Themes and Meanings
As its title suggests, “Woman Hollering Creek” explores the emotions contained within one abused woman, Cleófilas, who ultimately becomes a symbol of the many women whose domestic rage simmers quietly before exploding. After moving to Seguin, Cleófilas asks her neighbors about the creek, the woman who hollered. Had she yelled from anger or pain? They shrug. Preoccupied by their own problems with men who have left them, they have little time or energy to consider the creek’s name. As Cleófilas’s problems intensify and as the beatings become more frequent and severe, she does not fight back or break into tears. Instead she goes to the creek. Although once it had seemed so pretty and full of promise, she now sees it as the darkness under the trees, a destructive force. Eventually, however, after escaping from her oppressive marriage, her own hollering on crossing the creek takes the form of laughter, a light and liberating expression of relief and hope.
To Juan Pedro, his wife’s emotional state is of absolutely no concern. Her exhausting efforts to make their house a home by making curtains for the doorways, bleaching the linens, and mopping the floors goes unnoticed. He tires of her suspicious questions, refuses to let her enjoy music or television, and flings one of her romance books in her face from across the room. He even brings another woman into their home while she is in the hospital having Juan Pedrito. When Cleófilas sees the...
(The entire section is 450 words.)