Woman Hollering Creek by Sandra Term Paper

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Cisneros seems to project her own life into the character of Cleofilas as Cisneros herself is stated by Doyle (1996) to have entered into a discussion of the difficulties that she herself had known as a Mexican-American "...always straddling the two countries...but not belong to either culture...trying to define some middle ground." (Pillar, 1990; as cited in Doyle, 1996)

This divide of cultures, religion and gender are a type of 'borderlands' as defined in the work of Gloria Anzaldua and these borderlands exist not only geographically but in physic realms as well. According to Doyle, "Woman Hollering Creek" charts "psychological, linguistic and spiritual border crossings." (1996) the work of Candelaria (1986) posits that the meanings held within the story of Hollering Woman Creek have survived due to the multiple meanings and cultural resonance.

Ultimately, Cleofilas flees her husband to return to her father and having returned home it is related by Doyle that Cleofilas "...overcomes the tradition of silence." Doyle additionally states that Cleofilas:

through successive dislocations...relocates herself and her posterity, leaving behind a dusty town 'built so that you have to depend on husbands' and experiences a self-reclamation "in the fluid liminal space of this 'trickle of water' with its 'curious name' this 'muddy puddle' growing in strength to become a musical torrent. If she made her first passage across the Rio Grande in thrall to romantic dreams, she frees herself from this ethos of feminine submission in her passage back."(Doyle, 1996)


Matthew Gilbert writes in the work entitled: "Cisneros Gives Voice to the Dispossessed" that Cisneros "is the impassioned bard of the Mexican border, as well as the border between humiliation and rage. With a language that is at once lyrical and sharp, she gives voice to the dispossessed Mexican and Chicano women and children who suffer on either side of both lines. In "Woman Hollering Creek," a collection of stories that is like a series of first-person monologues, Cisneros proves that she is a writer of deep sympathies, one able to create from within a socio-political milieu without compromising the art of her fiction." (1991)


Because the life experience of Cisneros has been somewhat akin to that of the character Cleofilas in "Hollering Woman Creek," Cisneros is enabled in providing a very clear view into the thoughts and motive of Cleofilas as well as providing with clarity a view into the disappointment of Cleofilas once she has become inundated with the reality of marriage vs. The television novel fantasy that she has grown up believing in. Hollering Woman Creek stands in the work of Cisneros as a literal and symbolic representation of Cleofilas 'crossing' from her father's household to that of her husband and then back over again into her father's household.

Cleofilas, while silent in the face of her husband's assaults and abuse, finds her own voice after having 'crossed' back over leaving the chains that bound her to her husband and returning to her father. Cleofilas comes to the realization that love between a man and woman is not sure and neither is it predictable, steady or constant, and realizing however, that a parent's love for their child is steady, sure, and unchanging even over the passage of time. The story of Cleofilas is one in which Cisneros seemingly releases some of her own experiential frustration in relation to her Mexican-American heritage and the associated linguistic and cultural divides that present in her life.


Candelaria, "Letting La Llorona Go," 113; John M. Ingham, Mary, Michael, and Lucifer: Folk Catholicism in Central Mexico (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1986), 110-112; and Edward Garcia Kraul and Judith Beatty, "Foreword," the Weeping Woman: Encounters with La Llorona, ed. Edward Garcia Kraul and Judith Beatty (Santa Fe: The Word Process, 1988), xi. Jose E. Limon surveys other precedents for this identification in "La Llorona, the Third Legend of Greater Mexico," 416.

Cisneros, Sandra (1991) "Woman Hollering Creek," Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories (New York: Random House, 1991), 55-56

Cisneros, Sandra (nd) Woman Hollering Creek Study Guide. Book Rags. Online available at http://www.bookrags.com/studyguide-womanholleringcreek/intro.html

Doyle, Jacqueline (1996) Haunting the Borderlands: La Llorona in Sandra Cisnero's 'Woman Hollering Creek'. Frontiers Publishing Inc. 1996. ProQuestion Information and Learning Company.

Gilbert, Matthew (1991) Cisneros Gives Voice to the Dispossessed - the Boston Globe 14 May 1991.

Pilar E. Rodriguez Aranda, (1990) "On the Solitary Fate of Being Mexican, Female, Wicked and Thirty-three:…[continue]

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