Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 611
“Woman Hollering Creek” is the powerful narration of the destruction of one woman’s dreams told through her consciousness from the days just before her ill-fated marriage to Juan Pedro until the day she escapes his cheating, bullying behavior to return to Mexico. The primary action takes place in Seguin, Texas, a town of nasty gossips, dust, and despair, where Cleófilas gradually learns that the community life she cherished before moving north no longer exists. This town is built so that wives have to depend on husbands for a ride or stay home. There is nothing a woman can walk to: no supportive church, no leafy town square, and no friendly shops.
The story begins in Mexico, the day Don Serafin gives Juan permission to marry his daughter, Cleófilas, and take her to the “other side,” across the border. In the emotion of parting, he reassures her that as her father he will never abandon her, a remark that she later remembers for its comfort and hope. The wedding is what Cleófilas has been waiting for her entire life. Through watching films and soap operas, she has learned to desire a fairy-tale existence, the kind she is sure she will achieve with the love of her life, Juan Pedro. Once they settle in Seguin, Cleófilas finds herself drawn to the lovely creek running behind the house. No one knows why the creek is called La Gritona (Woman Hollering). The first time she crosses the creek with Juan, she laughs when he tells her its name. She does not laugh the first time Juan hits her; she does not say a word. Eventually after many beatings and the birth of their son, Juan Pedrito, she sits on the creek bank listening to the high silver voice of the water. It is calling her. She is sure of it. The sounds remind her of La Llorona, a woman who drowned her own children. She wonders if they named the creek for her.
Cleófilas’s two friends, Dolores and Soledad, caution her about the dangers of La Gritona, especially after dark. Do not go there, they advise. To take her mind off Juan’s nightly drinking at the tavern and his affairs with other women (he was with one woman while she was at the hospital giving...
(The entire section contains 611 words.)
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