What is the climax in the story ‘‘And of Clay Are We Created’’ by Isabel Allende?

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teachsuccess eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The climax of a short story usually begins when the protagonist makes a crucial decision that determines the outcome of a dilemma. Basically, the climax involves the protagonist facing his or her main dilemma.

In the story, Rolf Carle tries to save a young girl from dying in a mud-pit. He eventually comes to realize that, in order to rescue Azucena, he will need a pump to drain some of the water out from the mud-pit. As the story progresses, the likelihood of finding a pump in time diminishes. The climax of the story occurs on the third day, when Rolf Carle gives "up the fight" and surrenders to the" torture of watching the girl die." After doing everything he can, Rolf Carle realizes his efforts will not produce the results he wants. Despite Rolf's efforts to save her, Azucena will die.

Just before Azucena dies, she laments that, at thirteen years old, no boy has ever loved her. To comfort her in her dying moments, Rolf Carle assures Azucena that he loves her more than his own mother, sister, and his life companion. In fact, he tells Azucena he loves her more than any woman he's ever held in his arms. The climax of the story extends from the moment Rolf Carle becomes resigned to Azucena's fate to the moment the young girl breathes her last.

clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The climax comes on the third day that Azucena has been stuck in the mud.  She and the reporter, Carle, have spent the past three days together, becoming more emotionally attached to one another than they've ever been to anyone else.  The president of the Republic comes to be filmed with Azucena and to praise her as an example for the nation.  He promises to personally send a pump - but it already too late.  She dies and Carle removes the tire that had been holding her up, and her body slips beneathe the mud.

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And of Clay Are We Created

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