And of Clay Are We Created

by Isabel Allende

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How is Rolf Carlé described by the narrator in "And of Clay Are We Created"?

Quick answer:

Eva Luna is a young woman who has just encountered her first love, Rolf Carlé. She is overwhelmed by the emotion of their first kiss and sees his world with new eyes. She tells her story as if she were talking to a group of girlfriends. They are sitting around eating pasta and drinking wine on a warm summer evening in Santiago, Chile in 1972.

Expert Answers

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In Isabel Allende’s short story “And of Clay We Are Created,” Eva Luna, the narrator, provides a heartfelt description of the news reporter, Rolf Carlé. Eva is left behind as Rolf travels to a disaster zone created by a volcanic eruption. She is watching him on television as she describes his calm demeanor in the face of adversity. Rolf was known for reporting from difficult situations with a collected, almost detached attitude. Nothing phased his countenance as he plodded through human suffering and unimaginable conditions.  When he was behind a camera, he transformed into someone other than himself. It seemed the lens protected him from his own feelings. Although he did not seem fearful in dire situations, Eva says, “he had confessed to me that he was not a courageous man,” yet he never seemed shaken.

Later in the story, she notes there was point, while he was talking to Azucena Lily, when he let his guard down and his emotions flowed freely. He arrives home a changed man who Eva would wait for as he worked through the ordeal in stoic silence.


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