Transformation Of A Woman In Cleófilas's Woman Hollering Creek

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The next stereotype to be faced is that of the “virgin” or “Madonna”. This female archetype is a submissive and docile woman who diligently serves her husband without question. She is represented and redefined in Woman Hollering Creek through the transformation of the main character, Cleófilas. The story is a spin off of the old, Latin legend of “La Llorona” or “Weeping Woman”, in which a mother turns against her children in a rage against their father for abandoning her in pursuit of another woman. As the story goes, she drowns her children in a creek out of jealousy and for revenge on her husband, and her ghost still haunts the creek to this day. In Cisneros’s modernized twist of this old myth, the “Weeping Woman” is depicted as the “Hollering…show more content…
Cleófilas looks over her shoulder at every turn, terrified that “Juan Pero might appear in a doorway. On the street” (Cisneros, 55), until she meets Felice, her liberator, and all her fears melt away. “Everything about this woman, this Felice, amazed Cleófilas, the fact that she drove a pickup. A pickup, mind you, but when Cleófilas asked if it was her husband’s, she said she didn’t have a husband. The pickup was hers. She had chosen it. She herself was paying for it” (Cisneros, 55). Seeing the way Felice provides for herself, doesn’t need a rich husband take care of her physically or emotionally, and most importantly, the freedom that comes with being self-sufficient, is a turning point for Cleófilas. It is through Felice’s “holler” while crossing the creek of the “weeping woman” that Cisneros paints a picture that is symbolic, not only of Cleófilas's transformation from a self-pitying and oppressed to reborn, newly confident and freedom-seeking woman, but also of a transformation that any “weeping woman” can bring about in herself, if she takes that first step towards freeing herself. Through this striking symbolism, Cisneros redefines the “weeping woman” stereotype as a new, confident, and independent “hollering woman”. Although the ending is somewhat ambiguous, the last sentence brings a bit of closure. “Then Felice began laughing again, but it…show more content…
She brilliantly conveys this message by incorporating the theme of self-liberation in both stories, while contrasting the means by which each character achieves freedom. By creating two stories that both compare and contrast, the author presents the choice between two roads to freedom. How will women redefine the behaviors that are expected of them and liberate themselves from oppression? The challenge comes in breaking the cycle of revenge, choosing the freedom of forgiveness over the captivity of resentment, and crossing the border into true

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