This is a story of relationships, and a woman finding her voice in the face of abuse. There is a connection to the idea that the culture respects women who suffer, not those who stand up for themselves. But Cisneros aims to challenge that in her writing. To present a picture of a powerful woman, she uses the well-known character of Mexican folklore: La Llorona, the Weeping Woman. Most often she is described as a woman who drowned her children and who wanders forever in the night crying.
In this story, La Llorona is the model for the woman who suffers endlessly for love. Cleofilas, who has heard stories of La Llorona all her life, hears the voice calling her as she sits by the bank of the creek La Gritona with her baby. "La Grtiona" means, in fact, "woman hollering". This causes Cleofilas to wonder why the woman is hollering—is it from anger or pain?As she wonders, she begins to hear the holler as a cry of pain with which she identifies very strongly. So one might argue that she has become the traditional scary story, a ghost with which to threaten children. However, the cry of La Gritona/La Llorona is transformed in the throat of Felice, who always laughs and yells "like Tarzan," symbol of great physical power, as she drives her pickup truck over the creek. Thus she brings notions of self-confidence and independence to Cleofilas' life, through the traditional scream.