Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories

Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories

by

Sandra Cisneros

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The narrator or “Eyes of Zapata.” Inés is in love with Emiliano Zapata, a leader of the Mexican Revolution with whom she has two children, Nicolás and Malena. As she watches Emiliano sleep on one of his rare visits (they aren’t married), she lets her mind wander through her past and future, revealing her history with Zapata as well as what the lives of her children will look like in the years to come. At one point, Inés refers to herself as a “witch,” though she seems to be borrowing this word from people who have clearly used it to insult her. Nonetheless, it’s true that her mother taught her long ago how to lift above the earth and observe things happening far away. This, apparently, is a skill all of the women in her family have always had, and she herself passes it on to her daughter, Malena. In addition to describing Emiliano’s infidelity—which she once witnessed by lifting out of her body and watching him sleep next to his true wife, María Josefa—Inés also describes her father’s distrust of Emiliano, the failing war effort, and the intensity of her love for the man sleeping next to her. A tragic character, Inés is bound by love to an emotionally inaccessible man.

Inés Alfaro Quotes in Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories

The Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories quotes below are all either spoken by Inés Alfaro or refer to Inés Alfaro. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Love, The Joy of Life, & Interconnection Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage Books edition of Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories published in 1991.
Eyes of Zapata Quotes

We drag these bodies around with us, these bodies that have nothing at all to do with you, with me, with who we really are, these bodies that give us pleasure or pain. Though I’ve learned how to abandon mine at will, it seems to me we never free ourselves completely until we love, when we lose ourselves inside each other. Then we see a little of what is called heaven. When we can be that close that we no longer are Inés and Emiliano, but something bigger than our lives. And we can forgive, finally.

You and I, we’ve never been much for talking, have we? Poor thing, you don’t know how to talk. Instead of talking with your lips, you put one leg around me when we sleep, to let me know it’s all right. And we fall asleep like that, with one arm or a leg or one of those long monkey feet of yours touching mine. Your foot inside the hollow of my foot.

Related Characters: Inés Alfaro (speaker), Emiliano Zapata
Page Number: 89
Explanation and Analysis:
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Inés Alfaro Character Timeline in Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories

The timeline below shows where the character Inés Alfaro appears in Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Eyes of Zapata
Love, The Joy of Life, & Interconnection Theme Icon
Female Objectification & Power Theme Icon
Cultural & National Identity Theme Icon
As she watches her lover—Emilano Zapata—sleep in her bed, a Mexican woman named Inés reflects on their relationship, the history of the Mexican Revolution, and her relationship with her... (full context)
Love, The Joy of Life, & Interconnection Theme Icon
Female Objectification & Power Theme Icon
Inés, whose two children—Nicolás and Malena—also belong to Emiliano, reveals to readers her ability to rise... (full context)
Love, The Joy of Life, & Interconnection Theme Icon
Loss, Longing, & Grief Theme Icon
Emiliano hates talking about Inés’s father. Inés thinks these two men make such “perfect enemies” because they’re so much alike.... (full context)
Love, The Joy of Life, & Interconnection Theme Icon
Female Objectification & Power Theme Icon
Inés continues to tell the story of her relationship with Emiliano. Upon returning from fighting with... (full context)
Love, The Joy of Life, & Interconnection Theme Icon
Overtime, Inés has learned there are women in other villages that Zapata loves, too. One of them... (full context)
Love, The Joy of Life, & Interconnection Theme Icon
Female Objectification & Power Theme Icon
Inés says that people believe she is the reason María Josefa’s children have all died. Apparently... (full context)
Love, The Joy of Life, & Interconnection Theme Icon
Female Objectification & Power Theme Icon
Loss, Longing, & Grief Theme Icon
Since the war, Inés explains, she and her children have grown accustomed to sleeping in hills and forests to... (full context)
Female Objectification & Power Theme Icon
Loss, Longing, & Grief Theme Icon
Inés relates another tale of similar hardship, this time drawing from her childhood. When she was... (full context)
Female Objectification & Power Theme Icon
As their strange relationship continues, Inés explains to readers, Zapata continues to come and go as he pleases. Eventually he takes... (full context)
Love, The Joy of Life, & Interconnection Theme Icon
Female Objectification & Power Theme Icon
Loss, Longing, & Grief Theme Icon
As Zapata’s revolutionary successes rapidly decline, Inés tries harder and harder to understand the nature of their love. “Are you my general?”... (full context)
Love, The Joy of Life, & Interconnection Theme Icon
Female Objectification & Power Theme Icon
Looking into the future, Inés sees that Malena has two female twins who will never marry, instead spending their lives... (full context)