“And of Clay We are Created” by Isabel Allende
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Magical realism is reality mixed with a touch of non-reality. This makes Isabel Allende’s stories interesting and unique. Magical realism consists of many characteristics of which are identified in “And of Clay We Are Created.”
Although some might not consider one of Isabel Allende’s stories “And of Clay We Are Created” to be a magical realism story, many factors prove that it is. The story is not always limited to one plot. There is also confusion with clarity. Most importantly, “And of Clay We Are Created” uncovers the mystery in life and in human acts. These characteristics are just some of the many that Isabel Allende uses in the story to construct the magical realism.
The plots in “And of Clay We Are Created” often revolve around issues of borders, mixing, and change. The beginning of the story describes Azucena’s situation. The following paragraph is a description of how the volcano erupted. The plot switches from Azucena surrounded by clay, to the volcano eruption and to the narrator watching the television screen. The time is displayed as circular, not linear. The story changes its time period when Rolfe reminisces about his past.
The narrator, Rolfe’s girlfriend expresses and states the thoughts and feelings Rolfe and Azucena very accurately. She states every detail that occurs at the place where Azucena and Rolfe are at as if she were there. According to the narrator, the feelings that Azucena and Rolfe express are unexplainable in words. Rolfe has feelings that he cannot describe to Azucena. The narrator is watching the events through a television screen, therefore making it impossible for her to describe Rolfe’s and Azucena’s emotions. Te fact that the narrator described their feelings is unquestioning fusion of fantasy. Azucena cannot thoroughly describe their personal suffering in great detail.
The story uncovers the mystery of life and human acts. Rolfe’s attitude changes after he spends time with Azucena. He evaluates his life and actions and compares it to Azucena’s life. Rolfe reminisces about the time when he was Azucena’s age and the war was taking place. He feels guilty for abandoning his sister Katharina and cries for her death. Rolfe has and emotional response to the world. Rolfe wishes to die when he reminisces about his hard life.
Some might argue that “And of Clay We Are Created” is not a magical realism story because magical realism deals with a lot of fantasy. “And of Clay We Are Created” appears to be very realistic. Also, another characteristic of magical realism is that the story does not deal with horror. Although the story is a horror story due to Azucena’s death and the story appears to be realistic, these do not prevent it from being a magical realism story. The characteristics of magical realism in the story outnumber the few characteristics that oppose this argument.
The story “And of Clay We Are Created” is a magical realism story because the plots often change and the story deals with the mystery in life and human acts. Also Rolfe expresses feelings that are unexplainable in words, Azucena and Rolfe have an emotional response to the world, and the story is romantic, realistic, and naturalistic. These are the characteristics of magical realism in “And of Clay We Are Created”. They are all factors that prove the presence of magical realism.