In the story ‘Woman Hollering Creek’, written by Sandra Cisneros, wrote a short fiction story about this character name Cleofilas’ taking interest of the old myth story and retelling it to reclaim it for woman as a positive. In the book, Cisneros short stories mostly revolves around how and why we mythologize love. Her stories involve men and women’s relationship how love can get twisted, manipulated or dilution. In the story, Cleofilas’ and her family lives in Texas, in a house that was next to a river that had an eerie name that was named after a woman called La Lllorona.
The history of La Llorona is a tragic story, a Hispanic legend that has been telling children for hundreds of years, about a mother that went crazy wanting to get back at her husband and killed their children in the river in a jealous rage but then regrets it afterword. There has been many retelling of the story that changes the time era that the story took place at to adapt to the modern culture. La Llorona is the name the village called her which means the weeping woman. Legends has it, people say you can hear a woman crying and hollering. Also, they claimed to have seen a woman walking up and down the bank of the river. Families warn their children to not go out in the dark for La Llorona might snatch them and never return them. This myth tends to take aspects of an urban legend and is present throughout Mexican culture.
Cleofilas’ is a Mexican mother married to an abusive husband. She has 2 children, one a toddler and the other still pregnant with. She suffers depression not knowing where or who to go to. As she sits to herself she wonders if La Llorona felt just as depressed when she felt neglected. She loves reading romantic books and shows, however, she realized that not all love stories end happily ever after and compares it with her relationship. “How when a man and a woman love each other, sometimes that love sours. But a parent’s love for a child, a child’s for its parents, is another thing entirely.” Cleofilas’ thought to herself (page 43). After years of dealing with domestic violence, she builds the confidence to get out and move in with her parents.
The purpose of domestic violence and abuse in a relationship is when someone tries to gain total control over their spouse. When people think of domestic abuse, they often focus on domestic violence however not all abusive relationships involve physical violence. Emotional abuse includes verbal abuse such as yelling, name calling, blaming, and shaming. The abuser will try to isolate, intimidate, and control you so he or she can feel more dominate than the other making sure the spouse dose not try to get away. Some people may think that physical abuse is far worse than emotional abuse, since physical violence can send you to the hospital and leave you with scars. The scars of emotional abuse are very real, though, and they run deep that can be just as damaging as physical abuse, sometimes even more so. More than a total of 28.9% of 6790 women and 22.9% of 7122 men had experienced physical, sexual, or psychological intimate partner violence during their lifetime (Croker).
We all know abusive relationships are bad and if anyone were to recognize one they should stay away from that person. However, the point here that Cleofilas’ story should interest those who are in a similar situation when in a bad relationship. Beyond this limited audience, Cisneros’ point should speak to anyone who care about larger issue of people that mythologize love and are afraid to be alone. Not all love stories end happily ever after but what makes a better ending is when the victim spouse faces with reality then builds self-confidence and the straight to leave becoming independent. It is not always easy to get up and leave, however, it is good to talk to someone about your problems so they can help you get out or build you the confidence you need to overcome that issue.
In my closing thoughts about the story, ‘Woman Hollering Creek’, is trying to tell is that what it is to be a Hispanic woman. What she learned once she moved out of her house away from her husband was that her and La Llorona have something in common and that is expectations versus reality. She felt that she was alienated from family, however, Cleofilas’ grew strength and got help from her friends. The point why it is good to speak to anyone who cares about this topic is because love is not like the stories you read or shows you watch. Love can be complicated when in a relationship but true love is having the strength to do what is best for your children.
I agree that domestic violence and abuse should be more aware, a point that needs emphasizing since so many people believe the person that is being abuse should just leave, however, some do not know what to do or get away feeling trapped. If you see someone who is getting abused talk to them. The biggest help you can do to help them repeating history from getting out of one bad relationship and into another is to help them find their inner straights and awareness as well. Some victims are blind thinking it is normal depending how they grew up, taught, or seen. It is likely to believe that women were significantly more likely than men to experience physical risk and abuse of power and control, but men less likely report any abuse alone.
Coker, L, Ann. Keith, E, Davis. Arias, Ileana. Desai, Sujata. Sanderson, Maureen. Brandt, M, Heather. Smith, H, Paige. “Physical and mental health effects of intimate partner violence for men and women”. Website. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2002. http://www.ajpmonline.org/action/showFullTextImages?pii=S0749-3797%2802%2900514-7.
Smith, Melinda. M.A., Segal, Jeanne. PH.D. “Domestic Violence and Abuse”. Website. April 2017. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/domestic-violence-and-abuse.htm.
Cisneros, Sandra. “Woman Hollering Creek”. Book. pg.43-56. 1991.