Sandra Cisneros’ “Woman Hollering Creek” entails the story of Cleofilas Enriqueta DeLeon Hernandez, a young Mexican woman who is inexperienced in life and only knows of home with her six rambunctious brothers, her caring father and the fantasies she watches in her telenovelas. With the blessing of her father, the protagonist soon weds Juan Pedro and relocates to Texas. The newlyweds are of humble means and soon after the stage of bliss, the marriage turns toxic. Juan is an alcoholic and overtly abusive machista who he tries to gain power, self-worth and feel in control by tormenting Cleofilas. As a form of escape, the she often visits the creek that hollows inexplicably. Now pregnant with her second child and severely abused, Cleofilas visits a clinic to get a checkup; the doctor soon notices that she needs immediate help. Cleofilas, Graciela (the medic) and Felice (Graciela’s friend) decide that the best thing for Cleofilas is her return to Mexico to be with her father. On their way, they pass the hollering creek and Felice starts yelling like Tarzan in liberation.
Being a Mexican, the scenery and setting of the story set some precedence for the text. The hollering creek alluded to who many Latinx-Americans know as La Llorona. Although the details of the tale vary distinctly, the premise of the story is the same. A woman in severe pain, agony, sorrow and remorse haunts the river in search of her children that are long gone. By the title, I knew this tale would center on a woman who is / was experiencing hardships. Although I was correct, I did not expect the ending to conclude the way it did. Cisneros turned something far too common in latinx households and culture and created empowerment.
Cisneros’ introduction to the independent, strong and driven characters: Griselda and Felice created a refreshing counterbalance to Cleofilas, as well as her neighbors: Dolores and Soledad. The story touches on many issues faced universally and the author finds a unique and creative way to add her token of relieve. Griselda and Felice transformed a cursed creek that knew far too much despair into a body of hope and liberation.