"Woman Hollering Creek" - Dreams vs. Reality

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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 her relationship with Juan Pedro was nothing like what she had dreamed it would be. Cisneros wants to emphasize the idea that when men bring home the primary source of income in the family, they feel they have power over their wives. Cisneros uses Juan Pedro in the story to portray this idea. For instance, Cleofilas often tells herself that if she had any brains in her, she would realize that Juan Pedro wakes up before the rooster to earn his living to pay for the food in her belly and a roof over her head (Cisneros, 1991, p.249). Cisneros wants to make a point that when men feel that they have power over their wives, women begin to feel a sense of low self-worth. A woman’s self-worth and self-esteem are vital to experiencing happiness in a marriage. In addition, low self-esteem can cause a woman to feel abandoned because she is not getting enough emotional support from her husband. Cisneros demonstrates this through the character of Cleofilas in the story. For example, Cleofilas often reminds ... ... middle of paper ... ...perceived. Therefore, she uses her writing to give women a voice and to speak out against the unfairness they endure. As a result, Cisneros’ story “Woman Hollering Creek” demonstrates a distinction between the life women dream of and the life they often have in reality. Works Cited Cisneros, S. (1991). Woman hollering creek. In R. DiYanni (Ed.) Literature: Reading, fiction, poetry and drama (6th ed.) (p. 202-212). Boston, MA: McGraw Hill. DiYanni R. (2005). Literature: Reading, fiction, poetry and drama (6th ed.) Boston, MA: McGraw Hill. Machismo. (2010). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved February 28, 2010, from http://www.merriam- webster.com/dictionary/machismo Pigeon, J. (n.d.). Analysis of gender roles. Retrieved from :www.mnstate.edu/vigilant/Machismo%2520V.2.doc+wife's+duty+in+mexico&cd=8&hl =en&ct clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a

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