Some possible topics for Assignment #4


1. Compare and contrast two related stories, e.g. "One Holy Night" and "Bien Pretty" or "Eleven" and "Tepeyac" or "Barbie Q" and "The Marlboro Man" or "Anguiano Religious Articles" and "Little Miracles, Kept Promises" or "Mericans" and "Never Marry a Mexican."

2. Research on some of the songs or telenovelas mentioned and how they related to their contexts in the stories.

3. Research on one of the feminine archetypes--La Virgen de Guadalupe, La Llorona, La Malinche--and how they appear and are elaborated or transformed in one or more of the stories.

4. Soledad--Cisneros' portraits of loneliness

5. The Opera "Carmen" and "A Texas Operetta"

6. The theme of time and eternity--e.g. "I believe love is always eternal. Even if eternity is only five minutes." p. 150

7. The theme of love and death--Tristan

8. Cisneros' presentation of highbrow and lowbrow culture

9. Poverty as curse and blessing

10. Machismo and its opposites

11. Goddesses and witches

12. Characterizations of the artist in Woman Hollering Creek: "Never Marry a Mexican," "Little Miracles, Kept Promises," and "Tin Tan Tan" and "Bien Pretty."

13. "Amar es Vivir"--To love is to live: "One Holy Night," "Woman Hollering Creek," "Eyes of Zapata," "Bien Pretty."


1. A fictional collection of found objects or messages -- messages on a bulletin board, advertisements, letters to advice column, personal ads, etc.

2. A collage of pop song or soap opera excerpts with strong meanings.

3. A shrine to a saint--real or imagined

4. A vivid conversation or monologue revealing more to the reader than intended by speakers

5. A painting, drawing, collage illustrating a myth or a situation in a story.

6. A story: "My Favorite Sadness," "The Ugliest Food I Ever Ate," "A Horrible Person," "At Last--Justice."