And of Clay Are We Created

by Isabel Allende

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What is the narrative technique of "And of Clay Are We Created?"

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In the short story “Of Clay We are Created,” Isabel Allende uses a reliable first person narrator, Eva Luna. This story is a work of realistic fiction recounting the plight of a young girl during a volcanic eruption in Columbia in 1985, and the man who attempts to rescue her. Eva Luna is the companion of the story’s protagonist, Rolf Carlé, and she recounts his experiences with the young girl buried in clay, Azucena Lily.

The author uses a backstory to give the details of the villagers decision to continue living in their homes despite the warnings of the impending eruption, and the disastrous aftermath. There is also evidence of foreshadowing in this section when Eva describes the scene. The world’s eyes are strained upon the scene as the cameras project the event.

And every time we saw her on the screen, right behind her was Rolf Carlé,who had gone there on assignment, never suspecting that he would find a fragment of his past, lost thirty years before.

The story continues through the narrator’s eyes as she watches from a far away newsroom. She is able to see the nuances in Rolf’s face and changes in his demeanor, which she describes in detail. From the look in his eyes, she is aware when he has an epiphany. While staying with the young girl buried in clay, he has flashbacks to his own childhood. Through this experience, he confronts his childhood demons and comes home a changed man. The narrator explains all of this from her perspective.

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