Women Hollering Creek Essay

1214 words - 5 pages

The Hidden Story of a Battered Woman In describing "Women Hollering Creek," Sandra Cisneros uses hidden examples to show the pain, anguish, and despair a battered woman feels. The misleading images of the passions people have on the telenovas show us a glimpse of the life Cleofila wishes to lead. The constant fascination Cleofila has of the arroyo, which legend says is haunted by women who lived tragic lives. This fascination shows us the longing she has to yell out and tell us her pain, as did the woman in the creek did. Symbolism also takes a role in showing the despair that is portrayed in the evaluations Cleofila is making of the neighbor ladies, and taking notice that Felice, who helps set her free, is not bound to this anguish but is a woman with her own identity. It is clear that Cisneros is trying to illustrate to us that pain, anguish, and despair are not always readily seen or heard. That these can be seen through our actions and thoughts if we will only take the time to notice, as did the doctor did at the end of the story.The passions seen on the telenovas by Cleofila have a hidden meaning in the story. It is imperative for Cisneros to use these vivid images of the telenovas as a way to see the life Cleofila wishes to have. When we are in pain, or are hurting we don't like to show it, because of our human nature we try to cover up our pain. An example of this is when the author is describing the telenovas, "But passion in its purest crystalline essence. The kind the books and songs and telenovelas describe when one finds, finally, the great love of one's life, and does whatever one can, must do, at whatever the cost (168)". Is this what Cleofila has? We as readers can see that she does not have this "passion." But Cleofila who is blinded by her own pain thinks that this is love. She has this image of love and passion as being no-matter-what, you must always love because that is the most important thing. Cleofila tells us this when she says," This is the man I have waited my whole life for…She has to remind herself why she loves him (171)". How awful it must be to always compare your love for your husband to that of a soap opera.The arroyo is a creek that runs behind Cleofila's house. Cisneros uses the sounds and tales of this creek and compares it to that of the anguish Cleofila is experiencing. It is interesting to note that both the legendary woman who the creek is named after and Cleofila have experienced pain and rage. I think that the arroyo is in parallel with her life. For instance when Cleofila was first married, and has not yet know hurt and anger, she thought that the arroyo's name was silly. She goes on to say, "Such a funny name for a creek so pretty and full of happily ever after (170)". Cleofila herself has not yet experienced the suffering, so it is not possible for her to understand the arroyo's meaning. Not until after she is beaten and in emotional turmoil does she better understand the creek. She has always...

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