Woman hollering creek and other stories is a compilation of short stories authored by Sandra Cisneros, who is a Mexican writer based in San-Antonio. This collection is a reflection of how America influenced Cisnero while still being attached to her Mexican heritage while growing up close to the northern Mexico-US border.
The tales place focus on women’s social role and the relationships they have with both the men and women in their lives. Majority of the characters embody gender stereotypes. The men symbolize machismo as women are depicted as weak and gullible. The author places focus on three feminine clichés. One is the sinful seductress, another is the passive virgin, and the last one is the traitorous mother. Other than focusing on the issues faced by women, Cisneros simultaneously evokes the reader’s sensitivity towards the struggles of immigrants. Below is a plot overview of the story.
Here Is a Well-Written Synopsis of the Book
The first section is known as “my lucky friend who smells like corn.” In this story, there is a young girl who describes Lucy, her friend, who smells like chips, tortillas, and warm bread. One fine day, the narrator resolves to attain a dark complexion similar to Lucy’s. Therefore, she sits in the sun in a bid to tan her skin, As the day goes by, these two friends put on each other’s shoes on their hand then try to make dolls using household materials. The narrator then asks her friend if they could be sisters.
In “Eleven,” there is a girl by the name Rachel who posits that if you are eleven years of age, then you are also 19, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1. Upon her 11th birthday, her teacher comes across an old rugged sweater in the classroom and says it must belong to Rachel. Just before lunch, one of her classmates remembers that she is the owner of the sweater. However, she is a little too late. Rachel has already been forced to wear the sweater, and she is profusely crying like a 3-year old, all the while wishing that she was 102 years old.
The third story called “Salvador Late or Early,” gives a simple description of a boy by the name Salvador, he has both crooked teach and hair. The teacher is finding it difficult to pronounce his name correctly. Salvador also has no friends since he is always assisting his mother in the care of his junior brothers. Noticing how down-trodden he is, the narrator observes as Salvador walks his brothers home from school.
In “Mexican Movies,” the story is narrated by a child narrator who contemplates the joy of attending movies with her parents and Kiki, her younger brother. Whenever characters undress onscreen, their father gives Kiki and her quarters to use while in the lobby. The siblings delight at this moment where they gain autonomy with the power to decide how to spend their new cash.
“Barbie-Q” involves two young girls who are playing with their Barbie dolls. They dress them up and fashion new dresses out of socks. Later on, they become overjoyed to find new babies on sale at low prices in a flea market. These dolls were damaged in a fire at the toy warehouse. However, they do not mind because they are happy to find friends for their babies.
The story of “Mericans” has a young lady by the name Micaela waits in the company of his brothers for their terrible grandmother to come to appear from the church. As they wait, they meet a foreign couple who ask for directions in poor Spanish. Her brother’s Neligh response shocks the young woman. The brother then tells her they are “Mericans.”
The first section of the novel ends with the story of “Tepeyac.” Here the narrator describes a visit to a store near the town of Tepeyac owned by his grandfather. This is a holy town where people make pilgrimages every year. The narrator then looks for his grandfather from the story and walks down the streets well known to him. After this, he foreshadows to the future whereby he has returned to Tepeyac years later, finding all has changed, and he knows nobody.
The second part of the novel is called “one holy night,” that is also the maiden story. In this piece, we are told of the story of an 8th grader by the name Ixchel who abides with her Mexican grandmother in the US. She falls in love with a man named Chaq Uxmal Peloquin, who also refers to himself as a boy baby. He seduces Ixchel into having relations with him under the pretext of having a Mayan son to restore his heritage. However, it turns out he is not Mayan but a serial killer of girls who then conceals their bodies within the Caves of the Hidden Girl.
In the story of “My Tocaya,” the reader is taken through a story narrated by Patricia, whereby she tells the story of her classmate who went missing. She is also called Patricia, but the storyteller criticizes her for getting along with Trish who has a phony character but was facilitating a relationship between her and a boy she liked. Tish is assumed dead, and suddenly everyone pretends to like her. This annoys the narrator and concludes that she cannot even die in the right manner.
Section three starts with the story of “Woman hollering creek,” it discusses the relationship between Cleofilas and Juan Pedro. Her father is against the union, but they still get married and move to America. After suffering much abuse from Juan and after giving birth to their second child, she decides to escape with the help of Felice. Upon reaching Woman Hollering Creek, she whoops since that is the only place that is named after a woman. It makes her feel free.
