What unconscious motives are operating in the main characters in "And of Clay Are We Created"?

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sciftw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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That's a tough question.  I believe that the main conscious motive of Rolf throughout the story is to give comfort to the trapped Azucena.  He wants to keep her calm and give her hope that rescue can indeed reach her in time.  I think Azucena's main conscious motive and objective is to survive, to hold out as long as she can.  I don't believe any unconscious motives enter the story during the first day of her struggle.  

After that first day though, I believe that the unconscious motives creep into the story.  I think that Rolf realizes that hope is fading fast for Azucena.  I think deep down he sees her as the one person that he can share his past sufferings with.  I don't think he is aware of his need to speak about his time in the German concentration camps, his abusive childhood, and the fate of his retarded sister.  But during the second night with Azucena, he tells her everything.  It spews forth with a large amount of intensity, much like a volcano, which is interesting since that is the disaster that caused Azucena's situation in the first place.  Ironically, it is Azucena that ends up consoling Rolf.  I do not believe this is unconscious on her part.  I think she is aware that she needs to give Rolf support.  I think her unconscious realizes that she is the only person that can give Rolf the comfort that he needs.  She is being pulled to her death, and metaphorically that is what all of those memories were doing to Rolf.  By listening to him, and comforting him, she helped rescue him from his slow suffocation.  I believe that realization is within her unconscious mind and propels her to act the way that she did. 

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