An Analysis of Sandra Cisneros’s ‘Woman Hollering Creek’
Thesis: Sandra Cisneros’s Woman Hollering Creek is an excellent example of a conflict with a family that has to endure a family member is abuse. This short story begins with vision of Cleofilas Father want his only daughter to marry and be happy for the rest of her life. Although she is apprehensive to begin what she thinks will be a happy, successful life, her father is far more reasonable about his daughter’s husband. He reminds Cleofilas that he is her father and that he will never throw away her. This is his way of letting her know that she will always be able to come home.
Woman Hollering Creek
An analysis of Sandra Cisneros’s Woman Hollering Creek is not often that a person is given an assignment that reflects many similar inadequacies of their own families. After reading Woman Hollering Creek it was instantly clear that this would be an interesting story to write about. Therefore, without knowing which way this story would go or even what direction it would even head in or even to understand how it would affect your relationship with your family members.
In the story “Woman Hollering Creek” Sandra Cisneros discusses the issues of living life as a married woman through her character Cleofilas; this character married a man who was very physically and mentally abusive. Cisneros’s will reveal within her writing how men are more dominate then women within the Hispanic culture. In most of Cisneros’s writing she has been well known for her writings about the Hispanic culture and how they treat there women; she explain what the women have to go through during there childhood, teen and even when they get married; the women are always dominated by men because of the way the culture is they has to just to that take of life. “Woman Hollering Creek” is one of the most excellent examples, to where a character has to live without a mother that can’t give any direct or advice about everyday life or even how to be a wife and mother. This is a great story; it will give provide you with vivid detail of the life of a Mexican immigrants it’s not just about their struggle to make a better life for themselves but also about there culture in how it make it possible for this type of dreadful life.
In reading Women Hollering Creek there is no way for the reading not to understand and feel for Cleofilas and empathize with her situation, praying she would find a way to escape from her bad marriage.
The character Cleofilas is base on a family of a six brothers and a dad and without a mom, to share her most intimacy secrets. Although, there is discrimination and conflict in this story rather than love and it is there way of living. However, within her character as Cleofilas she found a way to gain knowledge of her feminine attributes, through watching television, and dreaming of a life as she in vision on television, which she watched religiously.
In this story there can be many way to see how you can develop compassion with the victim of domestic violence. We can see how the life of Cleofilas has unfolds, the readers will learn about the isolation, hopeless and denial of someone who is in an abusive relationship. The reader will appreciated the educational factors of immigrate will include depth to the reader’s approval of the obstacle of this disparaging life style. In the Hispanic cultural it is know that young girl marry at an early age and Cleofilas situation is no difference. However, for Cleofilas to leave and marry a man she hardly know as well as she thinks she dose, sooner or later she will find out that her life is nothing like television. In the mean time the man she will marry will be began to hit her and become even more abusive and as time goes on. The reader in this story will discover how Cleofilas, will leave her surrounding that she has know for many years to marry a complete stranger. Cleofilas imaged her life to be like the soap operas she watches, and she then realize she would has to face a life of poverty, abuse, and an alcoholism husband. The story’s main character, Cleofilas, is usually an illustration of Latina women, and how non-Latinos recognize them. They are raised and groomed, in households mainly controlled by men their fathers and brothers, with the anticipation that they may someday find the right men who would decide to take them as a wives. In the Latina world women are always consideration to be just someone’s wife and with hardly a chance to say no. However, she discovered that life in the new world with her new husband was unlike the romantic plot of fiction truth set in immediately when she had to care for her son, their home that always seemed to be in need of repair, and her husband, who wants to be served on hand and foot .
However, within the story there is a lot of abuse that plays a major role on the family’s relationship and how it has affected on her life. It is often that you find this type of behavior within this Spanish cultural most women in this type of situation really have no way out other then to run away. Cleofilas had to deal with the pain and suffering in a patriarchal world and a male dominated, society. The issues of gender and prejudice are present in the story, from the beginning, as Cleofilas decides to leave her town to accomplish her dreams of a better lifestyle. Her understanding of images on TV gave her the impression that here, life is much better and would perhaps untie her from the conventions of the world she grew up in.
The final resolution in this story is left to the reader’s imagination. It does not state what happened to Cleofilas and her husband after she attempted to leave her husband. The life that Cleofilas had was faced with many experienced and all types of hardships, Cleofilas thought her life would be like that, of the telenovela, only now the episode got sadder and sadder to believe that she could stay no matter what happens she started to realize what the most important thing in life.
