Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories

Postcolonial Criticism of Sandra Cisneros' Woman Hollering Creek College

Sandra Cisneros’ Woman Hollering Creek is rife with elements of postcolonial ideologies that insert themselves into the story and create tension for the protagonist by “othering” her and her family through a form of orientalism that stereotypes Mexicans and portrays them as helpless, savage, substandard versions of Americans. Furthermore, the story simultaneously shows the mimicry of Mexican immigrants in their work habits and developing sense of American supremacy and materialism (420, Tyson). However, the story also romanticizes Mexicana by discussing the mystery and beauty of myths related to Woman Hollering Creek, and the narrative utilizes a Mexican dialect of the Spanish language in a way that contradicts the Eurocentric notions of the supremacy of the English language. This paradoxical parallelism in the story reveals Cisneros’ conscious effort to bring awareness to the double consciousness that exists among Mexican immigrants who feel unhomed in border states that once belonged to Mexico but now belong to the U.S. By using Mexican stereotypes in her story, Cisneros is confronting the otherness of Mexicans and even reversing so-called “positive stereotypes”—such as the stereotype of the romantic “Latin lover”—to show...

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