How does the narrator describe Carlé in "And of Clay Are We Created"?
In “And of Clay Are We Created,” the narrator at first describes Carlé as a very calm and levelheaded news reporter. “Fear seemed never to touch him,” she says, though this is not necessarily true. She realizes that he maintains a “fictive distance” from the events he reports on, using the camera lens to disassociate himself with the gravity of reality. The narrator says this distance “seemed to protect him from his own emotions,” suggesting that there exists something volatile in him, something repressed and emotionally taut.
Later in the story, the narrator describes Rolfe physically, as the situation with Azucena is beginning to take its toll: he is totally fatigued, with dark circles under his eyes and stubble on his chin. The narrator notices that this is “different from the fatigue of other adventures,” and that “he could not look at the girl through a lens any longer.” Here we see a physical and emotional change coming over Carlé: he no longer has that distance to protect him, and due to his emotional investment in Azucena’s story his own emotions soon will out.
At the end of the story the narrator describes him as “vulnerable,” finally, and paints him as both relieved and resigned, to his own acknowledgement of his past and to Azucena’s inevitable fate. The final paragraph of the story is addressed to Rolfe, and the narrator here describes him as a man forever changed by his experience, “freed from the clay.”