Woman Hollering Creek

by Sandra Cisneros

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What's an example of an argumentative analysis essay on "Woman Hollering Creek" without research?

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I would argue that the creek represents not only women's disempowerment but also women's empowerment. In the first example under "It represents...," I would focus on men's control of women and the way men dominate in the story, including how Cleofilas' father-in-law controls her money and her husband controls her body. In this part, I would refer to other stories about violence against women and their powerlessness, such as Maya Angelou's "A Brave Black Woman." In the second example under "It represents...", I would talk about Felice and her ability to holler like a man and drive a pickup truck. She helps to empower Cleofilas to return home to Mexico.

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One essay you could write about Sandra Cisneros' short story "Woman Hollering Creek" would be to argue that the creek can represent either women's disempowerment or women's empowerment. I will walk you through how to set up a 5-paragraph essay for this persuasive analysis.

Paragraph 1: Introduction

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paragraph with a hook, such as a question to grab the reader's attention. "Is a holler a signal of pain or a signal of triumph?" could be one opener. Then give background information about the story and the author. Then present your thesis statement, which would be: "The creek in this story represents two states that women can live in, either a state of disempowerment or a state of empowerment."

Paragraph 2: First Body Paragraph

In this paragraph, discuss how the true origin of the creek's name is a mystery in the story. Paraphrase or quote passages that discuss how Cleofilas tries to ascertain the meaning of "Woman Hollering." Point out that since the true meaning of the name is obscure, it can represent more than one thing.

Paragraph 3: Second Body Paragraph

In this paragraph, present the idea that the creek can represent pain or rage, two disempowered states that the women in the story find themselves in. Point to Cleofilas' neighbors, who spend their time mourning their lost men, and Cleofilas herself, who is being beaten and cheated on by her husband. Cleofilas assumes the creek represents this state because that is the state she sees women in all around her, even in the news articles of women who have been murdered by their mates.

Paragraph 4: Third Body Paragraph

In this paragraph, show the contrast of Felice's explanation of and reaction to the creek. She hollers like Tarzan, drives a pickup, and takes control of her life. She also helps Cleofilas take control of her life by helping her return to her family in Mexico. To Felice, and now to Cleofilas, the creek represents empowerment for women.

Paragraph 5: Conclusion

Restate your thesis statement. Summarize your points from the body paragraphs. Add why you think this is a significant message for readers. Conclude with a statement that ties back to your hook, such as, "A holler can be a signal of triumph if a woman chooses to make it so." 

This essay makes an argument using evidence from the story and requires no outside research. 

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