Isabel Allende describes scenes of devastation in her short story “And of Clay We are Created.” Despite warnings of an impending volcanic eruption, people in small mountain villages in Brazil stayed in their homes and endured traumatic losses when the volcano spews. The sights, sounds, and smells speak to the horrific consequences of the townspeople’s decision to stay.
Rolf Carlé,an accomplished photojournalist, arrives on the scene by helicopter while others are left to fight their way through mudslides, corpses, and buried villages by land vehicles. We can infer that he achieved an honorable reputation for his work on previous disasters. The narrator describes how Rolf Carlé can be seen on television never leaving Azucena Lily, the young girl who is buried in the volcanic clay. Something other than her dire situation draws Rolf to remain with her even though he could have left her to cover other parts of the story. In line 11, the narrator gives us important information about Rolf. The reader can infer there is something in his past he repressed for thirty years, and this news assignment, with Azucena Lily, will bring those memories alive so that he will be required to confront with them.