And of Clay Are We Created

by Isabel Allende

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What are the key events in And of Clay Are We Created?

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The key events of this short story are Rolf Carle's arrival at the disaster zone, discovery of Azucena, their burgeoning friendship, and her death.

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The key events of this excellent short story concern Rolf Carle's arrival at the disaster zone, his discovery of Azucena, the young girl who is trapped in a pit of water and cannot get out, and their burgeoning friendship as he does everything he can to try and rescue her. Rolf Carle finds himself curiously struck by the pitiful young girl, and as time goes on without anything being done to save her, it is clear that Rolf Carle becomes more and more impacted himself by Azucena's situation. Meanwhile, of course, the narrator, Carle's partner, is watching this story relayed through media and television crews back in her home, so that she is able to participate and see what is happening. On the second night, as Rolf Carle tries to calm Azucena and tell her stories, he himself has to confront the pain of his own past:

That night, imperceptibly, the unyielding floodgates that had contained Rolf Carle's past for so many years began to open, and the torrent of all that had lain hidden in the deepest and most secret layers of memory poured out, levelling before it the obstacles that had blocked his consciousness for so long.

Note the metaphor that is used to describe Rolf Carle's past memories as they are compared to "floodgates" which conveys the release of so much pent up pain and emotion. As a result, both Azucena and Rolf Carle are able to release themselves from the fear of death, and Azucena dies, leaving Rolf Carle, initially at least, haunted by her death and trying to find a way back to living a happy and meaningful life again.

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