“The Marlboro man” involves two anonymous speakers discussing the actor who played Marlboro man on screen. However, they seem confused since the role has been played by many actors. However, they still converse about this iconic figure and the celebrities he associated with.
“La Fabulosa: A Texas Operative,” describes Carmen through the eyes of an anonymous narrator. She is attractive to men because of her huge breasts. Her casual boyfriend is Jose, but she soon starts an affair with a known Texas senator. A jealous Jose then tries to murder her, then commit suicide. Eventually, Carmen escapes accompanied by a wrestler to Helotes in Texas where she is last seen within some bar.
The story of “remember the Alamo” is about a homosexual dancer by the stage name Tristan who self-narrates in third-person. The narration says that he performs wonderfully in the dance with death each Thursday night. Later on, it becomes obvious that he is ill. However, instead of seeking treatment, he is preoccupied with this type of love that cannot hurt anybody.
“Never marry a Mexican” talks about Clemencia, an artist who reminisces on her lengthy affair with a married man with a child elsewhere. She resents the love this man has for his wife but simultaneously feels empowered. Upon his child becoming pubescent, she also has an affair with him. However, she faces an internal conflict within herself and longs for a genuine human connection.
In “bread,” lovebirds are driving within the city eating bread. The person narrating is a Spaniard woman with an Italian lover, so they only exchange phrases. While driving, they converse about the city. He gives opinions about the buildings as the narrator also explains her reminiscence of these buildings. In between the big bread bites, they exchange kisses.
“Eyes of Zapata” describes a story set up Mexico at the time of the Mexican revolution. The person narrating is called Ines, who is married to Emiliano Zapata, a leader of the agrarian revolution. They have a stable relationship, but Emiliano leaves her for many days to attend duties as he engages in extramarital affairs. Ines gains the skill of flying, and in one of her flights, she spots Emiliano being intimate with one of his lovers whom he is also married to and have children. However, she still stays with him. Emiliano then Nikolas, their son, to become part of the revolution. At one time Ines’s house gets razed down by their rivals. Nevertheless, Ines still professes undying love for Emiliano.
In the story of “Anguiano Religious Articles Rosaries Statues Medals Incense Candles Talismans Perfumes Oils Herbs,” this storyteller warns the audience not to read Religious Articles in the Anguiano. She lays claim that a proprietor is a pretentious person since he once ordered her to go away because it seemed clear she was not going to purchase anything.
“Little Miracles, kept premises” comprises a collection of letters abandoned upon religious altars. The letters are composed of individuals either giving thanks to different saints or praying for something. Most of the strangers compose letters on the same topics, for example, fining a romantic partner, gaining financial stability and escaping death or illness.
“Los Boxers,” reflects on a man speaking to an anonymous woman together with her child at Laundromat. However, it is only his voice that is incorporated within this page. He gives a lengthy discussion about doing laundry, complaining until finally confessing that all his knowledge on laundry came from his now deceased wife.
In the story of “There was a man, there was a woman, “one lonely man makes his way into the rather friendly sports bar upon getting paid each Friday. Within all the Fridays that came in between his salary, a lone woman usually attends that bar. They both visited the same bar on these different nights, hoping that their drinking will activate words that showcase their true feelings. However, this never occurs. Each night, both of them retreat to their homes feeling extremely lonely. Before going to sleep, they both look at the moon.
“Tin Tan Tan” is a poem written in prose by one of the characters by the name Rogelio Velasco. He confesses his affection for Lupita. The initial letter all stanzas have been composed in big and bold fonts, making it clear that Rogelio is spelling out the word LUPITA.
“Bien Pretty” is a continuation of “Tin Tan Tan.” It provides Lupita’s view on this love. As an artist residing within Texas, Rogelio and her meet upon him coming over to eradicate cockroaches from her house. After he accepts to pose for a painting, they begin dating. Nevertheless, they are unable to overcome their differences in culture. Rogelio upholds his identity as a Mexican while Lupita has accepted the Mexican-American life. When Rogelio informs Lupita he is returning to Mexico to take care of family duties, she finds out he has been twice married and if a father to four children.