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Woman Hollering Creek - Short Story by Sandra Cisneros

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In the short story, "Woman Hollering Creek" written by Sandra Cisneros, Cisneros shares a story about a young woman, who leaves her family from Mexico for love in the United States. Cleofilas, who comes from a family of brothers and a dead mother, is assured to live a happily ever after, fairytale life with her new husband, Juan Pedro. Following her marriage, Cleofilas becomes pregnant and moves to Seguin with her husband in hopes of living a life like the characters in the telenovelas that Cleofilas has always watched. Cleofilas has always dreamt of a life like the ones in the telenovelas since she could remember. All she ever wanted was a life full of passion and romance shared between two people for eternity.

Later in the story, Cleofilas realizes that the love she has always hoped to have, like in the telenovelas she continues to watch, is not all that surreal. Not only has Juan Pedro begun to mistreat Cleofilas, but he has also started to abuse her. Shocked with his actions, Cleofilas decides to somehow ignore his anger. In the meantime, Cleofilas grows to wonder about the creek that runs behind their house.

Cleofilas has always related to the telenovelas she watches. Bender writes, "Through watching films and soap operas, she has learned to desire a fairy-tale existence, the kind she is sure she will achieve with the love of her life, Juan Pedro" (1). Cleofilas does this subconsciously in the way her hair looks, or in the sense that she too, can have a romantic life with a wonderful rich man. Unfortunately, Cleofilas has only had luck to relate to the "Pain or Rage" that lives in the telenovelas she watches. Cleofilas' marriage and life is just like the telenovelas she loves.

Cleofilas marriage is parallel to the telenovelas and helps us to better understand the situations they are compared to. Right before moving to Seguin with her husband Juan Pedro, Cleofilas mentions all she desires is passion. "She wants passion in its purest crystalline essence. The kind the books and songs and telenovelas describe when one finds, finally, the great love of ones life, and does whatever one can, must do, at whatever cost" (44). Instantly, we realize the obvious goal in Cleofilas life: to find love just like the love found in the telenovelas she watches, and at whatever cost. With this quote, Cisneros foreshadows the abuse that is about to take place in Cleofilas life. Moses states, "This story is foretold in its beginning" (1). Being that Moses states this, the reader automatically assumes that a sad or tragic ending will take place. With these assumptions, we are correct and discover that Cleofilas is willing do whatever it takes to find the love that is within the abusive man she has married.

Without a doubt, the telenovelas' title, "Tu or Nadie" is symbolic and in English translates to, "You or No One". The story does this to give the reader an idea what Cleofilas will have to go through later in the story. "Because to suffer for love is good. The pain all sweet somehow. In the end" (45). This quote highly indicates what happens in Cleofilas love life. After being abused and hiding it, she finally finds that the grass is not greener on the other side. Leaving Juan Pedro was her only option. It had to happen, even if it meant having to erase the romantic daze that had been clouding in her mind. In the end, it was a bittersweet symphony. Cleofilas finally erased the notion of love she had been blinded by, and was rewarded with freedom from abuse by leaving with Felice.

Cleofilas' marriage very much imitates the drama captured in the telenovelas she watches. After being hit again by her husband, "Cleofilas thinks her life would have to be like that, like a telenovela, only now the episodes got sadder and sadder. And there were no commercials in between for comic relief. And no happy ending in sight" (53). Cleofilas has begun to compare her life to the telenovelas herself and has started to realize that these kinds of situations should not be taking place. Bender writes, " She realizes that her life has begun to resemble a soap opera, each episode sadder than the previous one" (1). Yes, the telenovela episodes would get sadder and sadder, but there was always a fairytale ending. Cleofilas always wanted that ending, but she could not imagine her own life episodes getting worse. Later,



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