And of Clay Are We Created

by Isabel Allende

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How does the narrator describe Carle?  

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The narrator describes Ralf as a dedicated reporter, someone who seems to be imbued with courage as soon as he sets foot in front of a camera. Wherever he goes and whatever the story, he always seems unfailingly curious, unshakable in his fortitude. As a consummate professional, Ralf is also somewhat detached from his work, putting an emotional distance between himself and the people whose stories he reports.

All that changes, however, when Ralf begins to bond with Azucena, the little girl trapped by a deadly mudslide. He displays a more emotional side, a side that the narrator's never really seen before. He unburdens himself to Azucena, opening up about some of the more traumatic events of his formative years. The enormous anguish and frustration that Ralf feels, his sense of impotence, is etched all over his face. Even from a distance, the narrator can feel what Ralf must be going through, as she watches events unfold on the live satellite feed.

After his long ordeal, Ralf is clearly physically exhausted and emotionally drained. He's no longer quite the same man; he's much more quiet, more contemplative. For the first time in his professional life, he became a part of the story, and for the first time too he forged an emotional connection with one of the subjects of his reports. Ralf identified with Azucena so completely that his whole identity became almost merged with hers, to the extent that the narrator must wait before his old self returns and they can walk together, hand in hand, once more.

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