Published bad Spanish girl thus demonstrating how the social

Published
in 1991, Woman Hollering Creek and Other
Stories is a collection of stories that provide an in-depth and artistic
reflection of Cisneros experiences. Sandra Cisneros, the author of the
collection of short stories is a Mexican American. The stories in the
collection reflect her experiences as a Mexican American who continues to
endure American influences while maintaining her familial bonds with her
Mexican heritage. An overriding theme in the collection of short stories is the
social role of Mexican women. She paints the picture of a patriarchal and chauvinistic
society in which women’s roles revolve around keeping families and keeping the
men happy. The women in her fictional societies are naïve and submissive while
the men embody machismo and aggression. Her portrayal of women revolves around
three critical clichés which include passive virgins, sinful seducers, and
traitorous mothers. The three clichés typify the role of women in Cisneros’
society.

Women
are the beasts of burden in the Mexican society. The women including young
girls and married mature women endure hardships imposed on them by archaic
cultures. The women in the series of stories endured economic and social
hardships induced by the macho men who include their fathers, husbands, and
elusive lovers. The story entitled “My Tocaya”, for example, chronicles the
life and experiences of a young girl known as Patricia. The story demonstrates
the qualities of a good Spanish girl and a bad Spanish girl thus demonstrating
how the social role of girls. Patricia Benevides attempts to escape the servitude
and drudgery of her life that comprises of working for long hours and under
difficult circumstances in her father’s Taco stand. Girls must labor to help
their families. Unfortunately, the society is not supportive of the girls. The
story demonstrates prejudice, perceived standards of the society and
injustices. Sadly, Benevides does not receive any support from other women
including Chavez who lacks compassion towards her friend. When Benevides
returns, Chevez remains mean and sarcastic as she comments that the girl
“couldn’t even die right?” (40). The young Mexican girls must, therefore,
endure the hardships in their lives alone owing to the independent nature of
the life of the girls and petty rivalry in the community.

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The
story entitled “Woman Hollering Creek” provides a vivid portrayal of social and
cultural conditioning of women. The protagonist of the story, Cleófilas has an
idea about her roles as a woman. The abundance of soap operas helps her
understand and fantasize about love and marriage in the Mexican society.
However, the reality is different when she marries an abusive and domineering
man who is equally different from the man of her dreams. Cleófilas endures
beatings from the man. While she had once said that she would defend herself
from abusive men, she finds herself unable to defend herself. Furthermore, she
cannot escape the marriage since her society expects women to endure their men.
The Mexican society does not appreciate women who abandon their families
irrespective of their experiences in the hands of the macho men. Her husband,
Juan Pedro is abusive, unfaithful, and often isolates her. Despite the
difficulties, she endured and does not entertain the thoughts of escaping. The
story of La Llorona, “the weeping woman” chooses death as she drowned her
children and herself to escape the pain inflicted on women by their husbands.
The story reveals that the only escape Mexican have is death.

Finally,
the story named Never marry a Mexican man” further portrays the social role of
women in the society in relation to how the women connect with other members of
the society. The story portrays the Mexican society as a hostile environment
for women and young girls since they do not receive any support from their
siblings and parents especially mothers. Mothers who should also adore their
daughters and teach them the ways of the society and how to uplift themselves
come out as destructive emotional forces that alienate their daughters and
condemn the young women into repeating their destructive powers. Clemencia
faces numerous problematic situations including her constant feelings of
contempt towards her white husband because of the guilt and inability to speak
Spanish. She remembers, “Never marry a Mexican, my ma said once and always. She
said this because of my father… I’ll Clemencia never marry. Not any man”
(68).

Summarily,
Cisneros uses the collection of short stories to raise critical issues about
the Mexican society. The social role of women in the society includes
maintaining families and ensuring the happiness of their husbands. The
husbands, who embody machoism, on the other hand, mistreat the women. The
various female protagonists in the stories endure domestic violence, economic
hardships, and unfaithfulness both in the United States and Mexico. Vindictive
taboos cast the women to a life of endurance since the Mexican society does not
permit women to escape from their men and families. Cleófilas tolerates the
challenges and uses them to empower herself. She later escapes back to Mexico
with the help of Felice and Graciela who represent independent women and soon
become her new role models in her quest to survive the society.