"Woman Hollering Creek" by Sandra Cisneros: Internal and External Conflicts

Essay by KaoriCollege, UndergraduateA, April 2004

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"Woman Hollering Creek" by Sandra Cisneros is a story of a wife who lives in a cycle of abuse from her husband. Cleofilas, a woman with unrealistic views of love, and Juan Pedro, her husband, move from Mexico to Seguin, Tejas, near a little arroyo called La Gritona. Cleofilas bears Juan Pedro a son, Juan Pedrito. Then one day Juan Pedro beat Cleofilas, but afterwards she was so stunned that she forgave him that "time and each." Cleofilas starts to suspect that Juan Pedro is committing adultery and that he's plotting to kill her. Therefore, before going to see the doctor about her unborn child she decided that she would ask for help. Graciela, a nurse or doctor, calls her friend to see if she could give Cleofilas a ride to the bus station in San Antonio. Felice, Graciela's friend, picks up Cleofilas and her child to take them away from their miserable life.

The central idea of "Woman Hollering Creek" is that a person can escape the cycle of family violence if they want to.

Internal and external conflicts are the types of conflict shown in the story. The internal conflict is inside Cleofilas, for she cannot decide whether she should leave Juan Pedro. Cleofilas thought life would be wonderful with him. Cleofilas thinks, "This is the man I have waited my whole life for." Then she realizes that she could never be happy with Juan Pedro. The external conflict is between Cleofilas and Juan Pedro. Juan Pedro beats Cleofilas and gets angry because of "her suspicious questions, and her requests to fix this and that…" Both the external and internal conflicts are resolved when Cleofilas decides to leave her husband. When a person gets the courage to leave a destructive relationship they break the...