And of Clay Are We Created

by Isabel Allende
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What are some examples of mood in the story?

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In 1985, in Colombia, a volcano erupted and caused the deaths of more than 23,000 people. "And Of Clay We Are Created" is a short story based on that event.

At the beginning of the story the mood is macabre and tragic. We are told that those responding to the...

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In 1985, in Colombia, a volcano erupted and caused the deaths of more than 23,000 people. "And Of Clay We Are Created" is a short story based on that event.

At the beginning of the story the mood is macabre and tragic. We are told that those responding to the disaster found a "girl's head protruding from the mudpit, eyes wide open, calling soundlessly." We are also told that there are thousands of other bodies beneath the landslide and that the "odor of death was already attracting vultures from far away." As well as macabre, tragic sights and smells, the narrator also describes the sounds of "weeping...orphans," and the "wails of the injured." This macabre and tragic mood is present for all of the story.

In the middle part of the story, the reader is encouraged to see things from the perspective of the reporter who is trying to help the little girl, and thus the mood of the story becomes, like the reporter, frustrated and increasingly desperate. He is described as "determined to snatch (the girl) from death," but, nonetheless, he emerges "frustrated, covered with mud, and spitting gravel."

At the end of the extract the girl, Azucena, sadly dies, and the mood of the story becomes mournful. The reporter, Rolf Carlé, "close(s) her eyelids, (holds) her to his chest for a few moments, and then lets her go." The little girl is described rather beautifully but also very sadly and tragically, as a slowly sinking "flower in the mud."

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