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Essay Paper on Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories

The story of Cleofilas is disturbing with its blunt reality. The first steps of this journey begin with leaving what she knows best, family, friends and location. Cleofilas must start from zero; she does not even know or understand really what is going to happen the night of her wedding. A girl child in a family of clumsy boys and her poor father. She has no mother figure or female friend to tell her about married life. She does not really understand all that being a wife and mother will mean to her.

Being a mature woman is wrapped up in fantasy and tele-novelas whose rich words paint a different picture than the reality she will strive to survive. As a young Mexican woman she is isolated in Texas by not even speaking the language. She is not allowed to call home or even write; all things are restricted and controlled. Cleofilas began the marriage with new love bright in her heart and ready for the passion always in books and tele-novelas. It begins slowly, and so subtle that she is shocked and cannot really grasp what has happened.

A burning ache drips blood from her lips. Juan Pedro slaps her not once but many times in this first session of disciplined married life. She could think of nothing, pain stops all thought there is only surprise.Her husband. Her loving drunken abusive husband. How he cried like a child. Sweet Cleofilas poor child-woman, she held his sorry head and forgave him. Many times she took the beatings and thought of going home to her family. The shame of a failed marriage, coming home with one child and another yet to come, she could not take the whispers and idle gossip. Juan Pedro brought her to this place of dust and despair, this town of Seguin. Away from all things familiar and known, as of her father who said that he would never abandon her. The beatings steadily broke Cleofilas down and took away her joy.

Their first child is a boy and he is named Juan Pedrito. The baby boy is still new and young when she is pregnant again. She has fallen down the stairs. That is what she will say to the doctor if he asks about the marks across her back and the bruising on her face. The assistant comes to do the sonogram and Cleofilas cries because the bruises from Juan Pedro shame her. She is embarrassed to have another woman see her pain. There is a certain style that betrays a beating rather than a fall. As an assistant to the doctor Graciela has seen marks from a fall down stairs and these are methodical and deliberate, this is a beating.

She finishes the sonogram and takes the phone to call for support from a girlfriend. Her friend is named Felice. Graciela speaks quietly with Cleofilas and offers a way out for her and for the safety of her children. Felice will drive her to the bus station and she will be away from the pain of Juan Pedro and free to live and perhaps find happiness again someday.

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