Woman Hollering Creek: And Other Stories Characters

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Author: Sandra Cisneros

First published: 1991

Genre: Short fiction

Locale: The borderlands of the United States and Mexico

Plot: Social

Time: The 1910's-the 1980's

Lucy Anguiano (ahn-gee-AH-noh), a lively, dark-skinned Texas girl. She inspires the young female protagonist and narrator in “My Lucy Friend Who Smells Like Corn” to depict their experiences of growing up. Lucy's voice joins those of the narrator and others, re-creating a childhood world full of smells, sounds, and colors. Lucy and her many sisters fulfill the narrator's desire to experience intimate sisterhood and true friendship.

Salvador, a boy in “Salvador Late or Early” who experiences poverty and the hardships of life at an early age. He is always busy helping his mother and his younger brothers.

Micaela (mee-kah-EH-lah), a young and playful Mexican American girl, the protagonist and narrator in “Mericans.” Her Mexican “awful grandmother,” who embodies severe religious piety, makes Micaela and her brothers Alfredito and Enrique wait at the entrance of a church while she prays. Micaela depicts with innocence and humor the world of penitents around her and the people's devotion to the Virgin of Guadalupe.

Rachel, the young narrator of “Eleven,” who expresses the painful feelings of growing up. On her eleventh birthday, Rachel's teacher unjustly humiliates her in class, causing her distress. Rachel wants to leave childhood behind, hoping to become older and wiser; she realizes, however, that the child within remains forever.

Chaq Uxmal Paloquín (chahk ewj-MAHL pah-loh-KEEN), Boy Baby, a thirty-seven-year-old Mexican man who initiates the protagonist and narrator of “One Holy Night” into the mysteries of female sexuality. In a confidential tone, the eighth-grade narrator reveals how the mysterious man, claiming to be a descendant of Mayan kings, seduces her and makes her believe that she is his queen Ixchel. When her grandmother discovers her pregnancy, she is sent to Mexico to live with a witch woman and female cousins. Her innocent cousins dream about love and the perfect man, but the narrator has experienced sexual coming-of-age under the most sordid circumstances.

Cleófilas Enriqueta DeLeón Hernández (kleh-OH-feelahs ehn-ree-KEH-tah deh-leh-OHN ehr-NAHN-dehs), a Mexican in “Woman Hollering Creek” who dreams about a romantic future, as seen in television, movies, and magazines. She leaves her father and six brothers to marry Juan Pedro Martínez Sánchez in Texas. As the happy bride travels to her new home, she expresses curiosity about Woman Hollering Creek. Her dreams of romance and passion are shattered when she finds herself a victim of domestic violence. Fearing for her life and protective of her son Juan Pedrito and her unborn child, she decides to escape back to Mexico. She succeeds with the help of Felicia, a Chicana driver who hollers and laughs when they drive across the creek named after the wailing woman of mestizo folklore. Felicia and Cleófilas transform the lament of the victimized into the triumphant laughter of the liberated woman.

Carmen Berriozabal (beh-rree-oh-sah-BAHL), a secretary in a San Antonio law firm. In “ La Fabulosa: A Texas Operetta,” she represents the woman who drives men crazy with her seductive ways.

Rudy Cantú (kahn-TEW), also called Tristán (treesTAHN), the male protagonist and narrator of “Remember the Alamo,” who dares to be different by performing as a dancer with female impersonators. He fulfills childhood dreams and escapes the ordinary world by entertaining others.

Clemencia (kleh-mehn-see-ah), a vindictive Mexican American painter who, disappointed with marriage, seduces men and makes them be unfaithful to their wives. The protagonist and narrator of “Never Marry a Mexican,” she depicts race and class discrimination in Mexico and in the United States.

Inés Alfaro (ee-NEHS AHL-fah-roh), the protagonist and narrator of “Eyes of Zapata.” She reveals lyrically her lifelong relationship with the legendary Mexican hero Emiliano Zapata. Her memories and imagination re-create her bittersweet past as well as the individual and collective hardships during the Mexican Revolution. The mother of two of Zapata's children, she is painfully aware of his infidelities. As do other women in her family, she survives through magical powers and fantasies.

Lupe Arredondo (LEW-peh ah-rreh-DOHN-doh), a passionate Chicano painter from California who moves to Texas. The protagonist and narrator in “ Bien Pretty,” she describes humorously her ill-fated love affair with Flavio Munguía. Lupe survives heartbreaks while exploring herself and sexuality, edifying and destructive ways of loving, and issues of gender, class, race, and ethnicity. Art and the return to the religious beliefs of her ancestors allow her the expression of emotions, spiritual survival, and the coming to terms with the intertwined cultures of a Mexican American.

Rosario (Chayo) De Leon (roh-SAHR-ee-oh CHI-yoh deh leh-OHN), a Chicana artist who, following the religious folk custom of inscribing petitions and promises, leaves a note and a braid of her hair for the Virgin of Guadalupe in “Little Miracles, Kept Promises.” She finds strength in female ancestors and religious figures to battle predetermined sex roles. As the new mestiza who straddles several borders, she celebrates a universal female identity.

Categories: Characters