Woman Hollering Creek Analysis

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The women in Woman Hollering Creek are constrained in different ways—all seeking for a type of freedom. To reach that freedom, however, they go through several tasks, such a self-definition, to gain their own sense of freedom and empowerment. Literary critic Jeff Thomson believes the power of the women is “to master the pain of the past and understand the confluence of all things… they become themselves through the honest acceptance of the world beyond the body” (Thompson). Cisneros’ character, Cleófilas, exemplifies Thomson’s notion of self-definition. Cleófilas feels trapped as a wife. The reader first sees a sense of ownership on Cleófilas in the first line, when her father, “Don Serafín gave Juan Pedro Martínez Sánchez permission to take [her] as his bride, across her father’s threshold” (Cisneros 43), Cleófilas is seen as property rather than a being, indicating that she usually does not make decisions for herself. She lacks self-definition throughout the story, especially when she gives in to the demands by her husband, especially when she is lacking passion in the relationship. It is what she “has been waiting for… whispering and sighing and giggling for, has been anticipating since she was old enough” (Cisneros 44). Cleófilas wants this passion in her life, however, she starts to believe that the type of passion she is seeking for is “in its purest crystalline essence” (Cisneros 44), only to be found in the telenovelas she watches. She starts to lose her sense of
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