the story transcends to Cleófilas' experiences as a married woman; far from what she imagined and always saw in the telenovelas, she watched when she was still under her parents. Despite her ordeal living under Juan Pedro, Cleófilas continues to imagine the life she saw in the telenovelas and also continues to imagine herself living the life.
We realize that Cleófilas was being physically maltreated by Juan Pedro. The objectification of the female gender was also reflected in Cleófila's constant beatings and regrets. Afterward, she realizes that “the man she had waited her whole life for” was a beast who found nothing wrong in domestically maltreating her. She’s not allowed to work and is often left alone at home to cater for her children and, also, sometimes, watch telenovelas and imagine the marriage she could have had (Essays, UK, 2018).
In the end, Cleófilas finally got her to escape from the marital torture she found herself with the help of another woman, Felice, who she discovers lives a free life and possesses everything she never thought she could have as a woman is a machismo-oriented society.
Before her final escape, Cleófilas had always found an escape in watching telenovelas and also imagining the love life she could have had. In a foreign land, Cleófilas also finds the telenovelas not only as a means of escape but also as a way of reconnecting with her Mexica heritage, since the series was usually a common feature of the typical Mexican life.
During her escape, Cleófilas discovers that it is possible to be independent of the man after she asked if Felice was the owner of the car she was driving, and confirms that she is. We discover that the experience Cleófilas had with Felice on the Woman Hollering Creek, a place Felice loves so much, Cleófilas was both astonished and at the same impressed that a woman in her prime could have achieved so much without the help of a man.
Juan Pedro’s disregard for Cleófilas is so evident that, in every part of the story, Cleófilas tries to express it in her thought. Not only does he domestically violate her, but he also doesn't regard her with true respect. Even when Maximiliano taunts her in his presence, he doesn’t rebuke him. He only laughs at the joke.
Everything Cleófilas experienced is a reflection of the life of the female gender in marriage, especially with immigrants who are known to be somewhat helpless in the face of despair. Although she finds her escape in the ends, there are still doubts about whether, in truth, she escaped and didn't return to her despair.
Sandra Cisneros “Woman Hollering Creek”, in all, is a story used to call the attention of society to the prevailing conditions of marriage and dependency of women. The story also shows how escape is possible even in the midst of helplessness and complete chaos. It only takes a strong decision and the help of people willing to give you the hope you need to get out of any marital problems and despair you may be experiencing.
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