Woman Hollering Creek
“Woman Hollering Creek” is an excellent narration of the journey of a woman named Cleofilas who’s dreams are disclosed through her consciousness. She would dream about getting swept off her feet by her future husband, just like in the telenovelas. So when the opportunity came, Cleofilas married Juan Pedro and moved off to America from Mexico. Before she left, her father told her, “I am your father, and I’ll never abandon you” (Cisneros 43), A quote that she will remember later down the line. They move to a town called Seguin, in Texas, the city of nasty gossips, dust, and despair, where Cleofilas has to gradually learn that the community life she cherished before moving north no longer exists. She believes that the town foundation is built so that wives have to depend on husbands for a ride or stay home. There is nothing for a woman to walk to no supportive church, no leafy town square, and no friendly shops. While the time passes, she begins realizing that this is not what she was expecting, and Juan Pedro is not the man who she envisioned. Juan Pedro, in reality, is a sexist man who beats his wife eventually she realizes that she needs to escape this life that Juan Pedro has made for her, and go back to Mexico to her family. Thanks to the help from a firm independent woman name Felice. She has a chance to go back to her father along with her children, and on the journey, knowing that there are strong women like Felipe who don’t follow the social norms like on the telenovelas. She admires Felipe for being independent and wonders if she could be like that too. The author purposes for writing this story is to prompt the readers’ ideas of romantic love, woman role in a masculine culture, and expectation Vs. Reality.
As a young woman, Cleofilas would dream about finding her prince charming, finding true love “Passion in its purest crystalline essence” (Cisneros 44). A situation like this is common when it comes to a young teenager because of movies, and television it gives the viewer expectations about how love is. According to cultivation theory, viewers who are repeatedly exposed to romantic content in media should, over time, adopt beliefs about the real world that are similar to the themes featured in the storylines (Gerbner, Gross, Morgan, Signorielli, & Shanahan, 2002). As for Cleofilas, when she met Juan Pedro, it was love at first sight, just like in the movies. A good comparison to her situation is the frozen movie when the main character, Anna, meets Han. They immediately take a liking to each other. When trouble falls upon the kingdom, Anna decides to leave Han in charge, A man that she only knew for a short time, while she goes to save her sister. Little does she know that Han was a hoax, and she gave him the perfect opportunity to take over the kingdom. In our story, Cleofilas meets Juan Pedro only for a short period before he asks her to marry him. Cleofilas knowing that this is rushed still agree to marry him because he doesn’t know when she’ll get another opportunity again, and she wants that telenovelas life. As time goes on, she began to question the reality of the relationship. There was not enough reason yet to give up on the relationship she still believes the trope “I believe if another person and I love each other, we can overcome any differences and problems that may arise” (V. Hefner & B. J. Wilson 164). This trope is a huge problem when it comes to television; it gave the idea no matter how bad the relationship gets love conquers all, and Cleofilas is holding on to that expectation.
Reality is the world or the state of things as they exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notion idea of them. A moment in the story when reality set in is when the author recalls “and he slapped her, and then again, and again; until the lip split and bled an orchid of blood, she didn’t fight back, she didn’t break into tears, she didn’t run away as she imagined she might when she saw such things in the telenovelas” (Cisneros 47). At this moment, Cleofilas mind begins to question the idealistic relationship and the Telenovelas. She realized it was not as simple as just picking up your belonging, and leaving there a physical, and emotional connection that cannot be severed so easily. She starts asking herself if this is the man she wants to be with the rest of her life. Every day from that point on Cleofilas questions why she loves him saying things like “he isn’t a good man, he doesn’t even help with the baby, and he’s nothing like the men on the telenovelas” (Cisneros 49). The expectations that she had been through, and now, reality has set in. She starts seeing the true nature of this town, how it made for women to rely on men. They have no place to go no car to drive all they can do is cater to their husbands. As the time when on she had had enough, and decided to do something about her reality. After that, a named Graciela asked for a favor to her friend Felice to get Cleofilas to the bus station. While on their way, Cleofilas realized that Felice was not the norm of a woman like she saw on the telenovelas. Felice was a confident woman who had her pick up a truck and worked for everything. Cleofilas admired seeing the reality of a strong woman in this world right in front of her face. “Woman Hollering Creek” is about a woman realizing that the world reality and television expectations are far part. The television expectation puts a false ideal into a young woman mind about what a relationship should be, that the prince may not be prince charming. That the reality of the world is cold, and sometimes doesn’t have those fairytale endings, but you control your destiny.
Hefner, Veronica, and BarbaraJ. Wilson. “From Love at First Sight to Soul Mate: The Influence of Romantic Ideals in Popular Films on Young People’s Beliefs about Relationships.” Communication Monographs, vol. 80, no. 2, June 2013, pp. 150–175. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/03637751.2013.776697.