And of Clay Are We Created

by Isabel Allende

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Circle adjectives the narrator uses that indicate her feelings about the president and his actions.  

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There are several descriptions of the President that represent Allende’s disdain for the President’s lack of action to help his people.  First of all, he is physically described as “visiting” the area “in his tailored safari jacket.”  The President is just visiting to view the site; his fancy clothes show that he is not there to really help physically. 


His gestures also show a lack of true empathy for the victims of the volcano eruption.  He goes to the field tents to “offer relief in the form of vague promises to crowds of the rescued, then to the improvised hospital to offer a word of encouragement.”  The vague promises he makes also shows a political leader who is ineffective and only a politician at heart.  “Words” and "vague promises" will not help the victims of this catastrophe.

When he asks to see Azucena, he waves to her “with a limp statesman’s hand” and uses the press to encourage Azucena as an “example to the country.”  Again, the President is making an appearance because it is expected of him and politics demand that he makes a statement. The President also promises Rolf that he will take care of getting him the pump he needs to save Azucena, something that doesn’t happen. 

All of the descriptions of the President show Allende’s lack of faith in government and politicians to effectively serve their people. In the midst of a disaster, the President seems to be politicking for votes in the next election. He is distant and uninvolved with the disaster that has affected his country.

I’ve bolded some words that particularly show a message Allende is trying to get across about the President and other politicians in the moment of crisis.

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