There are many women who face difficulties in their daily life. Leaving an abusive relationship can be difficult, and many people never do. On the other hand, some women are brave enough to stand up for themselves and leave the circumstance. Sandra Cisneros discusses the theme of the short story “Women Hollering Creek” by describing a woman whose husband beats her. Cleofilas, a young woman, is the focus of the story. With six boys to raise, she had no mother to guide her. She gained a better understanding of what it felt like to be a woman from watching telenovelas in her town. She thinks that finding true love and “living happily ever” after is all she requires to be a woman (Cisneros 220). When Juan Pedro married her, she hoped for a beautiful marriage full of love, but it quickly turned sour. All of her hardships, from being the only female in a household of six males to the anguish she suffers at the hands of her husband, demonstrate the oppression women face in silence.
When women arrive at their marital homes, many find that they have been subjected to a great deal of misery. Cleofila’s father in the short story “Women Hollering Creek” is aware of her daughter’s future difficulties even after permitting her marriage to the bridegroom. Her father’s words, “I am your father, and I will never abandon you”, shows how much he cares for her (Cisneros 219). In this context, the author demonstrates how when men and women fall in love; their love becomes sour (Cisneros 220). However, a parent’s love for a child and his love for his parents are two very different things (Cisneros 220). Upon her departure, Cleofila is blinded by her happiness that only later she would recall her father’s departing words.
The author demonstrates how women are abused by men who are supposed to be their protectors. Even though Cleofilas is under a great deal of psychological and physical stress, she feels afraid to return to her father’s house. The author demonstrates how men leave their spouses to fend while drinking and partying away from home. As a result, Cleofilas feels lonely, aggravated by events in her new environment away from familial safety and love. Many women in the Cleofilas neighbourhood have also been left alone by husbands who either departed out of their own free will or for unknown reasons. In the story, her neighbours Soledad and Dolores remain stuck in their homes, contemplating the men who have neglected them in various ways (Cisneros 222). As a result, both interpersonal and cultural alienation pervades her environment.
An example of violence in the author’s work is highlighted when Cleofila’s husband strikes her in the face. When Juan feels bad for striking his wife, it is absurd that he expects his wife to be there for him emotionally (Cisneros 223). Cleofilas must comfort Juan Pedro rather than Juan Pedro comforting her; it indicates the high expectations men place on women in a patriarchal world. As a result, Cleofilas is trapped in an abusive marriage where she has no voice and no way to voice her concerns. Cisneros examines toxic masculinity in terms of how males turn away from good communication and instead lean-to aggression and alcohol. Juan Pedro looks to be unable to convey his sentiments. Hence, he beats Cleofilas, a weak attempt to convey himself and confess that he feels something. When Cleofilas learns more about him, the idea that he is the husband she has “waited” her entire life for appears less and less real (Cisneros 223). She realizes at this point that she must safeguard not just herself but also her unborn child.
Cleofilas is surrounded by an abusive culture, one in which abuse of women is normalized. Men are so accustomed to domestic violence that they joke about actual murder and socialize with actual killers without remorse. Juan’s friend Maximiliano brags about killing his wife in a dispute claiming that her wife was armed with a mop (Cisneros 225). Cleofilas’s plight as a victim of domestic violence is understandable; after all, nobody would listen to her cries for aid for such extreme violence is the norm.
Juan Pedro’s machismo interferes with Cleófilas’s life once more when he opposes her to ask her father for a loan. His pride gets the better of him at this point, and he believes that asking for aid is a sign of weakness. Other aspects of his personality reveal this dread of weakness, which keeps him from expressing his emotions. It is evident that Juan has a skewed view of what it implies to be a man, which places a premium on self-reliance and self-confidence no matter what the situation.
Violence and tyranny perpetrated by men are all too common. At the beginning of a relationship, it is clear that most men demonstrate love and desire for their wives, which gradually fades away in their marriages. Men subject their wives to physical and emotional stress, such as violence and loneliness. Additionally, women are also denied the freedom of expression where they cannot be allowed to express their desires. Therefore, women should not be subject to harsh treatment by their husbands since men have a duty in protecting them. Moreover, they should as well be allowed to own properties and have their freedom of expression respected.
Cisneros, Sandra. Woman Hollering Creek: And Other Stories. Vintage, 2013.