What is the historical perspective behind the story "Woman Hollering Creek"?  

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bmadnick eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Cisneros writes about Cleofilas who is trapped in her traditional role as a woman that is assigned to her by her Mexican culture. She struggles to find the power within her by leaving her husband. It describes the lives of Mexicans who have crossed the border to live in the American Southwest. Cleofilas is a poor woman, trapped in a violent marriage and isolated because of her language barrier. Cisneros makes it clear that historically, women have suffered the same isolation and victimization as Cleofilas.

Enotes gives the history of the people who lived in the border towns in Mexico when their towns were annexed by the U.S. They find themselves strangers in their own towns, powerless to do anything about it. The new country that they now belong to doesn't welcome their language, culture, or historical customs. In fact, it is these very things that isolate them from the new culture they have been thrown into.

Cisneros and other Chicana writers address how difficult it is for the women of the Mexican culture to adapt to life in the U.S. Her book, The House on Mango Street, describes the lives of Mexican immigrants in Chicago. She is a significant voice in feminist literature.

If you go to the enotes link, you will find more information on the history and on the life of Cisneros. That will give you a great start on the historical perspective you're looking for.

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Woman Hollering Creek

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