Sandra Cisneros wrote “Woman Hollering Creek” which is a story about a woman who gets married and moves away from all of her friends and family to start her life. Celeófilas grew up with no mother and six brothers and her only resource for how to be a woman and what to expect came from her telenovelas. She was given permission to marry Juan Pedro Martínez Sanchez by her father, which she expected to be filled with passion and love just in the telenovelas. The two get married and then move to Según, Texas. The river behind their new house was called La Gritona which means “woman hollering” and this fascinated her. Over the time of being married, Juan Pedro began hitting Cleófilas, but she did nothing about it. Cleófilas spends their whole marriage taking care of him and their child and all of the household chores. Juan Pedro began to beat her more and more and she just tried to drown herself in her telenovelas. When she is pregnant with her second child she begs Juan Pedro to take her to get a checkup despite all of her bruises she tries to hide. When she is at her checkup, the doctor notices that she is abused and speaks no English and is isolated from her friends and family here in Texas. The doctor calls her friend, Felice, who agrees to drive Cleófilas and her baby back to Texas to escape her cruel husband. Cleófilas is shocked to find out that Felice owns her own truck and works and does it all without a husband and when they are crossing La Gritona Cleófilas screams with happiness of her newfound freedom.
In “Woman Hollering Creek” Cisneros writes a different version of the classical Chicano myth “La llorona”. In the original myth, a woman is beaten and mistreated by her spouse and when he left her, she drowned her three kids in the river. Soon after she killed herself and the myth says that she came back as a ghost looking for her kids and “weeping” all the time. This is interesting because the river “La Gritona”, which means “woman hollering”, that Cisneros writes about is connected to la llorona in the sense that they are both creeks that holler or weep. I like this story because Cisneros decided to turn the sad la llorona myth about a woman being abandoned and killing her kids into an inspiring positive story about a woman escaping a horrible situation. A major difference here is that the woman in the la llorona myth was crying out in sadness, and when Cleófilas drives over La Gritona, she screams of happiness, joy, and freedom. This version of the original Chicano myth is very uplifting and I enjoyed it very much.