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What do Rolf and Azucena give to each other in "And of Clay Are We Created"?

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toribundrant | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 15, 2009 at 12:45 PM via web

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What do Rolf and Azucena give to each other in "And of Clay Are We Created"?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 2, 2009 at 1:53 AM (Answer #1)

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In this amazing story it is clear that what Azucena receives from Rolf is very little compared to what she is able to give to Rolf. From the story, we can see that Rolf gives Azucena support and companionship in her plight. Together, through their companionship, we are told, they learn "to accept death." However, far more emphasis is placed on what Azucena was able to give to Rolf:

The girl had touched a part of him that he himself had not access to, a part he had never shared with me. Rolf had wanted to console here, but it was Azucena who had given him consolation.

Through his relationship with Azucena, painful, unmentionable and repressed parts of Rolf's past are opened up and he is forced to confront unimaginably terrible episodes from his former life:

That night, imperceptibly, the unyielding floodgates that had contained Rolf Carle's past for so many years began to open, and the torrent of all that had lain hidden in the deepest and most secret layers of memory poured out, leveling before it the obstacles that had blocked his consciousness for so long.

Through this friendship he comes to identify with Azucena: "He was Azucena; he was buried in the clayey mud..." It is this identification that allows Rolf to confront what he had repressed, and through this to become a fuller, self-aware individual.

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