Compare "And of Clay Are We Created" by Isabel Allende and "Clay" by James Joyce.

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

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I think the way to take this question would be to consider the role of clay and its significance in both works as a symbol. In "Clay," the clay that Maria "wins" in the game when the children's fortunes are told symbolises death. Likewise in "And of Clay Are We Created," the stories central theme is about the inherent fragility of mankind and how "breakable" we truly are, as experienced through Rolf Carle's "breakdown" when he is with Azucena and forced to confront his own inner fragility. Clay therefore can be said to function symbolically in both stories as a reminder of how weak and fragile humans are. The temptation is to think of ourselves as indestructible, however both stories contradict this idea by presenting us with protagonists who show themselves to be, like all humans, intensely vulnerable.

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