"These two words, originally derived from the same Latinword, are pronounced identically and also share the idea ofkeeping apart. But they have acquired quite differentmeanings: A number of usage books define discreet as “prudent,”“judicious,” “tactful,” or “circumspect.” Discrete is defined as “separate” or “distinct.”
Chair Poet? “Ive had it withthese cheap sons ofbitches who claimthey love poetry butnever buy a book.” Kenneth Rexroth
Historical Context:Changing Borders When we consider the history of changing geographical borders between theUnited States and Mexico, it is clear why Cisneros, Anzaldua, and other Chicanawriters find the metaphor of borders and borderlands such lush ground for bothfiction and nonfiction writing. Borders are invented, invisible boundaries thatcan be changed quickly by treaty or war, and disputed areas can shift from onecountry to another in a moment. People do not transform themselves so easily; their language, culture, andhistory cannot be changed by decree. Hence, victims of the border can findthemselves strangers in their own land, disenfranchised, often powerlessresidents of a borderland country not their own. Mexicans who lived in Texas orArizona before those regions were seized by the United States have nocommunity to which they might return: other states in Mexico were never theirhomes; therefore, they belong to neither the nor the new country. Thus, theycome to inhabit the edges of communities where the intersections of divergentcultures produces multiculturalism: hybrid races, languages, and cultures.
Discuss the text in terms of postmodernism orin articulation with a postmodern manifesto.“Postmodern theory declares that cultural beliefs andbehaviors usually considered to be “natural,” “essential,”and unchanging are actually social constructs. Jane Flaxdescribes feminism as a postmodern philosophy for thefollowing reason: “The single most important advance infeminist theory is [that] the existence of gender relationshas been problemitized. Gender can no longer be treatedas a simple, natural fact” (Cutting 65).Cutting, Rose Marie. “Closure in Sandra Cisneros’s “’Woman Hollering Creek.’” ThePostmodern Short Story. Eds Iffekharrudin, Farhat et al. Westport: Praeger, 2003. 65.Web.
about postmodernism As time progressed, different media has become veryreliable to the eyes of the mass media. Though there is stillmuch propaganda, different media like books and TV is notonly for the higher class and educated. It has become foreveryone. As a result, it has become very intertwined witheveryone’s lives. Life is very complicated and many times,it’s hard to just find something to feel good about. However,through melodramas and novels Cleofilas finds a smallescape from the dreary life. Elizabeth Bishop talked abouthow fiction mixing with nonfiction is one of her biggest petpeeves of literature and perhaps this story could beexplaining a big chunk of Bishop’s annoyance.
Names and Naming Why/ How does the name of the creek, and story, have significance to thestory as a whole from a bit of a feminist lens? The name Felice, I was pretty sure, meant happy or happiness—likefelicity, great happiness. Still I looked it up; apparently it means luck orgood fortune. (And then I looked felicity’s definition, and ‘good fortune’appeared as a lesser used meaning below various phrasings of happy, onone source.) La Senora Dolores is described as “kind and very sweet, but her housesmelled to much of incense and candle from the altars that burnedcontinuously.” Dolores means in pain, which goes with la Senora Doloresbecause although she is described as a kind and sweet lady, she lives inpain due to the loss of her two sons and the loss of his husband;therefore, there her house smelled of incense and candles.
Discuss a theme: love andpassion Love and passion are highlighted to women, a sort ofentertainment. They see what these fictitious charactershave, passion and love, in their relationships, and that’s whatthey want. Never mind reality. This seems to skew women’s idealsand their perspectives of their relationship. If it is not exactly likethe ones in the movies or the stories, I don’t want it anymore.
Discuss a theme: voices and thevoiceless; power and powerlessness First off, I’d like to point out the title of this story:“Woman Hollering Creek.” It’s not just a small, quietsound, it’s a holler, a loud, ear-shattering, window-breaking, heart-shaking sound that can be heard fromfar away or through windows. The story begins with a significant clue that Cleofilasdoes not have much power, as we see her father giveher to her husband and her husband taking her as hisbride. The giving and taking are not just tradition, butreality.
Discuss a theme: sex roles Cleófilas grew up watching those telenovelas and idealizing the menand women in them. She romanticized Lucía Méndez and the episodewhere she professes her undying love to a man and everything worksout for the best. She took these expectations, these innate expectationsthat she was groomed as a woman to have, and applied themunrealistically to her love life. Cisneros is able to demonstrate the Hispanic culture by referencingcertain acts of tradition in terms of female roles, such as the wife ormother always providing the meals for the men after work or in themorning, the long hours spent cleaning the house, doing laundry andwatching the children. Because I am part of the Hispanic culture I havewitnessed this several times; in fact, even my mom does this for myfather and I am expected to do the same for my boyfriend. The typicalwoman in this particular culture is ‘supposed’ to be the caretaker24/7, it is our duty to cook and clean and watch the kids.
Discuss a Theme: Spousal Abuse On page 1134 it mentions when Cleofilas wassurprised “the first time” she was hit by her husbandin the way that she didn’t defend herself—not the factthat he had hit her. She talks about how she saw howshe had seen violence in the shows she watched. Thefact that *. . .+ she didn’t even cry or run away mademe think that she maybe expected it to be the lasttime.
Feminist lens In applying a feminist criticism to, “Woman HolleringCreek,” by Sandra Cisneros, there is a loss of identityexperienced by Cleófilas as the story progresses andbecomes more involved in the patriarchal society.There are four main stages in her life that I noticed:before she is married, while she is married, when sheis having her first child, and finally when she decides toliberate herself with the help of the womanperforming the sonogram.
Discuss the story as it reads through afeminist and/or minority lens. Like in many of the texts that we’ve read, the feminismlens can be easily applied to this story. Men dominateand highly influence the life of every female character.Cleofilas ( what an odd name) is raised by her fatherand good-for-nothing brothers. We learn that shespends time doing an “endless amount of chores”,most likely for her male family members. So, from thebeginning of her life she learns to be submissive tomen. One thing I noticed in “Woman Hollering Creek” that Ihave not noticed in any work we have read since Triflesis the feminist mode of rising against the patriarchythrough sisterhood.
Author Introduction:Sherman Alexie (1966- A Spokane/Coeur d’Alene tribal member, Alexie grew up on theSpokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, Washington. Alexie was bornhydrocephalic and underwent an operation at six months of age; hewas not expected to survive. Though he lived through the experience,he was plagued with seizures as a child and spent most of hischildhood reading. In the eighth grade, he decided to attend ReardanHigh School, located twenty miles outside the reservation. Hisachievements in high school secured his admission to Spokane’s JesuitGonzaga University in 1985, where he had a successful academiccareer but began to abuse alcohol. Alexie transferred to WashingtonState University in 1987 and began writing poetry and short fiction. In1990 Alexie’s work was published in Hanging Loose magazine, asuccess he has credited with giving him the incentive to quit drinking.He has remained sober ever since. http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/sherman-alexie
HOMEWORK Read Sherman Alexie 1207 “This is What it Means to Say Phoenix Arizona” 1213 Post #36 What is Sherman Alexie saying in this story about the roleof storytelling? Discuss POV and how or why it is important to the plot. Discuss the relationship of Thomas and Victor. Discuss this story in terms of postmodernism, minoritytheory, or multiculturalism.