Short Story Analysis

"Woman Hollering Creek" By Sandra Cisneros

Critical Biography

Sandra Cisneros was born on December 20, 1954. She was the only girl among six brothers and often felt as if she had seven fathers. Growing up, her family moved from one ghetto neighborhood to the other. Because of this, she felt homeless and displaced. She found comfort in reading while moving around. She found her literary voice while attending the University of Iowa's writer's workshop in the late 1970's. Her stories reflect on her childhood. Sandra's themes are maInly focused on Hispanic women, divided cultures, and poverty. "The House on Mango Street" is a major work of hers that reflects on poverty and contains Hispanic women ("Sandra Cisneros").

Big image
Big image


"Woman Hollering Creek" is about a woman, Cleofilas Hernandez, who moves to Seguin, Texas to marry a man she hardly knows. Growing up without a mother, she lacked a womanly figure in her life. The only thing Cleofilas wants is passion. She relies on TV shows to understand the meaning of love. There is a creek that runs behind her house called Woman Hollering that she finds very fascinating. Soon, Juan, her husband, starts abusing her. There isn't much she can do, so she keeps quiet. Cleofilas goes in for a sonogram when the doctor notices the marks on her body. The doctor, Graciela, calls her friend to drive Cleofilas to San Antonio to her family. Felice, Graciela's friend, crossed the bridge and started yelling, which startled Cleofilas and her son. Felice then explains she screams every time she goes across it because its name is Woman Hollering.
Big image

Analysis of Theme

"Woman Hollering Creek" displays a theme that true love and passion can be great to think about, but may turn out to be very hurtful in reality. In the story, the author states, "But what Cleofilas has been waiting for, has been whispering and sighing for, has been anticipating since she was old enough to lean against the displays of gauze and butterflies and lace, is passion". Although Cleofilas didn't know her husband that well, she still thought that the marriage would be perfect for her. She believed her whole life that love is this magical thing. "The kind of books and songs and telenovelas describe when one finds, finally, the great one of loves' life, and does whatever one can, must do, at whatever the cost".Cleofilas goes into her marriage expecting to live a happy life with her husband, Juan. Little did she know that he would soon start abusing her.

Cleofilas had been so shocked when he first hit her."She would strike back if a man, any man, were to strike her" ("Woman Hollering Creek." pg 386). But what could she do? She couldn't understand why he would do something like this. Cleofilas' dreams of love and passion with her husband were surely gone at this point. Everything she had ever known, the soap operas, the magazines, had been a lie. These things tie together the theme in the story that true love and passion can be hurtful even when you never thought they would.



"Cisneros, Sandra", Contemporary Literary Criticism Select. Detroit: Gale, 2008. Literature Resource Center. Web. 9 May 2016.

Pdf: Cisneros, Sandra. "Woman Hollering Creek." Pdf file. 16 May 2016.

Tompkins, Cynthia. "Sandra Cisneros (20 December 1954-)." American Novelists Since World War II: Fourth Series. Ed. James R. Giles and Wanda H. Giles. Detroit: Gale, 1995. 35-41. Dictionary of Literary Biography Main Series. Web. 10 May 2016.

"Woman Hollering Creek." Short Stories for Students. Ed. Kathleen Wilson. Volume 3. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Pg 386. Print. 10 May 2016