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La Llorona

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by

Cristina Meza

on 19 February 2014

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Transcript of La Llorona

La Llorona
What does La Llorona represent?
• Literary rebellion to a male-dominated society (women who continue to tell this story)
• Negative ideals of womanhood/femininity
• A woman going against social norms and is trapped in a purgatory-like state, forever charged to wander aimlessly, crying over her sins
• La Llorona can also serve as a symbol for female resistance and cultural resistance against a patriarchal society, conquest, and colonialism.
• Eternal suffering
• Bridge between past and present (traditional vs. contemporary).

The Legend goes on
It is said that she roams by rivers, searching for her children
She wails, "Where are my children?"
The story is often used to frighten children from going out at night
"Woman Hollering Creek"
The river, "La Gritona" translates to "The Screaming Woman"
Who is La Llorona?
The legend of La Llorona is a part of Mexican folklore
Two versions of the story
Maria was a single mother
of two children. She fell in love
with a man, but he didn't like the
fact that she already had kids.
She drowned her children in the river so that maybe the man would have her as his wife. Shocked upon finding out what she had done, the man rejected Maria, and she drowned herself.
Her spirit was doomed to wander in search for her children.
Often referred to as a ghost story
A beautiful woman named Maria married a handsome man and had two children
When Maria saw her husband with another woman, she drowned her children in a fit of rage
Regretting her decision, she reached out for her children but they were gone, so she drowned herself too
"The Wailing Woman"
Has long hair and wears a white dress
"La Llorona calling to her...The baby pulling up fistfuls of grass and laughing. La Llorona. Wonders if something as quiet as this drives a woman to the darkness under the trees." (251)
Symbolism of the creek
• Death vs. Rebirth
• La Llorona: suffering (drowns her children)
• Woman hollering creek: parental love (escape over the bridge for freedom)

Relationship between La Llorona and WHC.
• Ideals of femininity -Woman suffering for love -
Cleófilas idolizes telenovelas that encourage women to stay with their abusive husbands despite the pain/suffering. The idea women suffering for love is also present in La Llorona.

• Both reinforce gender roles and create expectations for a certain lifestyle of the ideal woman.

• The relationship between parent and child –
the original myth presents a violent and corrupted motherhood, while WHC represents significant and enduring relationship to fight for freedom.

• Holler vs. Wail –
In “Woman Hollering Creek” Cisneros alters La Llorona’s crying as Felice’s “Tarzan holler”, a scream of freedom and affirmation rather than pain and eternal suffering (encourages hope, perseverance and pride rather than victimization while giving women a voice).

"Can you imagine, when we crossed the arroyo she just started yelling like crazy..." (253)
"That's why I like the name of that arroyo. Makes you want to holler like Tarzan, right?" (253)
By: Luis Nunez, Cristina Meza, Arine Costanian
Full transcript