Critical Analysis



CriticalAnalysis, Gender

WomanHollering Creek’by Sandra Cisneros is an interesting story about the challenges womenand disadvantaged members of the society are forced to go throughwithin the family settings. The story highlights issues that led toconflicts in families and how it affects gender roles and genderbased violence and harassment in the domestic setting. The storycenters on the life of a lone daughter whose father is determined toensure that she gets married and live a happy life. However, she endsup getting married to an abusive husband. The story also highlightsthe gender inequalities and stereotypes in the contemporary society(Wood, 1991). These social issues have a huge impact on the growthand development of a woman from childhood to adulthood.

SandraCisneros story identifies different social and gender issues thataffects woman in the family setting. The main character in the story,Cleofilas,is subjected to various forms of domestic violence. She is married toa man who abuses her mentally and physically (Cisneros,1992).The story is based on the Hispanic culture where the society isdominated by men. As a result, gender issues such as domesticviolence are not considered to be serious social issues. SandraCisneros explains the challenges women go through, especially in theHispanic society, from childhood, teenage and as married women. Thisis due to the way the Hispanic society cultural and traditionalvalues on gender roles and the position of women in the socialhierarchy. In the ‘WomanHollering Creek’,Sandra Cisneros gives a typical example of a young woman who grows inthe absence of her mother and faces the challenges as a woman withoutthe support and advice from a more experienced woman. It is alsoimportant to note that in addition to the gender based challengesfacing the woman in the Hispanic society, due to the nature of thesociety, they are more affected by the challenges facing immigrantsocieties. This is because they are struggling to make their livesbetter and achieve the American dream while struggling with socialand cultural gender based barriers that makes the achievement oftheir dreams impossible (Fitts, 2002).

SandraCisneros has written the story in such a way that the reader willsympathize with Cleofilasand other women facing similar challenges in the society. The factthat she grew up in a male dominated society, in a family of sevenmen, without a mother and gets married to an abusive husbandhighlight the extreme gender based challenges faced by women. As aresult, the life of an immigrant woman in the story is characterizedby discrimination, domestic violence and conflicts. However, SandraCisneros highlight the fact that women should not lose hope despitethe challenges. They should always remain focused to their dreams andwork towards their liberation from gender biased cultural values andtraditions. For example, in the story, Cleofilasis determined to acquire knowledge about feminine attributes andgender aspects of the society. Through watching television she isable to learn about different aspects of female life in the divergentsociety. Although this is not the best way of learning, itcompensates some of the lessons she could have learned from hermother. It is also important to note that in the Hispanic society,women get married at a relatively young age. This increases thelikelihood of them getting into an abusive marriage and the inabilityto rescue themselves from gender based challenges (Fitts, 2002).


Cisneros,S. (1992). WomanHollering Creek and Other Stories.New York, NY: Demco Media.

Fitts,A. (2002), &quotSandra Cisneros`s Modern Malinche: A Reconsiderationof Feminine Archetypes in Woman Hollering Creek&quot, TheInternational Fiction Review29 (1–2): 11–22.

Wood,S. (1991), &quotThe Voice of Esperanza. Review of Woman HolleringCreek and Other Stories&quot TheWashington Post:3.