Woman Hollering Creek

by Sandra Cisneros

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What does "Woman Hollering Creek" suggest about female desire? And how does the story demonstrate realism?

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In "Woman Hollering Creek" by Sandra Cisneros, Cleofilas marries Juan Pedro, who abuses her horribly, and learns that female desire is not quite what she had envisioned. Let's look at this in more detail.

When you think about female desire, be careful not to limit it to sexual desire, for its category is greater. Cleofilas longs for a new life, a life away from her demanding family. She wants romance and comfort. She gets neither. While her wedding is happy, her relationship with her husband soon changes when he starts hitting her. Cleofilas realizes that her desires are far from fulfilled. She is not happy, and her life is much worse than before.

When Cleofilas finally leaves Juan Pedro, she is assisted by a woman named Felice. Cleofilas has never met anyone like Felice, who laughs easily and is independent. Felice yells as they cross the creek, and this startles Cleofilas at first, but she finds herself laughing with Felice. At this point, she regains some of her desire for happiness and fulfillment, and a bit of hope returns to her. She has a female role model.

As for the realism in the story, notice how Cleofilas's daily life is central. The details of the story focus largely on this, and it is not a pleasant life. We hear about the abuse and about the role of the television soap operas and about Cleofilas's concern for her unborn child. We also see the nurse's concern and her desire but inability to help but for calling Felice.

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