Isabel Allende, “And of Clay Are We Created”

–What do you think the significance of Allende’s title is? What does it mean to be made of clay? –

-What happens to Rolf in his encounter with Azucena?

–Why do you think Azucena becomes a symbol of the tragedy that is unfolding in the story?

–What did you make of the President’s visit to the site of the disaster? What kind of commentary is Allende making here?

–How can you connect this story with your own experiences of natural or other disasters? Are there elements of the story that you can relate to? How?

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7 Responses to Isabel Allende, “And of Clay Are We Created”

  1. AREZU BEDAR says:

    Why do you think Azucena becomes a symbol of the tragedy that is unfolding in the story?

    I think that Azucena becomes a symbol f tragedy that is unfolding in the story because of helplessness. Azucena not having the ability to free herself even though Rolf is putting the effort they still can’t rescue her because of the overwhelming power of nature and humans not being able to do much. It also shows Azucena’s innocence as a child and being defenseless as a child. There’s also many emotions when it comes to Rolf. Even though Azucena going through a rough time she also had strength emotionally.

  2. What did you make of the President’s visit to the site of the disaster? What kind of commentary is Allende making here?

    The President came in order to look good in front of a camera, to show he cares. He did not come to help, or else he would have brought a pump, and that goes for everyone involved here. Even Rolf comes here without the intent to help, but ends up doing more than he thought he would. I am not saying the President doesn’t have a heart, as we saw Rolf change very quickly. But the President certainly did not get attached to the situation the same way Rolf did. Allende is showing us this detachment from horror to protect ourselves, but going even further by not just detaching ourselves from it to protect ourselves, but using it to boost ourselves and our image.

  3. What happens to Rolf in his encounter with Azucena?

    As Rolf continues to stay by Azucena’s side, he comes to realize he is just like her. He has also been in the same stuck and helpless place like her, and still is. All this time, he hid behind the camera lens to try to avoid facing reality. He created the “artificial and terrible distance” to block all the bad memories. But due to his encounter with Azucena, all those suppressed memories and emotions erupted. He now had to face reality, as bitter as it was. And as Eva Luna says at the end of the story, we wasn’t the same as before. I believe he is finally grieving the loss of his sister and mother, as well as Azucena now. And he will never be able to continue looking through that filtered lens any longer.

  4. ALLAN CHO says:

    Why do you think Azucena becomes a symbol of the tragedy that is unfolding in the story?

    I think Azucena represents the death of innocence and she was the one getting attention from the media because she was a child (which represents innocence in itself). Ironically, the media is the symbolization of the poison that causes this death and shows how they don’t care about the lives of others as long as their fixed story is shared. Overall the story clearly showed that Azucena could have been saved if anyone brought a pump (which was very possible because the media had transportation for their equipment including the president) but eventually, nobody did and she died. Hence, she symbolizes the death of innocence.

  5. JOAN ROCCO says:

    What do you think the significance of Allende’s title is? What does it mean to be made of clay?

    Especially for Christians this title can be immediately heard from the writings of the Bible, where it is reported several times that we come from clay. From the biblical text, it mainly means that we are all equal created by God. Despite this, the clay can be worked and reshaped in its process becoming a form of mud, the same that the text calls “clayey mud.” Still, from the writer’s perspective, I think this title evokes the situation where Azucena and Rolf were both stuck and struggling to get out of this mud.

  6. Why do you think Azucena becomes a symbol of the tragedy that is unfolding in the story?
    I think Azucena becomes a symbol of the tragedy that unfolded in the story as she is a pretty young girl and seeing that a innocent child like her have her life taken in this disaster makes for a more compelling and heart wrenching scene for people to hear and watch. Also I think there are more implications for why she is the symbol like having her dead family members holding her down showing how terrible the situation is, and also with Rolf trying his best to help her and could have helped her if not for the country not actually caring about the situation and only interest in how they will look trying to “help” this defenseless girl stuck in the mud.

  7. GILDA CAPO says:

    What happens to Rolf in his encounter with Azucena?

    Rolf finds himself in Azucena. She reminds him of the time that he was in her shoes trapped and helpless. Just like Azucena that was being held down by her family members that’s also how Rolf felt from his family members especially the guilt he had for his sisters’ death. Therefore, that is why he comforts her and stays by her side until she gives her last breath.
    I really believe Rolf healed his inner child after his meeting with Azucena.

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