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Women Hollering Creek
Transcript of Women Hollering Creek
Being oppressed by a patriarchal system, Cleófilas develops an unusual interest in the legend of “La Llorona,” and by the persistence of this myth, this female figure emerges as a symbol of resistance and liberation. Protagonist Cleófilas, although married, is not in love with her husband, who abused her physically. Because she is highly dependent of her husband, Cleófilas allows him to abuse of her until the end of the story. She is constantly wishing her life be like a fairy tale. She watches “telenovelas,” and compares herself to the women in her favorite television soaps. Cleófilas is helpless against her husband because she does not speak English, does not have a car, and has no place to go. She is completely dependent of him. Sandra Cisneros portrays the victimization of women profoundly throughout her story. Fortunately, at the end of the story, Cleófilas, is able to escape to Mexico and get away from her abusive husband.
Genre, intended audience . . .
Cisneros stereotypes women as being naive, men as being overpowering, portraying men as abusive in her story.
Cisneros writes "Woman Hollering Creek," as an aid for woman who encounter abusive relationships, or are caught in one as of now.
A general public being the intended audience, main focus on women. Everyone should be aware of situations women face daily.
The genre of this story is fiction; short story.
by Sandra Cisneros
In this story, "Women Hollering Creek," the main character, Cleófilas, is subject to social, emotional, and economic dependency of her husband, which accords to cultural construction of the female identity, which is still common in Latino patriarchal societies today. Due to her state of total marginalization and domestic violence, Cleófilas chooses to evade reality, and that evasion not only causes mental instability, but nullifies the initiative to change her life.
Women Hollering Creek
" If I were asked what it is I write about, I would have to say it is about the ghosts inside that haunt me that do not let me sleep, of that which even memory does not like to mention. "
Five years after receiving her MA from the writing program at the University of Iowa, she returned to Loyola University in Chicago, where she had previously earned a BA in English, to work as an administrative assistant. Prior to this job, she worked in the Chicano barrio in Chicago teaching to high school dropouts. Through these jobs, she gained more familiarity with the problems of young Latinas.
Cisneros is most known for writing stories about Latino culture and how women are treated; she explains what women undergo in all stages of their lives and have adapted to the lifestyle where men are dominant because of their culture. "Woman Hollering Creek" is one of the best examples. Cisneros creates the character from her background ; she comes from a family of a six brothers , and her mother and father, a male dominated family. Cisneros focuses more on gender problems, discriminations and the conflicts in this story rather than love story and the lifestyle. Cisneros used the "telenovelas" as the only tool for Cleofilas to see how life can sometimes be, when you constantly wish your life were different.
The story makes the reader sympathize with main character, Cleófilas. It runs in chronological order, beginning when she is about to get married, taking place along her family in Texas, and then ending with her leaving her abusive husband. The title is an allusion to old Mexican folk tale "La Llorona," and foreshadows the journey of the main character in the story, Cleofilas. She sacrificed leaving her family in Mexico to move across the border to get married. Cleofilas now sees herself as the woman who is crying, suffering because of her mistake, similar to "La Llorona," who cries endlessly after having drowned her children.
The text's main significance is to show the violence towards women. This is a social problem in the United States. Surveys estimated that nearly two million women are abused by their partners. Men being above women. Cisneros has established the systematic difficulties of women's life, the stereotypes, enforced identity, the sexual violence of men, and the difficulty of escape, which she identifies in her writing. Cisneros is concerned with representing the silenced and marginalized, including children, homosexuals, working class and immigrant Chicanos and Mexicanos, whose stories have been untold or translated. Her particular focus on the silencing of women, as signaled in the title, “Woman Hollering Creek.”
Cisneros uses characterization, conflict and symbolism to show how patriarchal society can shatter a woman's life.
Most of Cisneros’ writings focus on the emergence of Chicana identity, and poverty. Cisneros is best known for her first novel "The House on Mango Street," which is taught in American classrooms as a coming-of-age novel. Cisneros has achieved much recognition for her works and has received numerous awards, as well as being regarded as a key figure in Chicana Literature. Throughout Cisneros Woman Hollering Creek the reader is introduced with various stereotypes, including men who usually embody "machismos" and women who are perceived as weak and uneducated. The many stereotypes used in the story can be referred back to Cisneros’ own life and difficulty growing up the only daughter in a family of six brothers. Cisneros’ early life and experiences is where she draws upon most as a writer. Feeling isolated as the only daughter in her family, as well as her feeling as if she straddled between two cultures and belonging to neither.
Socio-Political or Historical Context
author and setting
Woman Hollering Creek takes place in Seguin, Texas after Cleofilas marries and is forced to leave her home in Mexico to new land. Cisneros focusing her short story in Seguin brings into context the theme of immigration. Cisneros’ uses Cleofila to achieve this theme by introducing her as a character who hopes for a better life after moving to the United States. Cisneros writing reflects her experiences of growing up North of the Mexico- US border and her struggle of being influenced by American culture while still being bound to her Mexican heritage.
Socio-Political or Historical Context. Author and Setting
Cisneros short story brings urban myths and traditional legends, such as the old tale "La Llorona." Cisneros recasts the story of La Llorona, a mother who drowns herself and her children in order to be with the man she loves, who after being challenged at heavens gates with the whereabouts of her children, is forced to wander the Earth in search of her children. La Llorona's constant weeping while in search of her children is where she receives her name.
The best example of the comparison between Woman Hollering Creek and La Llorona can be best characterized by the title of Cisneros story. La Llorona, or weeping woman is incredibly similar to hollering woman.
The traditional legend of La Llorona was used in Cisneros story to show Cleofilas's growth as an independent woman who finds strength and her own voice. In Cisneros story however La Llorona no longer weeps, but is cast as a woman who hollers to have her voice heard.