Cisneros, Sandra. Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories. New York: Random House, 1991.
1. THE ROLE-PLAYED BY EACH OF THE MAJOR CHARACTERS.
The story is been narrator in the three person.
Cleofilas is the main reason for the story. Her father wants her to marry Juan Pedro Martinez Sanchez.
The protagonist in this situation would be Cleofilas. The antagonists would be her Father and her Husband.
2. THE NATURE OF THE CONFLICT.
The story is about a father wanting his daughter to get married and the conflict of the story is the abuse that she went through and trying to find a way out.
Cleofilas vs. Father
Cleofilas vs. Husband
Cleofilas vs. Family
Cleofilas vs. Friends
3. IDENTIFY ONE OF MORE OBSTACLES PLACED IN THE WAY OF CLEOFILAS.
Cleofilas biggest obstacle in this story is the abuse she went through with her husband and she try to find a way out this marriage in wish she thought it would be the marriage of her life.
SHEET 2- PLOT STRUCTURE
The early part of the story provides setting and introduction about the characters, and it creates an atmosphere and describes the setting. In this story it Cleofilas believes she is about to marriage the man of her dream with her father consent to marriage Juan Pedro.
The time has come for her to leave her father and her six brothers in Mexico to go to El otro lado with Juan Pedro and, begin a new life as his wife in a small shackle. Cleofilas would soon find out that the life she knew with her and her brothers would be over as she knew it.
The new life she was to supposed to have that was to be filled with passion as she seen on TV, as she watches the soap operas. While been married to Juan Pedro, she had two children and was trying to hide her bruises from her abusive marriage. She was looking for away out. She didn’t even speak English and she was cut off from her family. The final part of this story is to fill the reader imagination.
The story’s main character is Cleofilas and she is a representation of Latino women and how non-Latinos, perceive them, more Latino women are raised in predominantly controlled by men.
Sheet 4- Setting
Place- The place in this story was very important. It was the direction of the story to reach it to Cleofilas. It was a long road there and everything that happened along the way had meaning.
Time- Woman Hollering Creek is the center of the borderland in which the story unfolds. Cleofilas Mexican “town of gossips . . . of dust and despair” on the one side is not so different from Seguin, Texas, another town of “gossips on the other side, except that in her father’s town she is safe from physical harm.
Mood- was kind of emotional. The majority of the time Cleofilas was sad. She was abuse and tired and she was looking for some she could trust.
Sheet 5- Symbolism
Cisneros employs much symbolism in the characters she chooses. Especially, Cleofilas’ the neighbors on both side of her are widowed women named Dolores and Soledad. Cleofilas’s name is clarified by a friend of hers, who tries to explain it to Felice over the phone: The Mexican culture reveres women who suffer, as Cleofilas admires the tortured souls on the telenovelas.
It seen as if it is clearly an issue of gender and abuse in this story, Cleofilas decides to leave her home town and get marriage to fulfill her dreams of a more wonder life style in the United States. Cleofilas had this images of what her life would be like from watching the soap operas on TV, and it gave her this impression of life.
The man she would marriage would be the ticket out of a bad situation or to a new life. While living in Mexico she had family and friend she could turn to once she move she would not have that anymore.
I found the most interesting aspect of the story to be the behavior of how Hispanic’s women are treated.
1. I am your father, I will never abandon you. Cisneros-43
2. And without even a mama to advise her on things like her wedding night. 45
3. How could Cleofilas explain to a woman like this why the Woman Hollering Creek fascinated her? 46
4. But how could she go back there? 50
5. And her family all in Mexico. 54
6. Cleofilas thought her life would have to be like that, like a telenovela, only now the episodes of sadder and sadder.
Cisneros states “You or No One” Has experienced all types of hardships, but believes that staying kind and loving no matter what happens is the most important thing in life. (Cisneros 45)
Note: You are no one and you will never be anyone.
Cisneros states “What do you want to know for?” (Cisneros 46)
Note: Why should I tell you anything, you don’t want to know anyway?
Cisneros suggested “Did you ever notice … how nothing around here is named after a woman? Really. Unless she’s virgin. I guess you’re only famous if you’re virgin” (Cisneros 55)
Cisneros states “the moment came, and he slapped her once, and then again, again, until the lip split and bled an orchid of blood” (Cisneros 50)
Cisneros offers her reader this idea “Sometimes she thinks of her father’s house. But how could she go back there?” (Cisneros 50)
Cisneros, Sandra (1991), Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories, New York: Random House.