Love comes in all shapes and sizes. It comes in all colors and all forms. Sometimes it is innocent and fresh, but other times it is controversial and dangerous. Sometimes love has no words – it is simply feelings, scents and tastes. Janie from Their Eyes Were Watching God learned the hard way just what love is and is not. Some critics argue that the novel is a love story. I do not disagree, but I believe that it is more a story of self-love and Janie’s journey to find inner happiness and how the men in her life challenged or encouraged her pursuit.
In Juarez, women have no worth. They are treated like sex symbols and lowly laborers. When hundreds of them end up missing and murdered in this border town, the authorities don’t take full notice or conduct very complete investigations. Many people claim that these girls simply run away from home or go off to be with their boyfriends. However, more often than not, these theories are incredibly far from the truth. If those were actually the case, then maybe all of these girls wouldn’t end up being brutally beaten, raped, and eventually murdered. Although there have been some arrests, the murders continue, and in a greater multitude than ever before. While Alicia Gaspar de Alba provides many reasons as to why these femicides are occurring, her biggest argument is that the United State’s economy and globalization impact (through the North American Free Trade Agreement) on Mexico is primarily to blame.
Woman. Certain images come to peoples’ minds when they hear this word. At her best, she is empowered, independent, successful, and free. At her worst, she is vindictive, spiteful, unsympathetic, and diluted. These ideas influence the way that women interact with each other. In fact, it can cause people to blame women for the experiences they are put up against. If a woman is beaten by a man, she must have done something to deserve it. If a woman is cheated on by her husband, she must not have been pleasing him enough. It is these types of symbols that the female protagonists (and in certain ways and stories, antagonists) in the short stories in “Woman Hollering Creek” by Sandra Cisneros must confront. Cleófilas in “Woman Hollering Creek” is hurt by a man, and in turn comes to learn the strength that all women have within them. Clemencia in “Never Marry a Mexican” is also hurt by a man, but in her revenge, she falsifies herself into believing that she gains her strength through hurting another woman. While the relationships women have with each other are frequently complicated enough by the differences in their own personalities, backgrounds, and culture, often times, it can be the men in their lives who really shape these interactions.