“Woman Hollering Creek” by Sandra Cisneros, is a story about a Mexican woman, Cleofilas, who moves to America after her marriage, only to find pain, suffering and becomes a target of male chauvinism. Sandra Cisneros has been critically acclaimed as a feminist writer and her works depict the characteristics of feminist voice. Sandra, being a female, understands the real suffering and transitions women go through in a lifetime. It is said that only a woman can understand the pain of another woman. Cisneros uses her experience and her understanding of male and female relationships and uses it to the best in her stories. In “Woman Hollering Creek”, Cisneros shows how Cleofilas transitions through the journey of life, playing multiple roles of a daughter, a wife and then a mother.
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In this story, Cleofilas is depicted as the protagonist, who falls in love with Juan Pedro, who has plans to take her to the United States after their marriage. Cleofilas is the central theme of the story, which begins from the part when Don Serafin, her father, allows Juan Pedro to marry his daughter. Cleofilas moves from Mexico to United States, leaving everything behind, her culture, her friends and even her family for Juan Pedro. Cleofilas has been described as a stereotypical woman, who falls in love with a man who comes her way, and rebels with her father to marry him. She is so lost in his love that she even ignores the words of her father at the time of their marriage. She is just like a traditional woman, who believes she will never tolerate any sort of violence from her husband, but when he really hits her, she doesn’t fight and easily forgives him. She even sees evidences of extra marital affairs at her house, after she is back from the hospital, but she decides not to retaliate.
Her husband has been depicted as a sexist man who loves her in the beginning but as time passes by, he starts losing interest in her. He sees her simply as an object, rather than a human being. He hits her again and again. He even cheats her while she is gone. He considers himself superior to her. When she asks him to help in repairing the refrigerator, he says that he is providing her food and shelter and she should not ask for more. This shows how he considers himself superior than her. He even doesn’t care to see if she is hurt, when he throws a book at her. This shows how he doesn’t care about her pain or suffering. Throughout the story, Cisneros shows how women are treated as inferior, in this male chauvinist society and how women themselves fall as prey towards their abuse. She shows how women are old fashioned by the way they tolerate the injustice of men. When Cleofilas is pregnant with her second child, she asks her husband, Juan Pedro, to take her to hospital and tells him that she will not tell the doctors about the bruises. This depicts how typical her behavior is, trying to hide the atrocities of her husband. Felice is another female character, living an independent and happy life, unlike Cleofilas, who is sad and her life becomes miserable day by day. This illustrates the author’s point of view about how women should be independent and free to attain a happy life.
Sandra Cisrenos comes from a family who constantly migrated from Mexico to Unites States of America and this seems to have influenced her life in a special way. She understands the cross border syndrome and the suffering of thriving being two cultures. She clearly shows her own experience in her works. Both her works, “The house on Mango Street” and “Woman Hollering Creek” show the apathies of people migrating between Mexico and the United States. She portrays the relationship between men and women, in her book, very sensitively. She shows how parents have true love for their children and how beautiful can a father-daughter relationship be, whereas, a man and his wife can live miserably together, if they do not understand the need of equality in their lives. Until men think of women as their equals, life could be as good as hell for both of them.
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