Essay on "Woman Hollering Creek" - Dreams vs. Reality

826 Words 4 Pages
The story “Woman Hollering Creek" by Sandra Cisneros describes the lives of Mexicans in a Chicago neighborhood. She depicts the life that women endure as Latino wives through her portrayal of the protagonist, Cleofilas. For Cisneros being a Mexican-American has given her a chance to see life from two different cultures. In addition, Cisneros has written the story from a woman’s perspective, illustrating the types of conflicts many women face as Latino wives. This unique paradigm allows the reader to examine the events and characters using a feminist critical perspective.
At the beginning of the story, the protagonist, Cleofilas, had an illusion that all romances are like the ones she has seen on television. However, she soon realizes that
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As a result, Cisneros points out that many women feel that marriage does not always live up to their high expectations fostered by media images of "happily ever after."
In the story, Cleofilas has always thought that if a man ever strikes her, she would strike back. However, as the story progresses, Cleofilas starts to endure her husband’s abuse. The first time Juan Pedro hits her she is too surprised to even shed a tear or try to defend herself (Cisneros, 1991, p.249). Cisneros wants to address domestic violence because many women feel helpless when they are in controlling and abusive circumstances. Moreover, a controlling and abusive relationship causes a great deal of tension and unhappiness, which Cleofilas experiences throughout the story.
Cleofilas feels that she could not do much, but she becomes hopeful about her situation. For instance, Cleofilas has to remind herself why she loves her husband when she is changing the baby’s Pampers, or when she is mopping the bathroom floor (Cisneros, 1991, p. 249). Cisneros emphasizes that many women who are controlled and abused often feel that they need to remind themselves why they married their husbands. Cisneros points out that when an individual loves someone they should not have to ask themselves why, nor worry so much about getting hurt.
Another important issue that Cisneros addresses in her story is gender roles in the Latino community. In Mexico, being born a male is of higher prestige and value