"Woman Hollering Creek"
"One Holy Night"
About the Project
Cleofilas is the wife of Juan Pedro. She wishes that her life were as charming as the telenovelas, or soap operas, on television. She is abused by her husband and feels trapped and helpless in her situation. She does not want to leave Juan Pedro because he helps support their child.
Juan Pedro is married to Cleofilas and is a rude, inconsiderate man. He physically abuses Cleofilas and breaks her precious possessions.
Felice is the lady that drives Cleofilas out of town and into freedom so that she may escape her husband's abuse.
en el otro lado: on the other side
telenovela: soap opera
tu o nadie: you or no one
La Gritona: woman hollering
"pues, alla de los indios, quien sabe": "that came from the indians, who knows?"
zocalo: big block on which a statue is placed
mi'hita: short for mi hijita, my daughter
"No es bueno para la salud. Mala suerte. Mal aire.": "It is not good for the health. Bad luck. Bad air."
La llorona: weeping woman
Mi querida: my dear
The story begins with Cleofilas remembering her marriage and how her father's words of well wishing have much more meaning to her now that she is a mother. Cleofilas looks back to the days before she is married and remembers how happy she was. She got married and moved to Seguin, Texas, and wondered about the creek behind the house and the story behind it. Soon her husband begins beating her and she realizes that her life isn't a dream life. She goes to the doctor and they notice her bruises and arrange for her escape back home.
This story takes place in Seguin, Texas. It is a very dramatic story; the reader is always kept wondering about what will happen next to Cleofilas. Her life is very dramatic, especially when the time comes for her to leave her husband. Her life experiences are also very real. Many women all over the country go through the same problems as Cleofilas. The story sometimes becomes confusing with the lack of quotation marks and the sometimes vague descriptions.
The story is written in limited third person, only knowing the thoughts of Cleofilas. Cisneros uses many Spanish phrases in her stories to help clarify specific ideas and to spice up the language. Also, the language used is very informal.
1. The creek symbolizes the "road not taken" by staying in an abusive relationship. The creek's origin is unknown, mysterious, and possibly even frightening, as is the road not taken.
2. The laughter at the end of the story signifies freedom and the incredible feeling experienced when freedom is actually attained.
1. Victimization of women in any situation is unfortunate but unavoidable.
2. The best way to attain freedom is to overcome fear.
1. Why do you think women stay in abusive situations?
2. At the end of the story, what does Cleofilas' laughter signify?
3. Do you have an image of an ideal life for yourself?
4. What do you think would have happened if the doctor had not discovered the bruises on Cleofilas?
5. Why do you think Sandra Cisneros bases her stories on the archetype of the victimized woman?